GRP foils?

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Deumel, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. dredies

    dredies Member

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    I've talked to some people who have obtained these boards. While they may have the same properties in terms of weight, stiffness, and shape as Alan says, they are much more durable. Brand new sets of foils may be competitively equivalent, but the old style boards are prone to warping and chipping. Put a season on each set of foils and the GRP foils will be the more competitive of the two.
     
  2. Zoophyte

    Zoophyte New Member

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    This guy is selling his foils ("complete") post racing for $1,200 USD(?) --> http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=30092

    In Australia the foils are currently priced at:
    Daggerboard - $675 AUD
    Rudder (incl head/stock) - $475 AUD
    Total - $1,150 AUD = $950 USD
    http://www.lasersailing.com.au/shop/store.php?pg1-cid37.html

    Factor in taxes and shipping costs etc from downunder and $1,200+ USD isn't a massive gouge really, right?

    I do agree though that it seems quite expensive but if they cost twice as much as the foam foils and last twice as long.....
     
  3. dredies

    dredies Member

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    The $1250 doesn't include headstock. Prices I saw on Australian websites were $670 AUS for the centerboard and $300 AUS for the rudder; that works out to $805 USD at current exchange rates. Paying a $445 USD premium seems a bit much for shipping. The point is, it was announced in December (http://www.laserinternational.org/img/Laserworld/Dec08.pdf) that "Both Performance Sailcraft Australia and Laser Performance are producing GRP foils [snip]. Laser Performance GRP foils will be available to Europe, North and South America in early 2009."

    I am tempted to get a dealer in Australia to ship me a set, but after reading the above it didn't seem necessary.
     
  4. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    At the time that article was written that was the stated plan. Since then the worldwide economy has introduced some unforeseen challenges, in particular with LP's plans to produce (or have produced) GRP foils. In fact, I'm surprised that the Harken Blocks arrived relatively on time since someone had to assume quite a financial burden in tooling up and producing the first wave that went to market. Anyway, I don't know the time scale but things are still in the pipeline and will eventually arrive, just a bit later than originally scheduled.

    In my experience I have yet to see any evidence that these foils, whether new or "old", have any advantage over the Crompton foils. So, personally, I'm happy to wait for them to be supplied with new boats, or I have the need to buy a new some new foils for some other reason. I can think of plenty of other things to spend that money on!
     
  5. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Completely agree. If there is any advantage with these boards, it will be wiped away with a single poor tack.
     
  6. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Not to us sailors.
     
  7. dredies

    dredies Member

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    This may be quite accurate. It may also be that the composite mast sections that were being tested would not have given any great advantage, but I am quite sure the Australian sailors would have had something to say if the method of "testing" had been to sell them in North America only.
     
  8. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Probably not on any large scale. Within Australia and probably world wide, 95% of all laser sailors never compete outside their region, in fact most laser sailors do not compete outside of their club racing. To most of them some equipment that someone else has beyond their sailing environment is irrelevent. At the elite level, the equipment is usually supplied, so again it's back to an level playing field. It's only at the "wannabe" level that you see sailors looking around trying to get an advantage that they go around trying to source equipment not available in their region.

    There have always been regional variations in the lasers and the equipment on them. Very few sailors have gone searching world wide for this equipment, the vast majority have been happy with what was available locally. If this wasn't the case, everyone would be sailing an Australian hull & boards with European spars, North American fittings and a Hyde Sail.

    From my understandng, the whole composite mast thing was about depowering the radial so that the lighter (usually female) sailors could compete equally against the heavier radial sailors. It was never meant to have the same characteristics as the existing aluminium top section.
     
  9. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Hate to tell you, but the new GRP boards are equally prone to warping as the Crompton boards, I'm one of the few people at my club that hasn't chipped the bottom corner off the centreboard and quite a few boards have delaminated. Like the old Crompton boards, the new GRP boards will remain straight and undamaged if you look after them. I think in 25 years of laser sailing I've only every had one centreboard warp on me and that was because I've my own stupidity. All the boards will last a long time if you don't leave them in sun, don't drop them and don't unecessarily load them.
     
  10. dredies

    dredies Member

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    According to PSA, the blades are [FONT=Arial, Helvetica]stronger, less susceptible to scratches and have a smoother finish. You stated earlier that this was progress for the class, so how it can be progress if there is no advantage?

    [/FONT]
     
  11. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    So you believe advertising hype? I've got a remedy I'll sell you that will cure you of cancer, I'll sell it to you for $US1000 per 100ml bottle.

    The GRP board had to fall into the manufacturing specifications set down for the manufacturing of the boards. The achieve this; whether they are on a higher of the scale than the Crompton boards, I have no idea. The GRP boards fit within the class tolerances, which is all that matters.

    Progress is something that is often perceived, it can be progress for a builder with no benefit except to the builder, which is probably the case for the boards. (Edit: People forget that it might also be cheaper for PSA to build the boards locally than paying the freight, import fees and taxes to import them from overseas, so lowering PSA's costs is progress at no extra cost to their Australian and NZ customers. )

    But ultimately all this talk about one set of boards, hulls spars etc being better than another from a different region is meaningless. If you can't beat the guy rigging up next to you at your club using the same equipment as he's using, then you won't win an Olympic Gold Medal or a World Championships, where you are forced to use identical equipment. Get out their with the rest of us, have fun competing using the same gear as everyone else out whom you're actually competing against and forget that someone, somewhere else in the world whom you're never going to race against has a better piece of equipment that you don't have access too.
     
  12. dredies

    dredies Member

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    I will be at the Worlds in Halifax and hope to see you there. For the record, the individuals that I know that bought and imported these boards did so for the purpose of bringing them to the Worlds.
     
  13. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    The irony is that a couple of Australian sailors have purchased and brought back boards from the recent worlds in California, because it appears that the finish on the LP boards is better than the PSA boards. Does the pticoad now complain that the LP boards aren't available elsewhere in the world, complain that they "brake our rules". I suspect not.
     

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