Intensity Sails

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

  1. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Noting is stopping anyone from coming up with a wonderful Laser sail and marketing that sail.
    There is a copy right owner who will not allow anyone else to use the Laser name with respect to sailboats.

    If you want to develop and market a better sail, go for it.

    If the class association decides your design is better for teh game of Laser racing than the sail supplied by the builders, the class association can decide to allow its use in Laser regatas.
    If the builders decide it would be more profitable in the long term to supply boats with sails designed and sold by you, they will purchase sails from you and supply those sails with the new boats.

    Make certain you not only take the time to design your sail but also make certain you copy right the coincept behind the sail for the Laser which is like yours and not like the ones currently defined and supplied by the builders and class.

    I wonder if a person could copy right "all the designs other than" the legal laser sail design???
     
  2. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    OK. I'll try to keep this simple.

    "Laser" is a trademark owned by Vanguard. You pretty much can't market anything for use with our little 14-foot boats and call it a "Laser" anything. You can market it as a "practice sail for a Laser sailboat" or something to that effect, just as you could sell a "foil bag for Laser foils," but not a "Laser foil bag."

    The design of the sail is not patented as far as I know, and even if it was, the patent would probably have expired since it would have been filed in the 1970s.

    I have heard rumors that the design of the Laser hull is copyrighted. This is possible, but it would be a weak copyright because it would only cover the non-functional aesthetic design of the boat, i.e. the exact "look" of the hull, not the idea of a 14-foot fiberglass boat with an unstayed mast.

    I don't think the sail design is copyrighted. Even if it were copyrighted, like the hull, the only thing that could be covered would be the "look" of the sail which is arguable completely functional and not copyrightable.

    If someone designs a new sail that is more than just a duplicate sail (e.g. the Rooster 8.1, or a mylar sail), then their sail would also probably not be copyrightable.

    This is not to say that Gouvernail is not correct when he says:
    There's just not a good way of protecting that new design other than an extension of the existing contractual sailmaking monopoly to the new designer.
     
  3. Mawill

    Mawill New Member

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    Hello -

    Been following this thread with interest for a while now and I wade into it with some trepidation of the beating which is sure to follow. Respectfully Gouvernail, I have to agree with HECS.

    Is not a different outcome than the one you suggest one of "Well, why bother joining the fleet if I need to spend a fortune on sails?" - rather than "I must suck"?

    I am still using the same sail and it seems ok to me. I am 100% sure that my placings have sweet @#$* all to do with my boat or my equipment, however tempting it is to think otherwise. It is all about me - and on the rare occasion that I do well, it is all about me and I can think about what I did right - was I more focused, did I hike harder....

    For my part, I would rather people spend less time informing others about the necessity of a new sail every regatta in order to be competitive - I suspect it has more to do with shape consistency than an actual new sail - this is simply not true.

    regards,

    Matt
     
  4. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    We've had this discussion about patents and copyrights before on this forum. To repeat what I said back in December...

    If you go to the US Copyright Office - Records site at http://www.copyright.gov/records/ and search for copyrights held by Bruce Kirby you will see that copyright VA-298-296 was registered by Bruce in 1988 for the technical drawing of the Laser that appears on page 6 of The New Laser Sailing by Dick Tillman.
     
  5. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    In anything but the most strictly controlled, perfect sailing conditions (which rarely exist) with boats sailed by two identical sailors (which doesn't happen) the idea of comparing old to new sails in a racing environment is flawed.

    Most races I've seen are a competition to see who can make the least mistakes. The man with the new sail who capsizes will never recover his 5% lead from the man with a ten year old sail that just passed him or the man that picked the wind better.

    Somewhere between HECS organic description and Governail's scientific description is where the truth lies. The laws of physics apply, but badly applied physics will give a bad result.
     
  6. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    That is only a copyright on the drawing itself. It prevents anyone from copying the drawing, not the boat shown in the drawing. Interestingly, the US Copyright Office does allow registration of vessel hull designs (since 1998), but such a design registration is separate from copyright protection. The Laser hull design does not appear to be a registered design...all the designs are here.
    There does appear to be a copyright registered to Bruce Kirby on a boat design, but that would only cover the non-functional aspects of the design.

    Anyway, the sail doesn't seem to be covered by a copyright or a patent. It is only protected because of the license agreements between the sailmakers and the builder/class association/dealers. Although it is unlikely, if a better sail was produced (like the clew strap, the vang, etc.), it could be chosen by the builder/class association/dealers as the class legal sail. It would not, however, make your boat go faster than anyone else with the new sail. It might however, last longer, but would probably not be cheaper.
     
  7. Overdraft

    Overdraft New Member

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    Same same... we wouldn't mind paying the price if it lasted longer, wouldn't mind them crapping out so quickly if they were cheaper.

    I assume that everyone here knows that laser sails are 2 dimensional, that there is no panel shape, that instead, the airfoil shape is forced into the sail by the curved luff pocket being fed onto a straight mast section.

    This makes it the easiest possible sail to manufacture. You could duplicate the existing sail in high tech sailcloth with your eyes closed and end up with something that would hold a competitive shape 10x as long.

    If such a sail existed why wouldn't the class vote it in? it certainly helps people who are trying to get into/stay in the sport on a budget if they can buy a sail that keeps them on pace with the winners race after race...

    Or maybe the class leaders like the fact that they can buy an advantage over the underfunded kid with the blown out sail... :D
     
  8. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    The entire sail thing is money driven.

    Those selling the current sails make lots of money and believe they have no incentive to change their business.

    It would cost someone a lot of money to develop and market an alternative.

    So..Nobody has done it.

    If you believe you can make a god durable inexpensive sail that would serve Laser sailors well.

    BUILD A FEW HUNDRED!!!

    Invest every penny yopu have and work your ass off to make the new sail succeed.

    You may make a few hundred thousand.

    Or you may lose your entire fortune.
     
  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Isn't this where we came in? Aren't Intensity Sails making a "good durable inexpensive sail"?

    I have no idea how many they are selling? But is there any chance of them becoming legal for Laser class sanctioned regattas? I think not.
     
  10. computeroman2

    computeroman2 Member

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    I was under the impression that intensity sails are only selling because they are much cheaper and exactly the same, not better. Perhaps a mylar leech, as in the rooster sail, would work better. Remember though, the whole reason the sail is made of light, stretchy cloth is because the sail has to be able to handle a rather astonishing amount of adjustability. Can a mylar sail handle a mast that regularly flexes one to two feet (or more)out of column and a cunningham adjustment that when pulled tight actually stretches the sail several inches and doesn't just take up slack?
    Show me this sail, and I will forego college to build it for you.
     
  11. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Yes, a polyester/mylar sail can handle the bendy rig, as well as a aramid/mylar sail (Finns use both)

    Follow the first linky in response 110 in this thread - don't want you to forego college, but it's not a big deal to do it for a Laser either.
     
  12. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    Yea, Finns, OK's, and Europe's have been doing it for years. It's time we get on the bandwagon. The only difference for them is that the sails are built to the sailors weight and mast spec's, which we don't have to do. We can build a one design sail out of mylar/kevlar/aramid/ whatever. I also beleive that Tri-Radial take load better then our current design, and would last much longer.
     
  13. excollegesailor

    excollegesailor New Member

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    this thread totally makes sense, oh wait:

    Byte Sail: $525.40 plus shipping, dacron

    Radial: $500

    Byte CII sail: $625.40 new mylar

    Full Rig: $530

    Topper: $375 (approx.)

    Optimist: $495 (quantum sails)

    29er main: $995

    Europe Main: 725 euros (Green Sails in Germany) around a grand converted

    470 Main: made by North 516 pounds (conversion around $1000), Olimpic is 770 euros, Banks Sails: 495 pounds (and this is one of those classes that has multiple builders, and bunks the argument that multiple builders will ease the cost of sails)

    You can tell how long most of the Olympic class sails last by checking the classifieds at their respective class websites, a season at most? and these people are sailing more then all of us desk jockeys.

    How many top level events do you think the top sailors get out of their Sails? Honestly. How many of you really think your sails are holding you back from breaking through? You think that your starts are perfect, your boat is always flat, and your technique around the race course is such that your BIGGEST problem is your sail?

    Best quote i ever heard from a coach to a sailor was: at a 420 NA regatta, a kid was complaining about having older sails and getting hosed to which his coach responded: "Kid, you could be sailing on the course with brand new 470 sails, if you miss the first shift, you are always going to get hosed."

    Whine all you want, but you're sailing an olympic class boat you can get used for cheaper than most of the flat screen TV's that are on your wall. And still be competitive in most fleets.

    If you want to compete in a cheap sport, choose soccer or checkers, cuz a checker board will last you a life time and costs 5 bucks, and a soccer ball will last you at least 4-5 years of CONSTANT use, and you're out 20 dollars (for a decent one).
     
  14. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    I think the point that people are trying to make here is that it would be nice if the sails lasted longer for us desk jockeys.

    If my flat screen TV wore out after I watched a really good movie then I would be pretty annoyed.

    The issue isn't really price, it's durability. If a strictly class legal sail that would remain the same shape for a few years of club and regional regattas were sold for about the same price as the current sail I think it would quickly be adopted.
     
  15. excollegesailor

    excollegesailor New Member

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    if you can find any dinghy that has the durability of sails that you are all looking for, that'd be freaking amazing. If you can find ANY sail that lasts 2-3 years and hasn't lost it's competitive edge after summers and winters of regattas (regattas where you are constantly racing against the top singlehanded sailors in the world), you're one lucky cat.

    Big boat sails? When people are dropping 10's of thousands of dollars on stuff, you have a reasonable expectation that it is going to last. My friends run a tp52 campaign, not even a top one, and their sails are 2-3 years old made out of 2005's latest technology, and they still are as blown out as a 2-3 year old laser sail.

    For sail making companies, you think they have any incentive to throw hours of manpower (just imagine what it would cost them to innovate, research, design, and prototype new laser sails) away on sails that net them 150 bucks at most? the Byte guys did, and they're c-II sail is well over 130 bucks more than a full rig sail, (and that doesn't include the new carbon mast you're going to need) you're more than welcome to sail byte c-ii's - they are cheaper than a laser, but I don't want to be around when you snap that snazzy new carbon mast and rip your fancy pants mylar sail, because your complete upper mast is $800 and change, and your lower is 5 dollars short of a $1000.

    If you want a class with sails that last forever and are super cheap, join a developmental class, and build your own.

    If you want to sail in a one design fleet that tests your skill as a sailor and can potentially propel you to the olympics, work hard, earn some extra coin, and buy a racing sail and a practice sail.
     
  16. excollegesailor

    excollegesailor New Member

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    (Modified)

    if you can find any dinghy that has the durability of sails that you are all looking for, that'd be freaking amazing. If you can find ANY sail that lasts 2-3 years and hasn't lost it's competitive edge after summers and winters of regattas (regattas where you are constantly racing against the top singlehanded sailors in the world), you're one lucky cat.

    Come on, class legal opti sails are just under 500 dollars and those last half as long as a laser sail.

    And you missed the point. Olympic sailors sail a full season, chock full of training and racing on a suit of sails, us desk jockeys get out there and after 1 big breeze regatta are convinced our sails are blown out. Olympic sailors are good enough to know when they've lost performance in their sails, sailing against the top sailors in the world.

    I'm talking about weekend warriors we're racing against, and we're convinced that the 2007 BBR is the reason we can't hold a lane off the line, because we sailed 3 days in big breeze. If you're smart, and you know it is going to nuke, bring your practice sail and use that. Heck, you can find those in the used pages for the price point you're looking for, and they still have plenty of regattas left in them.

    I'd love to get an Robert Scheidt and Ben Ainslie in their prime in our boats with our sails that we are convinced are blown out and have them give us their honest opinion on how much weekend warrior racing the sails have left in them.

    Big boat sails? When people are dropping 10's of thousands of dollars on stuff, you have a reasonable expectation that it is going to last. My friends run a tp52 campaign, not even a top one, and their sails are 2-3 years old made out of 2005's latest technology, and they still are as blown out as a 2-3 year old laser sail - and they readily need new ones.

    For sail making companies, you think they have any incentive to throw hours of manpower away (just imagine what it would cost them to innovate, research, design, and prototype new laser sails) on sails that net them 150 bucks at most? the Byte guys did, and they're c-II sail is well over 130 bucks more than a full rig sail, (and that doesn't include the new carbon mast you're going to need) you're more than welcome to sail byte c-ii's - they are cheaper than a laser, but I don't want to be around when you snap that snazzy new carbon mast and rip your fancy pants mylar sail, because your complete upper mast is $800 and change, and your lower is 5 dollars short of a $1000.

    If you want a class with sails that last forever and are super cheap, join a developmental class, and build your own (i don't want to know how much the fabric, research, design, and prototype are going to cost, or, even better, your aeronautical engineering education, just so when you do start crunching numbers, you know exactly what you are looking at).

    If you want to sail in a one design fleet that tests your skill as a sailor and can potentially propel you to the olympics, work hard, earn some extra coin, and buy a racing sail and a practice sail, and perfect your technique, work your way up your weekend fleet, and by the time you make it to the olympics, you might need a new sail.
     
  17. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    I don't want a sail that lasts for years of summer and winter regattas...just one that lasts longer than the one we have now; one which would stay reasonably competitive for a few seasons of casual racing. A new sail would always be better than a used sail, but Laser sails seem to deteriorate faster than they need to.
     
  18. excollegesailor

    excollegesailor New Member

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    then quantify, how long does a sail last? What is the average age of laser sails in your local fleet?

    and on another note, if you can find me a flat screen TV for 500 dollars that will last for 2-3 years of intended use and isn't complete crap, and Millionaires (or the equivalent of the premier tv watchers to Olympic class laser sailors) are using it let me know. I was talking about used boats with new and used sails, multiple upgrades and the lot - so with your 2002 boat, you can go out with your race sail, and beat someone with new everything, not because your boat or sail is better, but because you're a better sailor.
     
  19. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    A North sail is $ 530, and a Hyde sail is $620, both American. Now I would not have a problem paying $700 if the sails last more than 2 months!! Lets get some new sail material, that lasts longer! It's not that hard! We need to have a design contest or something
     
  20. IntensitySails

    IntensitySails Member

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    I tried to reply to this showing Intensity Sails pricing on 420, Opti, FJ and JY 15 sails to show that not all sail makers prices are that high. The post was removed.

    Suffice it to say that pricing is not a function of actual costs on many sails.
     

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