Carbon Spars

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by laser161116, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    Dear Mr. Kirkpatrick,

    I have a question, I have no answer - maybe you, please.

    In the German YACHT magazine (No 5 / 2004), there was a report of our 49er-pro´s about their mission to Athen.
    In this artikle there is written, that our hopeful sucssesful team needed five masts to buy and testing them intensive, only to get their maybe one "golden", because the stiffness in cabon masts can differ (in reason of production). The German Finn-pro Mr. Fellmann needs three masts (one cots nearly 3500 Euro, 1 Euro is 1,2 US $) "to be happy" (YACHT No.7 / 2004).
    How it is get saved, that every produced carbonic mast for the Laser has EXACT/PRECISE the same stiffness as our Laser-class-laws it strictly demands (1design/fundamental-rule)? (You know, that quality-problems (<-in general) in reason of producing-processes is best known at every Laser boat owner since over 30 years.)

    From Germany I know that an Europe-sailing-boat carbon mast costs about 1200 - 1300 Euro. The last cost I told, is, in my opinion, the direction, we eventually must in reality save our money for - of course for the both mast parts of Laser sailboat, I agree.
    This is to much for me as Lasercruiser. But I must agree, Mr. Kirkpatrick, when the carbon part will come into the Laserclass, as Lasercruiser I´m happy, too. :)
    Because of the many aluminium upper masts, that must get changed. I will now start to save all my money for the tiome when changing beginns, to get a bundle of the old ones very-very cheap of course ( + enough for the rest of my life as Lasersailor in Laserclass).
    I need not too much, because in 29 years of my experiance in sailing the Laser boat in all winds, none of the spars of the boats (all produced in the UK) I sailed strong, got broken or bend here. Maybe other had other problems with that, I don´t know one person here who had. :)

    To the UV-Light problem I can say: In my experiance not the c-mast but the sailcloth, that are made of carbon/kevlar, get out of form, espacially at the leech (lenght gets lost). AND: using a sail, made of carbon/kevlar, does not mean a less of quantity of needed sails a year, than it is now with the bad "3.8"ones already a lot of.
    Of course, as recreational Laser sailor, I don´t know really anything about, if this carbon/kevlar sailclothes are commig to the Laserclass. Do you?

    Thanks, already yet, for your sufficiend answers Mr. Kirkpatrick (and all others out there)
    +
    Have all a peaceful Easter, please! :)
    Greetings from Germany
    LooserLu
    GER 46438
    DLAS-member

    PS to clarky: Very interesting question, I also think. Sorry clarky, but I also don´t know - maybe Mr. Usher knows and tells us, if possible - thanks :)
     
  2. abenn

    abenn New Member

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    This is all very interesting and I think I'd consider buying a carbon top section if the price was no more than twice that of an Aluminium one - especially as my old section is pitted and has a few dings so I'm expecting it to fail some time and at our club we seem to lose 3-4 per year.
    The other critical question though is when is it likely to come in to production + get approved ? I think I read that ILCA (the World Council ?) are involved in the testing but does anyone have any best guesses, maybe based on how long other changes have taken, as to when we're likely to be able to use them ?
     
  3. Dave Kirkpatrick

    Dave Kirkpatrick New Member

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    The change is only on the table right now for Radials. Whether it is envisioned, longer term, for full rigs I can not say because I do not know. It might make sense, but it might not.
    Finn and Europe masts are more complex. Sailors in these classes have different masts for different conditions. They are taking advantage of the ability to closely engineer composite masts to their liking.
    The predominant lack of this type of behavior in the Laser Class (there are many I know who have favorite sections) owes mostly to the fact that the major championships (Worlds, Olympics and some Olympic Trials) are sailed using supplied equipment, where you get what you get. It is to the sailors benefit to be familiar with as broad a range of equipment as can be expected at one of these regattas. That range is fairly tight anyway.
    Kevlar has hideous tolerance to UV. In any case, this isn't a debate about sails, since a materials change for sails is not on the horizon, and the applicability of a material to one application may mean nothing about its applicability to another. And if you have ever used carbon sails in a logical application for them, you will know just exactly how great they are.
    As I said, the carbon tops which we have tested have had closer tolerances that aluminum ones.
     
  4. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    Dear Mr. Kirkpartick,
    thank you for your fast reply. To your words I have to say:

    >Finn and Europe masts are more complex.

    Yes, of course.

    >Sailors in these classes have different masts for different conditions.
    >They are taking advantage of the ability to closely engineer composite
    >masts to their liking

    Not at all, I guess, 49er and Finn are also 1design (Olympic-) classes . And have strict class rules they must obey to (/follow to) - Maybe not so strict like at Laserclass.

    >The predominant lack of this type of behavior in the Laser Class (there are
    > many I know who have favorite sections) owes mostly to the fact that the
    > major championships (Worlds, Olympics and some Olympic Trials) are
    > sailed using supplied equipment, where you get what you get.....

    And here, please not forget, that there are "a few" other races in the world... There, sailing is allowed on sailor-owned boats, you know of couse too. And at the secondary-level-big-races are racing sailors, with own or(and) localy hired Laser boats. So there ARE "(a little bit) different" boats racing (sorry for my English, please), I believe.

    Of course, I know, the personal ability to sail (athletics, strategy-knowledgement, boathandling, psychologic strongness) and at least lucky winds / lucky currents of the sea are much more important facts to get a successfull result in racing, than only the different qualities of boats.
    But last what I said can be important to "the `few´ not-pro´s" im talking about, too. Don´t forget this aspect, please. :) Laserclass is famous not only, because there are somewhere some rather good pro´s who maybe believe they are the "only ones" on the water and all the other must do as they (or their officials) like.

    BOTH are the advertising to our Laserboat. And, I hope, sailors like me, who can´t stop sailing the Laser, but are non-racers. :)

    >As I said, the carbon tops which we have tested have had closer tolerances
    >that aluminum ones.

    If "you" (I mean: in future: the out-of-the-box-boat builder) can guarantee this (in Germany we have 2 years "guarantiee-time" by law), then this aspect of qualitiy in production is a "+" for decision to by a carbonic upper mast part, I think.

    >And if you have ever used carbon sails in a logical application for them, you will know just exactly
    >how great they are.

    Yes, I´ve already sailed with (Europe´s, 14´ Footer, some recreational Cat´s) :)

    Greetings from Germany

    LooserLu
    GER 46438 / DLAS-member
    - the in a few days at Easter in-"Aprilweather"-maybe-getting-frozen in the Netherlands sailing Lasercruiser (air is at 8-10Celsius, water: 10C, only 3-4 Bft)
     
  5. Dave Kirkpatrick

    Dave Kirkpatrick New Member

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    Regarding the 49er sailors you mention, 49ers seem to be more "mast sensitive" than Lasers. The masts are quite a bit more complex (when you think you have the perfect flex mast then you have to be sure the sail track is on dead straight, for example.
    But the fact is that what your 49er friends are doing can just as easily happen in the Laser Class, and happens to some degree now, but not to the degree with which those 49er sailors are pursuing it.
    Based on the characteristics of the carbon tops we've seen to date, there will be less necessity to select masts as they have thus far proven to be more consistent than aluminum.
    Remember, this change is only currently under consideration for Radials.
    The Finn mast is totally inapplicable to this discussion as their mast rules are vastly more liberal than the Laser Class rules.
     
  6. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    Hi,
    although Dave Kirkpatrick has moved, I have questions again now.
    Not a long time ago, I found something in the internet, I´m not sure what´s going on there. At the homepage of a Sailmaker for windsurfersails this sailmaker proudly presents his new wind-tunnel. In the text to this wind-tunnel, they report about testing of a new windsurfersail and: guess what else, yes, a Lasersail! Do they do it only for fun (f.e. to test the wind-tunnel) or is there more to report. Did they test f.e. a Laser2-sail or a LaserPico-Sail. I tried to ask them about it, but until today there came no answer. Can somone tell me more?

    Here is the related web-site:
    http://www.loftsails.com/index.php?news_id=19

    And a Hardcopy from that site (sorry for the bad quality):
    http://www.laserforum.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=101&stc=1

    bye-bye
    LooserLu
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Here is the text from the Loftsails website. You'd need a microscope to read the attachment. Sorry, LooserLu! Yes, good question. Do they do it for fun?

    Guten Tag, Merrily

    "Working with Jose Terres-Nicoli two 1:5 scale models were produced at The Loft; an O2 Freeride Concept 6.6 and the Olympic class Laser sail. Built into the two models are more than 20 micro-tubes in each, which are used to measure air-pressures at specific locations. Air pressures are measured at the micro-tube ends, the tubes are led forward to the mast and travel down inside the mast pocket and connect to computer-sensors under the tunnel which assimilate the datas."
     
  8. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    Hi,
    the attachement I made, is only to find the text quick at that website not -not to ruin your eyes. Sorry, I´ve forgotten to make a notice for that.

    Although I didn´t expected an answer aft so much time, the sailmaker answered today. This is a quotation from him:
    <<...The Laser sail I produced for the CEAMA wind-tunnel study is a 1:5 scale model of the standard Laser-class sail. The model includes 18 micro-tubes which allow air-pressures at the 18 points on one side of the sail to be measured by the CEAMA technicians.
    This model was produced specifically for the opening ceremony of the wind tunnel which the Spanish royals attended. The King of Spain is an avid sailor and follws the Olympic classes...>>
    So, "I" can cool down again... for a while...no requriement to add "something" on the list for Santa Claus(e)... :D
    But keep your eyes open, ok. From my personal experiance, I don´t believe in anything from the out-of-the-box-boat-builders. Which always seem to act behind the back of us all (see: the last builder-conference in Bitez at WC-2004), and then, "oh surprise", there is something new and we all have to eat it - without arguing...
    Ciao
    LooserLu


    @ Merrily:
    >>..Guten Tag...<< correct said, some more German-words and you can join Paige R. to start with her at Kiel-Week 2005... (http://www.kielerwoche.de/eng/englishdefault.htm) ;)
     
  9. vtgent49

    vtgent49 Member

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    Hi,

    I do appreciate Dave K's work and responses to this bent/broken top problem. I would like to ask he and others why the Class hasn't moved to an obvious solution like allowing sleeves to be inserted inside the top?

    This was a simple solution for the bent booms, relatively cheap, and at the sailor's option? A little weight aloft, and the resulting stiffness could be adjusted by minimizing the sleeve length and position. Yet, it seems it would eliminate the REAL problem of breaking spars, and the resulting danger and costs. I can't imagine trying to get back to the ST. Francis YC with a "gaff" rig? I'd end up in Berkeley (or Alcatraz!)

    Plus, us cheapskates could start a cottage industry, cutting up old broken tops to make sleeves, as we now do for booms.

    Thanks in advance,

    Al Russell 66451
     
  10. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    @ Merrily:
    >>..Guten Tag...<< correct said, some more German-words and you can join Paige R. to start with her at Kiel-Week 2005... (http://www.kielerwoche.de/eng/englishdefault.htm) ;)[/QUOTE]


    Ein bier, und die Rechnung. I figure I'm all set. Merrily
     
  11. seamonkey

    seamonkey New Member

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    interesting thread. some thoughts I have are......cost--If you compare the costs involved in regular replacement of crappy aluminum poles,,vs a bit more $,spent once,,,the economics balance out pretty well,,,,,,,and when you factor in the enhanced performance of a glass/carbon spar,,,,and how the sailor weight-range can be tweaked through stiffness--such a change would enhance the class

    It would be interesting to look at the idea of >>sleeving<< glass/carbon topsections,,such that you'd buy a sleeve to suit your weight--might not seem very one-design,,,but would just match what exists in aluminum spar variables!!!
     
  12. terraslaser

    terraslaser New Member

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    hey
    i am a normal teenager sailing a laser radial on the weekends. i think it would be stupid to change such a good one-design fleet. "if its not brocken why change it!?!?!?!?!?!?!" im not ashamed to admit i wont be able to afford the new top section. iv only jst bought the harken kicker, cuningham and outhaul.
     
  13. Murphs

    Murphs New Member

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    The thing is, alot of people think it is broken........
     
  14. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    It would be good if carbon spars helped lighter sailors sail the Radial competitively. The Europe Dinghy sailors freaked out when the Radial was chosen for the women's single handed class in the Olympics, instead of the Europe, because they are too light to win races with the Radial.

    On the other hand, the Radial won out over the Europe because it's less expensive to produce, and its use in the Olympics would allow more developing countries to compete. If changing to carbon spars significantly increases the price, it will bring it more in line with the price of the Europe, and that advantage will be lost.

    The Europe carbon spars are designed for each sailor's weight. This means that the weight of the sailor is not an advantage or disadvantage, just pure skill, should win the race. But a sailor buying a used boat has to find a mast bent for his weight. Of course this makes boat buying more complex. Does anyone know if this sort of thing is contemplated for the Laser?

    On a personal note, if there is less "heeling moment" as someone wrote, with a lighter, upper carbon spar, I would be happy. Anything that means Merrily spends less time in the water can't be bad.

    Janet
     
  15. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    It might be useful to go back to the beginning of this thread and read the postings by Dave Kirkpatrick (who was the product manager for Vanguard when he posted those messages) on the composite upper which is under development. The main point I want to make here is that the underlying goal is to produce a slightly more flexible spar which will help open the competitive weight range in the Radial. But it will NOT be like the Europe, you will NOT go searching for a spar that fits your weight. Just like now, all upper sections will have the same characteristics, they will just be more flexible than their aluminum counterparts.
    If you read Dave's postings you will see that, if approved by the class, they will be more expensive than the aluminum spars (but I think less than twice the price). However, they won't develop permanent bends or break as easily/frequently as the aluminum. So, if you are an active sailor frequently sailing in breezy conditions you will probably end up way ahead in the end.

    Tracy Usher
     
  16. terraslaser

    terraslaser New Member

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    i was woundering, would you still be able to race the aluminum spars at open meetings. And iv never brocken or bent a section despite having sailed in some heavy winds.
     
  17. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    Hi Mr. Usher,
    You know there is a lot of discussion here and there under several Laserites about the "equality" of Laserparts. If this is true or not is not really 100%-prooved, at least. But If there is no difference in Quality there would be not such discussions, I think.
    So I hope deep, you and all official-members of the Laser-Class, that represent the interests not only of the ILCA-members/ non-members or racers/non-racers will "carry trough" (Sorry, have no better word-translation in English) to the out-of-the-box-boat-builders a strong Quality-Management-System to provide us (all Laserites) about new discussions about quality of the new comming c-uppermast. Personally I would like to hear, that it would be allowed for normal-Laserites, to use the aluminum mast also in future at Laserraces, although I´m sure the top-radial-sailors switch to the c-top-section, if this spar brings them advantages.
    And: It would be nice, to let also us normal sailors know, how the actual standinig is with this c-spars - of course in your descision, what could be made public.
    Thanks
    Ludwig/LooserLu
     
  18. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    I think there's no cause for alarm for the people who want to keep their old aluminum uppers. The pro rigging is an option, but not mandatory, right? (or am I missing that too?)

    Is there anything that will keep a sailor from using the carbon upper in a standard Laser, (in casual sailing, not racing)? I'm on the cusp weightwise between the Radial and Standard, own both, but think it would be great to use the bigger sail whenever possible. Won't the bendier upper make that possible, as well?

    Janet/Merrily
     
  19. terraslaser

    terraslaser New Member

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    Just a quick question how long are they expecting it to take for the carbon masts become legal and to come into production?

    thank.
     
  20. Braecrest

    Braecrest Member

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    Call me a traditionalist, but I still favor the alum. rig. The laser is a great boat and there is little need to tinker with our one design concept.
     

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