Intensity Sails

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

  1. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    Yeah, I saw the post. The prices were much lower than those cited above.

    Obviously class-legal (or practice versions of class-legal) sails can be made/sold for less. But, can they be made more durable for about the same price as currently class legal equipment?
     
  2. IntensitySails

    IntensitySails Member

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    I am doing it right now!
     
  3. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    OK. Get back to it then.
     
  4. excollegesailor

    excollegesailor New Member

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    I don't think you'll find someone here who disagrees with that. In fact, in life, i think you'd be hard pressed to find any product in the world where pricing is an actual function of cost.

    My point is that you have to pay to play, ESPECIALLY in olympic classes, where sails are super expensive. I'm sure your sails are great for knocking around the bay, but how long do they last? Longer than a north sail, Hyde even, when sailed the same length of time in 15-20? and still has the same performance and bend characteristics as the 3.8oz sails

    I think what i'm trying to say is that there is no such thing as a sail that is cheap that lasts forever, that is class legal. Being class legal has inherent costs involved in it. They may be too much, but if you are a class member, then you rally around and see if you can affect change.

    I'm saying you should be happy that you can go sail against olympians and get away with it for as cheap as you do, any other sport where you want to compete against the upper echelon of that sport (football, the real football, baseball, track&field, skiing, curling, ANY OTHER SPORT), all we have to do is get a boat and pay regatta and class dues and show up at nationals, OCR, or any other regatta.

    I don't think laser sailing is so expensive that it is keeping people from getting into it.
     
  5. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    From what I have seen, there is no reason why current versions of so called "practice" Laser sails shouldn't last just as long as class legal Laser sails. It's not like the Laser class button provides magical stretch protection.

    That's what we are trying to do. As long as the class chooses one new design that will be legal to continue the tradition of strong one design racing, then why not try to produce a design that will be more durable. A more durable sail would result in closer racing (even if it is just a psychological effect) between those who can afford new sails often, and those who buy them infrequently.

    The makers of practice sails have shown that the current sail design can be made and sold for about half the cost of a class legal sail even though they are small sailmakers without the manufacturing resources of North/Hyde.

    I am happy to be able to sail against Olympians...but they will always be beating me. More often than not I am trying to beat to other weekend warriors and local juniors. We are the ones who need a reasonably priced, more durable sail that is class legal (except those of us whose parents can afford to buy us $150 mainsheets).

    No, it probably isn't (although there is certainly some impact of cost on the non-junior/non master group of sailors). You can definitely sail with old equipment and be reasonably competitive. But why not make it even better?
     
  6. excollegesailor

    excollegesailor New Member

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    Yeah, they can be built for less than half, but is the builder supporting the class at all? kicking any revenue back to the ILCA, which puts on events?

    I asked and nobody answered, what is the average age of sails being used on the weekends. How many brand new sails are you sailing against? Most likely, if it is a serious sailor, he's saving his new sail for class events, and he's using his practice sail.

    And you can buy slightly used sails, that are still competitive if you need a economical solution to getting sails. Also, if you're concerned about the degree of point you lose in old sails, chances are there are at least 2 other variables that are affecting whether you are gaining or losing on boats, specifically shifts and heel. and if you honestly think you need a 150 dollar mainsheet to be competitive, then the answer lies in your ideas that you can purchase parts to make you a better sailor.
     
  7. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    In North America at least, the builder is providing the class with direct financial support. Around $25,000 a year in the last few years according to the published accounts of ILCA-NA. But Vanguard is on record as saying they want to reduce the financial support they give the class.
     
  8. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Don't forget that they are following a completely different supply model than the class legal sails... I'm willing to bet that within a few dollars the cost to produce an Intensity sail is the same as the cost to produce a North or Hyde sail with the difference in retail price due entirely to the number of hands touching the sail enroute to you (producer->North/Hyde->Vanguard/PSE/PSA->dealer).

    Seeing a "practice" sail sell for less than half the price of a class legal sail, especially when it is claimed to be equivalent, is a bit painful. Still, we should remember that a lot of that extra money we pay for class legal sails does come back to us. ILCA gets about $12/sail (depending on exchange rate). Vanguard has been using most of its piece of the pie to support sailing all over North America, including direct support of ILCA-NA (A few years back Chip Johns even had a post on either TLF or the Laser list outlining what sorts of things they supported with the bulk of the money they made off of sails - e.g. next time you go to a regatta where Vanguard is one of the sponsors and/or has supplied a bunch of raffle items, this is where they get the money for that). And in most areas it is the dealers who are helping to support sailing on the local scene (which is a good reason why we should support them by buying from our local dealers first!).

    Given the current supply structure, it is not obvious how to significantly lower the price of a class legal sail without changing the current supply system...
     
  9. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    I don't know exactly, but there seem to be at least one or two sailors who break out a new sail for any given medium or light air regatta. Around here (MA and RI), it seems like pretty much everyone is using sails that are 1 year old or less.

    I did buy a slightly used sail this season instead of buying a new one. It was a huge improvement over my old rag. With the old stretched out sail, people used to actually come up to me after racing to tell me that they could see that the draft was too far back.
    And of course there are many other variables that affect my speed, but if I can remove one of them (the sail) from consideration, then why not?

    I don't have a $150 mainsheet (that was sk8ingsailor)...my mainsheet is an orange piece of Marstron that is probably older than most of the other boats in the fleet.

    The sail just seems to be the component that wears out more quickly than it should, is more expensive than it could be, and which could be improved. I like the simplicity of the Laser. When I was sailing Stars, the amount of tweaking that had to be done drove me nuts...I just want to get in the boat and be reasonably competitive without worrying about my upper shroud tension, the position of my chainplates, or whether I have the North jib instead of the Quantum jib. Just give everyone access to the same equipment, including a reasonably priced sail that doesn't degrade so quickly, and I will be happy.
     
  10. excollegesailor

    excollegesailor New Member

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    Well, it seems ironic that of the multiple variables that you can reduce, you want to spend 500 dollars on one, instead of a) hiking harder or b) tacking and sailing the lift and/or getting to clear air - both of which, last time I checked, are free?

    More over, the cost of the sail isn't just about supporting the class either, it keeps the resale value up on your boat too. It keeps people who are selling 4 year old boats able to price them around brand new boats, because even if a sail is a couple of months old, it still performs well enough to be competitive. before i catch flak on this: http://laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=7120 - yes there are lots of other goodies, but the fact of the matter is it's a 2002 boat that the owner can fetch 4.5Gs for.

    look on any used site, it's true.

    What i gather from most people on the thread is that after 2 months, their sail has deteriorated to the point where they PERCEIVE they aren't competitive anymore. i haven't seen results or any tangible evidence this is true aside from lots of hot air about how much people pay.

    How much of that is actual confidence. I'm sure people feel a lot better in a new sail, how much does that affect their performance, over the guy who has already thrown in the mental towel because he is sailing with a 2 month old sail? who as soon as he gets behind because of something, sail or not, gives up because his "2 month old rag" isn't going to get him back to the top of the fleet, how many times have you felt that way? And is it the honest truth, or are you coming up with excuses.

    My grandfather always told me it's a poor workman that blames his tools.
     
  11. GBR 134

    GBR 134 Member

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    There is - Rooster UK do an 8.1 M Dacron Mylar sail that sits on a longer top section and standard bottom section. They are selling the complete rig for £ 350 in the UK and promoting racing for a 'New Class'

    http://www.roostersailing.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=1&Product_Code=LIST+12&Category_Code=lpns
     

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  12. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Well... I guess it is just not in my own experience that the class legal sails will only last one or two regattas before becoming useless. For example, my last "good" sail was used for nearly a full year of major events (for a total of some 25 days of hard racing, mostly in full hiking conditions, some approaching survival).

    I'll profess to not having the highly calibrated eye that some have for sail shape... so I can imagine many people will see changes in the sail's shape that go unnoticed by me. I'm sure the draft moves back a bit, the leech is a bit looser, etc. On the other hand, What I do notice is that my personal performance depends more on how much time I have been spending on the water AND my current weight (I'm pretty slow downwind when over 200 lbs), as long as I have a "good" (ie not necessarily new) sail.

    Still, I'll agree that if there are things we could do which might improve durability then we should be looking into doing them. I know that ILCA does have a list of things to explore with a goal of bringing those to the World Council meeting in Australia. Obviously, a cost-benefit analysis needs to be done since it may not be worth changing anything if, say, it doubles the price of the sail. And, of course, it would be best if any change to the sail did not result in noticeable gain in performance. But, just to be clear, I am NOT saying that there are any currently planned changes, or that there will be any changes to the sail, only that it is on ILCA's radar screen to investigate possibilities.

    In general, I'm not in favor of a radical change to the Laser sail (and perhaps mast), that is going to immediately obsolete 190,000 boats, without a significant amount of research and discussion (and look at what happened with the Byte class for an example of rushing something like this through). Besides, if you are going to make such a radical change, that will require everyone racing to upgrade, then at some point you ought to start asking "what else should we be changing?" which, ultimately, means you ought to be designing a new boat. Well... good luck with that!

    The Laser is what it is. This results in the best one design racing that you can possibly have with the minimum amount of hassle. Right now this doesn't seem to be broken so I'm not sure we are in need of any radical fixes.
     
  13. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    No, you don't get it. I don't want to spend $500 on a sail. But if I do buy one, I want it to be the most durable class legal sail that $500 can buy. And, I don't want a radical fix, or one that provides better off-the-shelf performance than the current sails...only better durability.

    The mylar leech and bi-radial construction of the Rooster 8.1 sail is the kind of thinking that I like.

    [​IMG]

    I would argue that an used sail is an unknown quantity in the price of a used boat. It might add value, it might not be worth anything.

    If you pay attention to sail shape, you start to notice that the leech is fluttering more than it did when it was new, and that the cunningham isn't pulling the draft forward like it used to. The changes might not affect speed much, but shouldn't they happen less quickly?

    How many times do I have to say that I am not in it for winning? I just want to have a sail that stays nice for longer than they do right now. I used to feel like my sail was a factor when I sailed with my old sail, but that wasn't a "two month rag," it was more like a 5-year rag.

    But, if you build a better mousetrap...
     
  14. excollegesailor

    excollegesailor New Member

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    Shouldn't they happen less quickly according to who? What golden standard says that 500 dollars worth of sail should get you this much? It's clear we aren't just paying for the sail, you are paying for everything that comes with being in the laser class - as proved by the independent sail makers.

    How long does the rooster sail last? 700 dollars for the rig, plus 500 for the sail.

    Why do you race if you aren't in it to win? why not buy an intensity sail and bum around and not race. then you don't have to worry about it, your sail would blow out in the same time, and you spent less money on it. If you aren't in it to win, then why do you even care if your sail blows out, just use your 5 year old one, that way you aren't spending any more money, and you don't have to worry about your finishes

    you would argue? I'm pretty sure any racer sees a practice sail as a value because if they get a new sail, and a practice sail, they can save their race sail (read, save the new sail which saves value of you not having to buy a new one earlier) by using the practice sail to practice and race in weekend one day series.

    Exactly, so i'm starting to gather that at around 2 months, people start complaining about their sail, whether or not it is actually going bad.

    500 dollars for a sail is CHEAP relative to every other vessel on the water that you can fit in, and can race competitively at the numbers that the laser gets, in the organizational competency that the laser class provides, and the amount of class organized regattas that happen every year.

    sure you have independent sail makers making them for less than class legal sails - but you can't race any ILCA event with them, and they still blow out as quickly as class legal sails, and you still need a class legal sail to sail ILCA events when you want. But again, if you aren't in it to win, then your sail shouldn't matter.
     
  15. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    Nothing you say should prevent the class from eventually approving a more durable sail design.

    I don't know, but the $700 for the rig is only necessary because the Rooster 8.1 sail is bigger and needs a new bottom section. If a bigger sail (more materials) can be produced for $500 with a mylar leech and much smaller production runs than regular sails, then why not a normal size sail with a mylar leech, produced in the quantities of current sails, for less than $500?

    I race for fun. I win sometimes, but most of the time I am out there getting my ass kicked.

    Because racing is fun.

    Because I want to be competitive, even if I am not winning.

    The value of another practice sail is still an unknown quantity since most people already have a bunch of sails at various levels of wear.

    I know. So why not a better designed sail for the same price with some money still going to the class?

    No. I want a sail that could eventually be approved as class legal, and that is more durable. Besides, my position has always been that using a non-class legal sail in any event against other Lasers is cheating.
    And, with all due respect, my sail still matters whether I am racing for 1st place in the Olympic trials or top half of the fleet in a club championship. If you are "in it to win" at every regatta you attend, then more power to you, but 9 out of 10 sailors at every regatta are not "in it to win" it, so there's no need for the elitist attitude.
     
  16. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    I love how excollegesailor comes in here with 8 posts under his belt, and acts all high and mighty, some serious &ouchebaggery going on here
     
  17. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    A little searching on the interweb reveals that he's also a Customer Service Representative for Vanguard.
     
  18. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    No, you don't, Ross. Anyone can come in here as a newbie and have an intelligent discussion. And what is &ouchebaggery?

    Also, if it's true that excollegsailor is a Vanguard rep, I'm glad to see it and welcome him.
     
  19. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    Yeah, I don't mind either.
     
  20. excollegesailor

    excollegesailor New Member

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    high and mighty? i'm tired of laser sailors whining about the cost of everything. all 8 posts? i'm sorry, i didn't realize i had to wasted most of my time on this forum before i became "qualified" to post Ross. I should clearly bow to you with your 781 posts, oh lord of the internet sailing forum.

    Furthermore, I don't want to come off pompous at all, i'm just trying to show that there is some serious misguided anger here over things that people can and can not control. Don't worry, i won't waste any more breath.

    I guess i've been outed eh? well, good luck to you guys. I hope you all know most of this has been in Jest. Sailchris, good use of the internets. I've been trying to figure out who you were for a while. Anyways, i don't want to get fired so i better go. Good luck figuring out a sail, and if you do, let us know, maybe we can help you out!
     

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