Injection Molded Sunfish

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Tillerman, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    According to this statement from LaserPeformance it is their intention (bullet point 4) to start making Sunfish by an injection molding process by the end of the year.

    OneLaser Update Q1 2016

    Can anyone explain to me what this means?

    Is this a major change from the current manufacturing process?

    Will the injection molded Sunfish be able to sail with earlier Sunfish as a one design class?
     
  2. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    Injection molded would seem to indicate a plastic hull instead of fiberglass... maybe a solid styro fill too.

    As to being legal for one design... probably not the same class as the fiberglass hulls.
     
  3. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    So what does that mean? Will there be two separate Sunfish classes for one design sailing? Old fiberglass hulls and new injection molded hulls?
     
  4. Lafayette Mike

    Lafayette Mike Member

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    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    That would make sense, except I don't see how they'd sell any injection molded Z420s, so there must be fiberglass involved. Guess we will have to await further news about their Chinese plans.
     
  6. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    And Tillerman, welcome back. What was that name you used to use? GrumpyMaster or something like that?
     
  7. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Sounds like they're going to be built more or less like the Laser GRP foils today. Just a different way of applying the resin (instead of spraying or brushing) to get a better and more even quality laminate. Not a fundamentally different end product.

    Wouldn't the class association officers know all about this?
     
  8. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    To expand on what Mike wrote above...

    I emailed my engineer buddy, asking if this means "rotomolding" in future Sunfish, and if West Systems would no longer be an effective fiberglass repair product. His response:

    "I didn't see any mention of rotomolding in the article. They did mention injection molding but this article was obviously sourced by fuzzy thinking management or bean counter types. Who knows what the real story is?

    Rotomolding or injection molding can be done with a wide variety of plastics. West G-Flex can bond HDPE, LDPE, ABS, PVC, and Polycarbonates. Stiffness will depend on how much glass or other filler is used. The injection molding might be done like the Scrimp process, only with two molds with the layup placed between the molds and resin injected between them. I doubt it though. Most likely glass filled HDPE with inserts at the partners and other high stress areas."


    Lesson: Don't ask an engineer a question unless you're ready to google words in his answer! :confused:

    Another product outsourced to China? :(
     
  9. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    Thanks for that Mike. Let's hope that they mean some process like this and they do it in a way that keeps the hulls identical in weight, stiffness etc. to the current hulls.
     
  10. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    I don't get this. Is it absolutely impossible to directly contact ISCA and/or LP? Won't they answer? Or do you expect them to lie? Or is a guessing game on an internet forum more preferable in some other way?

    International Sunfish Class Association
    Contact Us
     
  11. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    I just assumed that people on the Sunfish Forum would be able to answer a question about Sunfish and that other people on the Sunfish Forum might be interested in the answer. I thought that that was the whole point of having a forum.
     
  12. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Ok, sorry if I was bit blunt. I guess I'm getting tired at these kind of "discussions" where everyone speculates but no one even thinks about going to a real source. Happens a lot in sailing club bars, usually about the rules....

    But just like on the adjacent Laser forum, it looks like more people are interested in repair & restoration rather than new boats. Nothing wrong with that, but it means that active racers likely won't get their questions answered.
     
  13. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    No problem. Haven't been here for a few years so didn't know it's mainly an old boat restoration forum these days. Where do the Sunfish racers go to chat these days?
     
  14. Charles Howard

    Charles Howard Member

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    This seems like a pretty big change for a one design class boat hull that basically is the same construction from the sixties. This seems like a very significant change in the construction the new boats maybe better or worse than the boat made now. How is the class going to handle this for racers? Are they going to have different races for non-import boats and import boats? What is the cost going to be for new boats since they now have to be imported from China?
     
  15. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    I think the class is trying to work with LP to shoot for no impact on the class. I hope they are successful. The class has been thru a lot and cannot control the mfr's actions.

    I doubt anyone in the board can quote a price for you. But usually products from China are sold for less than domestic goods, which is why Wal Mart is chock full of imported goods.

    BB.
     
  16. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Hardly anything manufactured in China arrives here with a better design than what it's copied from. What they're good at, is "customer satisfaction", so you can rebuild your newly-arrived Chinese Sunfish at home. :rolleyes: Re-engineering the Sunfish in China will likely result in racers with the new 100-pound Chinese Sunfish required to carry lead weights. :D

    I suspect racers will be looking for Sunfish from the 1970s and 1980s as stronger and better craft. Hold onto those older Sunfish! ;)
     
  17. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    If the Chinese Sunfish are cheaper than American Sunfish and absolutely identical that would be great.
     
  18. sailcraftri

    sailcraftri Well-Known Member

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    Cheaper??? They will be cheaper to build but I doubt you will see a change in price once they get here.

    Could be that they are infusing the hulls which is done by laying up dry glass, vacuum bagging the layup and then injecting resin into the dry layup. Gives you a better control on how much resin goes into a layup. Not always lighter weight, but stronger because you have better resin control.
     
  19. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    Thanks sailcraftri. I see that on another forum, someone who is a LP dealer has stated categorically that LP used the wrong words. They didn't mean "injection molded." They meant "resin infused."

    For people like me who have no real idea what that means, here is a video showing the resin infusion process for building a small boat.



    Well. I'm glad that's all sorted out. Sounds like the new Sunfish won't be cheaper but will be "stronger."
     
  20. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    Could be lighter.... And stronger. Higher ratio of cloth to resin.
     

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