Intensity Sails

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by Rob B, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. OliLaser

    OliLaser Guest

    Dear Arogant American http://www.evb.ch/en/p25002547.html
    Read that it tells you how much they make its penuts
     
  2. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    You are still clueless - that is not the same company. North Sails Lanka made windsurfing sails only. They were licensed to use the North Sails name, but were not owned or controlled by North Sails. The license to use the name was revoked prior to that article.

    The company making the Laser sails is owned by North Sails.
     
  3. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    The followup to those links, it appears, is here where it would appear that the union representing the workers won. I did not find anything on "labor" and "North Sails Sri Lanka" since this article (Jan 2004).

    I have not been to Sri Lanka so have not personally seen the North Sails operation there. However, I have spoken to several people who have toured the facility and their comments were quite positive with no indication of a sweat shop operation.

    With respect to alternatives... it is my understanding that Intensity Sails, besides not being legal Laser/Radial sails for racing, are sourced from China. Does that make their heritage more pure?
     
  4. stick

    stick Member

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    i refuse to feel bad about purchasing sails for my Laser. i'm sorry that non-Americans feel that we are somehow upsetting third world economies by buying or not buying a sail. i do feel that if the operation of sailmaking was moved from the current Sri Lankan factory, it would be replaced by another, retooled, and the same workers would be producing some other product the next month. and not getting paid enough. currently, this is the hand we have been dealt. here in America, unfortunately, a majority of our consumer goods are produced overseas.
     
  5. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I always get a bit confused by the "keep your local dealer in business" argument. Some things in "your local dealer" can be impulse purchases, others you need now because you have broken something. Sometimes you want to see before you buy, look at different models and chose the nicest/best/etc.

    When it comes to Laser sails, what doe s"the local dealer" add. Do they keep them in stock (and if so why, UPS et al can deliver next day !), do they give you a choice (e.g. a Laser sail or a Laser sail or you could chose a Laser sail).

    Local dealers are appropriate for some things but just giving them money to keep them in business is daft. I think every sail I have ever purchased (not yet purchased a new Laser sail) has always been directly from the sail maker -but this is in the UK.


    Personally, if the sails are shown to conform to the one design measurements and have no performance advantage (i.e. keep to the strict one design rules) then I would be in favour of allowing another sail maker.
    However, I assume these Intensity sails are not measured (as I assume proper Laser sails are). How much would the measuring add to the cost of the Intensity sail ?

    Ian
     
  6. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Oli, it's clear you have a racist bigotry toward Americans. I'm sure there are some radical muslim sites you can express your hate thoughts among your peers, but I'm tired of your political BS here.

    As for wages, cheap labor and all that. Back in the day we used to worry about the cheap products coming out of Mexico. Now the people in Mexico, (and US) worry about the cheap stuff coming out of China, India and Asia in general. Intensity sails are made in China. I work with contract manufacturers in China. They work in facilities that look like US high security jails. It's done to keep the unemployed, poor, starving folks out. Not to keep the employees that are elated to have the jobs in. They work nearly 24 hrs a day and live "on campus". They funnel their wages back home for the family to live, (in a lot of cases) and are allowed to go home a few times a year.

    Anyway, the Intensity guys don't keep so much of the China dollars in their pockets and they don't have to pay the Laser class for the red button either, (that red button must be a big part of the class budget!).

    The intensity sail is a great value, but the idea of opening up our class to multiple sail makers is a big can of worms.
     
  7. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    I think there will always be tradeoffs - Before looking at different sides, remember that what makes the Laser class unique when compared to most other classes is the fact that the parts of the boat that directly impact the performance thru the water are tightly controlled so that we sailors don't need to worry about the guy next to us outspending us to buy better performance. The group that started the class decided the best way to do that, as well as market the boat and ensure it's long term success is what we have in place today.

    You could take your argument about what does the dealer add and apply it to pretty much everything that is part of the Laser - in that case, why even bother having dealers ? Just buy direct from the builder and cut out the markup that the dealer adds. The builder can setup a few warehouses in his territory so that for example you don't have to drive 3000 miles to pick up your new boat. But you can't do that without additional cost either, not to mention the potential impact on the long term marketing and health of the class from not having a Laser or 10 displayed at every dealer.

    Some might be in favor of an additional sail maker, but that sailmaker would have to sell the sails thru the same distribution channel that the current ones do to be class approved. So the price we, the end user, would end up paying would be in the same bracket as the two other class legal sails since it's not the sailmaker who controls the price the end user pays...

    There is already a lot of opinion out there that one sailmaker makes a faster sail then the other (note I said opinion and not fact :) ), having a third will only add fuel to that fire which dilutes the fact about what makes the Laser unique that I started my reply with.

    What about allowing the sailmakers to sell directly to the sailors ? (ie cut out the dealers and the builder) On first glance it sounds great, we have a pretty good idea what the price would be, don't we. But don't think for a minute that the prices on everything else Laser would stay the same. If you remove part of the builder and dealers revenue, they would raise their prices on everything else to make up for it. So what have we saved ?
     
  8. abenn

    abenn New Member

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    Now we've seen so much discussion on this and arguments from both sides, is it worth setting up a poll so we can gauge what the majority think ? You never know ILCA measurers may follow these discussions and a significant vote either way could influence their actions.
     
  9. rippa

    rippa Member

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    Wwhow, time out....
    Next we could discuss the markup on the aluminium tubes that make up a Laser mast. Performance Sailcraft control the class and not anybody else. Like so many people in our world they do not ask "how much is that thing worth that we are selling here?", but they ask "how much do we get away with".
    This Laser thing is fourty year old technology, the concept of the class is true 21st century. We pay a premium for that.
     
  10. muddy_waters

    muddy_waters New Member

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    Why don't you use dacron to make these sails?

    Thanks.

    Chris
     
  11. muddy_waters

    muddy_waters New Member

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    Has anyone tried the Kevane sails?

    Thanks.

    Muddy
     
  12. alalor1

    alalor1 New Member

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    I don't understand why we have to pay a dealer, there is no dealer within 100 miles from where I live even though there are more than 20 lasers in town. So I am resorted to buy on line or waste half a day. I would much rather buy directly from a store. I agree, too many hands, ILCA could make much more and have more members if they allowed more certified sailmakers who guarantee to comply by ILCA measurements.
     
  13. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    But then there would have to be measurers at regattas and at a big regatta that takes a whole extra day--an extra day where you have to pay for food and a room and possibly even the measurers services.
     
  14. HECS

    HECS New Member

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    Who polices the guarantee?

    How do you police the guarantee? Do you take a particular percentage of sails from each sailmaker apart and measure the seam curve? How to you allow for the fact that the overlap at seams may be altered, and therefore the shape affected? Do you measure the overlap as well?

    What if you suspect a particular sail? Do you take it apart, measure the seam curve, and then hand the bunch of loose panels back to the owner?

    What about the sailcloth - how do you ensure that the sailcloth is the same as other Laser sails? Do you do a spectographic analysis or something? How do you know I haven't built a bunch of sails out of a better cloth? What happens if I make a few of these sails, and then start using them myself and start going fast?

    If I start up a limited liability sailmaking company and guarantee to comply with ILCA measurements and then purposely make a bunch of really quick sails (if possible) what would happen? Does everyone who bought one of those sails have to hand it back? How can you guarantee I have the cash to buy them back? If I don't, what about any owners who bought a sail and now find that it's illegal? How do you plan to enforce the rules?

    If you have tolerances for luff curve, seam taper and seam overlap to allow for construction errors, how can you be sure FastR LasR Sails Inc isn't charging twice as much, for a sail that is very carefully made to exploit those tolerances? It happens with 470 hulls, Europe hulls, foils and spars, 505 hulls, it even used to happen to Optis.

    If you try to ensure that people don't charge more for a faster sail, who is going to work out the cost of sailmaking in each country to ensure that sailmakers from a high-cost country are not at a disadvantage, and vice versa?

    What about if I don't sell just my super sails, but just sell a package deal which happens to cost a lot of money and happens to include a super sail?

    If the Laser way is so bad, why is it the most popular adult's class by such a long way?
     
  15. alalor1

    alalor1 New Member

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    well, same questions to you. Is there a fully independent person full time at North and Hyde monitoring all the sails? How do you prevent this person who is always there from becoming too cozy with people he or she has to see and deal with every day?
     
  16. Chris123

    Chris123 New Member

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    Not at all. The measurer could be at the sail loft and could complete the measurements before the class button went on.
     
  17. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    No, there is no full time Laser rep at the Hyde or North sail lofts. IIRC, Adam French does an inspection of X number of panels / sails at the lofts to make sure each sailmaker is complying with the construction manual. I don't think this is more then a couple days per year.. In other words, once the sailmakers have shown that they are producing the class legal sail, it is assumed that they will continue to produce that exact same sail each and every time.

    Tracy may be able to enlighten us more, as Adam now reports to him (http://www.laser.asn.au/pdf/laser_inter_circular/laser_int_circular_201.pdf)
     
  18. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    There isn't a class I'm aware of that puts it's own employee at a loft to measure all class approved sails (most classes don't even have paid employees) If you are building sails off a pattern or using the same plotter cut file, there really shouldn't be a need for measuring anyway.
     
  19. HECS

    HECS New Member

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    1 - Because North and Hyde are known quantities; they aren't like me with my fly-by-night FastR LasR Sails Inc, which could just stuff up Laser sailing and then disappear. They are a reasonable sized company to get into a contract that demands that all Laser sails be within tolerance. They're not just going to fold if you hit them with a legal action. They're not going to be a $2 company that can laugh at a damages clause in a contract because they have no assets.

    In a way, it's the same reason you buy a computer from a shop, rather than some guy in a pub.

    2 - They have a vested interest in maintaining a duopoly - it gives them a nice steady profit stream that they already have - and therefore will not behave in a way that threatens that duopoly.

    In contrast, my FastR LaserR Sails Inc has to break into the market so it needs to create a selling edge; speed. It can advertise that it has the fastest sails. North and Hyde can't take out an ad hinting that they have the fastest sails without threatening the duopoly that gives them a cash flow.

    3 - Adam French can go to 2 sailmakers once a year to check their sails. He cannot go to all the sailmakers who could produce 1,2 or 478 Laser sails once a year to check that their sails are "real" Laser sails.

    How many local sailmakers would have to be checked? 400? 200? 50? Who is going to pay for Adam's time and airfare to do the checking? Who will pay for some local to be trained by Adam to check the sails instead?

    4 - Even if some guy on North's floor started making special sails, how is he going to get them into the right hands? They are being sold through dealers; how are you going to get the "specials" into the right hands in quantity?

    5 - Look at the classes like Europe, 470, etc. They have local builders and competition between builders, yet their hulls cost more than the hulls of Lasers. Why? Because they can compete on quality (ie faster boats) better than they can compete on price. Why wouldn't the same apply to sails?
     
  20. HECS

    HECS New Member

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    What about the amount of seam overlap?

    Can you trust a fly by nighter to use the computer plotter and not modify the seam taper?

    In another SMOD (ie manufacturer-supplied sails) class with expensive sails, one smartie backyard dealer just got a sailmaker to make sails and somehow got the official tags put on them (I've forgotten whether they were copies, or whether he had old sails from his second-hand boats "reconditioned" by the class sailmaker with repairs and new tags, which then found their way from the second-hand sails to the new copies).

    He then sold the copy sails, with real tags, as real sails. A bunch of people bought them in good faith and turned up at the worlds, where a sailmaker from the real class sailmaker noticed the differences and raised the alarm.

    So suddenly a whole bunch of people lose their sails before the worlds, blowing their whole budget and not doing a lot of good for their campaign. And what happened to the guy who caused it all?

    Nothing. He was just in it for spare change. The class had no practical way of getting back at him. There was no contract, no liquidated damages clause, and he didn't have a valuable revenue stream to protect, so he could just laugh and walk away. It was only a dozen sails, or so. Practically, the class had no recourse.

    The same situation would apply if Laser sails were opened up and my FastR LasR Sails Inc got a guy I know, a Laser champ who can build sails, to build 20 quicker sails. They'd be faster, and practically Adam French and the class could do nothing about it. I may cop a ban, but where I live banning someone from something that affects their lifestyle is a way to leave the class open for a crippling damages action, class/ISAF rules or no class/ISAF rules.

    In contrast, if the class sailmaker/s of reasonable size breaks the rules, you can sit them down and force them to fix it. It's not beer money to North and Hyde like it was to our fly-by-night backyard dealer.
     

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