Intensity Sails

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

  1. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    You don't need to be a class member to race in club races or other regattas below district championship level. This debate about Intensity sails is essentially about whether to allow "illegal" sails at that local club level of racing where many, perhaps the majority, of the sailors don't belong to the class. So of course non-class members are entitled to a point of view.
     
  2. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Perhaps I didn't make the point entirely clear in my last post. My point is that some local fleets may decide to allow illegal sails in local club racing. I don't see how anyone such as the builders or the class can stop them. And surely such a local fleet would allow all its members to vote, class members or not.

    But the chance of the ILCA as a whole officially voting to change the rules to allow such sails is about the same as the chance of me qualifying to sail a Laser in the next Olympics.
     
  3. Greywarrior

    Greywarrior New Member

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    Is this site run by the Laser Class? I thought that it was an unafilliated public forum. If it's public, then we all have a right to an opinion.
     
  4. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    This forum is privately owned and run by Bradley Green, and it is not affiliated with the Laser Class.
     
  5. Laser76489

    Laser76489 Member

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    This whole bit of bickering about "class legal" and if I'm a member or not of the class association all makes we re-think the idea of laser sailing. Do I really want to race Lasers anymore or do I just want to get out and sail like the laser fleet use too before it became an olympic class and everyone began to fight? The laser was a great fleet but not anymore, atleast not for me.

    I'm gone


    Bye
     
  6. TheBoathouse

    TheBoathouse New Member

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    All adult staff live on site, are fed on site and have a medical staff on site. HMMM sounds like a prison camp...but that is only my opinon
     
  7. Overdraft

    Overdraft New Member

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    woohoo! i'm gonna wade in here... must be a brain defect!

    OK, J24's banned fancy-ass fabrics from class legal sails to keep the costs down, so you had to have dacron sails. Well as keelboaters now know, laminated plastic sails are now as cheap as dacron and last longer so the rule no longer makes sense. Have they fixed it yet? Not sure, it's a big class beaurocracy to move...

    BUT now to Lasers... and here I'm gonna change the direction of the conversation... Sure Laser sails are too expensive cuz of the decision to standardize sails by controlling the suppliers rather than measuring, but hey, it is what it is...

    The BIGGER ISSUE as I see it is, who would care if a class sail cost a couple hundred bucks more if it LASTED! The issue isn't so much the extra dough for us all to have a standard sail, it's that the things are uncompetitive after one heavy weather regatta. So your class rule made to protect the proletariat from being beaten on the race course by someone with money getting a better sail doesn't work! Big money still buys new sails for each regatta and buys an advantage.

    So here it is... we are in a unique position because Laser sails are two dimensional... it would be the EASIEST sail in the world to build out of a modern laminate... cheap too, AND I'll bet you they would keep their competitive shape at least 10 times as long as a dacron sail.

    Why not let the class legal sailmakers develop a modern material sail that performs identically to a new dacron one, but remains competitive. Then green light that sail... People who can't afford a $500 sail for every regatta might be able to afford a $600 sail that lasts for 2 seasons without blowing out!
     
  8. HECS

    HECS New Member

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    I'm not against new materials and I agree the sails are overpriced, but isn't it going overboard to say that sails only last one regatta?

    I think I already put this further up the thread, but it may bear repeating. Some time ago, one guy I know owned just one new sail in his entire Laser career. His other sail was an old borrowed rag.

    He ended up champ of what it arguably the world's toughest district (that year's world champ was about 7th in the districts); national Youth champ; won selection to the Worlds, and finished top 25 in the Open Worlds. He sailed in windy places.

    You can also be 100% competitive in masters racing with the recent and current world champs, with a sail that's been used (and flogged) for a year or so. That's a matter of fact.

    If you can get into the world's top 25 and only ever own ONE sail in your entire career, then how much of a problem is the sail for the average sailor?
     
  9. computeroman2

    computeroman2 Member

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    Who was this man and where do I meet him


    I can personally attest that three regattas in 20+ blew out an almost-new sail.

    I think Intensity or someone else should develop and sell a practice sail made of modern laminates, then that way we don't have to rely on bureaucracy to move- the design will be there. All we have to do is bitch and complain to the class that this sail is so much better, all you have to do is appove it. Approving a sail takes a lot less bureaucracy than designing a new one.
    Then of course, can modern laminates last but still be as stretchy, adjustable, and reactive enough for the laser? That was one reason I've seen as to the decision for lighter cloth.
     
  10. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Yes, it's possible to build a modern sail, using modern materials that works on a bendy, unstayed rig -Finns are a fine example. It's been done for a Laser as well (
    [​IMG]
    )- the issue isn't and never has been "can it be done", it's always "does the class want to change"
    Some members do, some don't


    Read this thread from a few years ago and see how people fall into the "change it" and "leave it alone" camps....
    http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=3007

    Same thing is happening with carbon spars.... and happens with many proposed changes
     
  11. HECS

    HECS New Member

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    But what was "blown out"? Did, for example, the leach stretch? It's not ideal if it did, but in the whole spectrum of the average sailor's average Laser regatta, how much of the difference between them and the winners can be traced to 1/2" or so of leach stretch? Is the amount of twist and draft we can achieve in the new sail always the correct amount, when we consider factors like chop, breeze strength, wind sheer, crew weight, and tactical positioning? How often, when we look at all those factors, is the difference in leach tension between a new sail and an old sail vital? How many sailors know exactly what amount of twist and leach tension is required at all times? What about the psychology of the situation? If we think we're slow, we'll go slow.

    I'm getting back into serious Lasering for the Masters Worlds, so hopefully I'll have a chance to get some opinions from the top Open guys.
     
  12. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha wheeeeeze ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!

    That has to be one of your best posts ever!

    I bet the guy used one of those 25 year old super competitive Lasers under that sail!

    Did he drive an old 1967 Volkswagon van and use the same mainsheet.
    I bet the guy wore the same condom during the conception of all six of his children too!!
    And used the same ticket to get the entire family into the World Cup soccer matches.

    Yes, he used the same exact number two pencil on all his standardized tests and his original Commodore 64 computer is serving him well while he cruises the internet.

    Let's not even THINK about his toothbrush, Band Aid, socks, underwear, and that first roll of toilet paper.

    Thanks for the tongue in cheek post about how Laser sails last and last and last.

    Wait a minute, that would be where your 25 year old hull and 25 year old sail would always finish.

    I get it!!

    great!!

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha wheeeeeze ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!
     
  13. HECS

    HECS New Member

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    It's a fact, Gouver. The guy is my brother so I know very well the gear he used, and I have confirmed it with him.

    I don't want to out myself, but since you are implying I was lying and finish last, I'll have to give you some more facts. The last time my 25 year old boat did a title was in a 52 boat fleet in our 2005 Masters districts. The placings were;

    1st- Kristen Kosmala, 2000 Olympic team, preparing for 2004 campaign; (placing 2,5,1,8)
    3rd - Dave Early, 2004 World Champ, 4th 2005 and 2006 (places 29,2,11,1)
    6th- Me on Laser 52225, built 1976 or 77 - (placing 10, 7, 10, 2)
    7th- Adam French, 3 time World champ, 2nd in 2005 (placing 1,11,14,10)
    14th- Peter Heywood, 2005 World GM Champ (11,14,13,15 - was 1st or 2nd in R4 'till he got the course wrong).

    See http://www.laser.asn.au/Results/2005_06/state_masters/05_RadialMastersCombinedResults.pdf

    Sure, it wasn't a great result - I've been sailing other classes and haven't done much Laser racing for years. I was making some basic errors and out of practise, so it's obvious that the old boat was competitive in a fleet that included 3 world champs and 1 Olympian. Conclusion - you are wrong.

    For comparison, with a brand-new boat in the first year I did Lasers, see;

    http://www.laser.asn.au/Results/99StateR.htm

    Second overall and MAsters was the three-time World Masters champ. Third overall had been 4th in the Open Worlds, went on to get 2nd in the Continentals. Ninth overall (third Master) was third in that year's Masters worlds; I couldn't go as I had the injury that put me out of LAsers until 2005.

    These aren't brilliant results, but they are okay. They certainly prove that I am not a liar, and that an old boat can do okay.

    It's funny that on SA, you always abuse other people for criticising people you know, yet you are so ready with the insults yourself.
     
  14. HECS

    HECS New Member

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    I tried to remove some of that stuff because I didn't want to big note myself, but the time to edit has expired. I hope the reasonable readers understand that I am merely trying to prove that I'm not a liar as Gouvernail claims.
     
  15. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    HECS...I actually thought you were being a troll. I was being nice and calling it a joke.


    No reasonable informed person actually believes an old flexible beat up Laser with a ratted out sail is as fast as a new stiff Laser with a nice new well shaped sail.

    For some insane reason, known only to you, you keep publishing non sense implying the laws of physics have ceased to apply.

    Yes, in flat water with light wind, the old well used hull may be competitive.
    Yes, an old Laser that has not been sailed much is as stiff or even stiffer than a new boat recently made from fresh still curing resin.
    Yes, a sail that has little use and is old can be just as fast as a new sail.

    Sorry , an old well used sail does not point well and cannot hold a lane in a fleet of well sailed new sails.
    Old sails have blown out leeches and do not work as well as new sails. That is fact. It is based upon science and proven by performance. I have no earthy idea why you wish to deny the reality of physics.

    If you somehow managed to perform well with old tired equipment, good on you.
    I won two races last night with a five year old sail that has raced in at least two hundred races. It may have raced in as many as four hundred races as I am not certain when I began using it for Wednesday nights and we sail about a hundred races a year. Before I retired it from regatta use it had sailed at least ten regattas.
    THE SAIL SUCKS!!! It is slow. It does not point. Yes, I can win a race if I am the only guy who hits all the shifts. That does not make the sail good. IT SUCKS!!!
    If I had put up my brand new one regatta old sail last night, I may have won all five races. On the other hand everybody else was sailing with his "Wednesday rag" so my victories would have been totally meaningless and worthy of no satisfaction.

    Back to your performance on the race course with your ragged out garbage: If you had been using nice new equipment, you may have finished each race in a lot shorter period of time.
    Unless the old boat you were using has been modified, or the old sail you were using has been re cut there is absolutely no way your old equipment was faster than new equipment. However you moved upon any leg of the course and whatever speed you moved on any leg of the course, you would have moved as fast or faster with new equipment.

    I have been making jokes and even downright abusive remarks about your absurd attemts to deny the physical realities of stiffness, sailshape and their relationship to boat speed because you are absolutely and totally wrong and your constant attempt to describe something different about old Lasers and old sails is nothing more than nonsense.
    Also, because you are very good with words,( that really is a deliberate and heartfelt compliment to your communication skills) I am concerned you may be misleading others.
    As a general rule, a person who sails a ten year old boat with a three year old sail and who has been finishing 10th in a 20 boat fleet with that equipment, will immediately move to the top five with brand new equipment. I have seen that happen for thirty years and I have done it myself when sailing with brand new replacement equipment after my old equipment has become horribly flexible and blown out.

    Sailors who just cannot keep up but usually perform well in other types of boat should be aware the problem MAY be largely caused by crappy equipment.

    Your non sense, if read by those sailors may lead them to believe they are simply hopeless bumpkins who can never compete.
    "HECS says the crappy boat and blown out sail are not the problem. I must suck at Laser sailing."

    The problem is HECS is publishing misleading non sense.

    Old beat up flexible Lasers with ragged out sails are slower than new Lasers with new sails.

    Please!! Please!! Pretty please with sugar on it!!! Stop spewing crap that claims otherwise!!!

    PS None of this is meant to be personal. I bet you are a hoot on the race course and on land as well. Someday I look foreword to meeting you.

    I also hope each of us is wealthy enough to be able to bring a brand new perfectly equipped toy....

    If for no other reason than I like shiny trinkets.
     
  16. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    My own personal experience with "hi-tech" sail materials (Kevlar, mylar, etc.) on larger boats is that they tend to keep their shape better but when the go they just fall apart (wear, rips, etc.). I've not really experienced them stretching out of shape but they do seem to suffer from wear holes, etc. badly.

    However, this experience is limited to larger boats. Again personal experience but a dacron sail tends to last longer but gradually get worse and worse shape wise. You think about changing, look and the prices and sticking with a bad shape old sail seems like a good plan. Hi-tech materials seem to give you less choice as, despite having good shape they are falling apart and patching up is impractical.

    If the hi-tech keeping their shape better is the nature of the materials rather than the way I used to use them then they could provide quite a benefit to the ethic of the Laser class in the somebody with an older sail would still have pretty much the same shaped sail as somebody with a new sail.

    Certainly on larger boats I still needed new genoa and main every year (plus others) so I would not say they lasted longer, just held shape better through their life.

    But above is my personal experience and is thus limited.

    Another aspect is that, if part of the higher costs of Laser sails is due to the low production levels of the sail cloth, maybe switching to a standard material (readily available and manufactured in quantity) might result in an improvement in quality/reduction in price without impacting the profit margins in the supply chain.

    Although I am very strongly in favour of keeping the Laser as true strict one-design and I'm not complaining about sail costs and appreciate the supply chain needs to make a living, I would probably support the class starting to evaluate hi-tech sails (not to get a better faster sail)

    Ian
     
  17. HECS

    HECS New Member

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    Gouver;

    I agree that a new sail and new boat are faster in most or all conditions. However, for most of us, by far the biggest limit to our performance is ourselves. Yes, an old sail sometimes doesn't hold its lane well, because of its loose leach - but Joe Average on a brand-new boat also sometimes doesn't hold his lane well, because his technique is less than perfect. Why, then, blame the sail rather than technique?

    My problem with those two 10ths in the regatta above was not the old sail - it was the fact that I was pinching by a tiny margin. As soon as I stopped that, I went from 10th to 1st - why blame the gear when I was the idiot most responsible? I then dropped to 2nd by missing a shift going upwind in 15 knots + ; again it was MY fault I missed the shift Dave Early picked, why blame the gear for MY mistake?

    The speed difference between an old boat and a new boat is probably in the region of 1% or so, yet (allowing for dirty air etc) the difference between the front of the fleet and the pack is about 5% or more even when both are on equal boats. Again, why worry about the 1% that's the boat rather than the 4% that's the sailor?

    What I am trying to get across is that we should not be blaming the age of our tools first and foremost, but looking at what we do with them. And if we don't worry about putting resources into buying a new sail each regatta, we can put those resources into working on our technique.

    My brother was a student when he did the worlds. Each new sail would have taken him a couple of week's wages, post tax. Instead, he spent those two weeks out on the water, training hard. It worked, and going out and spending 40 hours roll-tacking and starting was more fun than doing 40 hours behind a Macdonalds counter. New sails would have worn out - the skills he earned instead have not.

    I am trying to be positive, and I think my message is positive. It says that you don't have to spend a lot of money (well, enough money to make people complain) buying new sails every couple of regattas. It says that you can improve your Laser sailing by doing something fun (training and sailing) rather than spending more time in the office to buy sails. It says that anyone who can afford a $1000 boat can be competitive to a reasonable level, rather than those who can afford a $7000 boat and $3000 each year in sails.

    Sure, I'm taking a newer boat into the Masters Worlds; but I believe that it is a positive message to say that the way to improve is to look at your sailing first, your gear second, and to say that most Lasers and most sails are good enough for us most of the time.

    I'm not denying physics - I am saying that the loss in lift/drag etc efficiency caused by an old sail is very little compared to the loss in efficiency created by the excess heel, bad wave weaving, incorrect kinetics, lack of hiking etc that all but the very best suffer from.
     
  18. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Summary of above??

    I believe we have each made every effort to communcate our respective postions and for the most part, neither is denying what the other has written to be abundantly true.


    About cloth and sails and etc?? 90% or more of the price we pay for Laser sails has zero to do with the cost of materials.

    Just for grins here is how I believe a $500 list price breaks down. ( Change the numbers equally while maintaining percentages for different list prices. )

    Cloth: $25
    Thread, grommets, webbing, window: $5
    Labor to cut and sew: $30
    Shop overhead: $30 ( machines, the room, electricity, water, insurance etc)
    management : $25
    Shipping to builders: $2
    Royalty tags: $25
    now the builder has it for : $150 and that's a high guess.

    Builder profit and advertising and management and all that jazz add $150

    So its $300 as shipped to the dealer

    Dealer shipping and financing and buulding costs and labor and profit mark up add 40% ..$200

    $500.

    The materials in the cloth?? Who cares??
     
  19. Overdraft

    Overdraft New Member

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    agreed. therefore let's experiment with today's materials and come up with a sail that lasts!
     
  20. Laser76489

    Laser76489 Member

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    I kinda like the idea that the old stuff is faster cause I have #1488 and the original sail with a red crown on it.

    But sadly its very slow compared even to my 25 year old boat.
     

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