Introducing the New Official Class Sail

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by gouvernail, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Let's just suppose the Laser Class.. (That is those of us who pay dues to OUR association which establishes and controls OUR rules of teh game WE decide whether or not to play )
    would decide next week to adopt the Intensity sail as the ONLY class legal sail for sanctioned races..

    If that were the case, every participant in the Midwinters might have to purchase a new sail?

    What would be the impact of this new rule we flung upon ourselves??

    First off, Midwinters costs a lot for most of us. In my case, coming from Texas, I cannot accomplish a midwinters trip for under $1000. Some sailors who get hotel rooms, charter boats, bring spouses, and travel on planes spend multiple thousands. Unless the trip is already on the cusp of affordability, a couple hundred bucks one way or another really isn't all that important.

    Then there is the expense of sails. Most of those who expect to place in the front half of the fleet breaks out a brand new sail for the event. My guess is 50% of the sailors buy brand new sails for Midwinters.

    Do the math...

    That 50 % new rags assumption says $300 per sailor will be spent on new sails.

    We could team up and supply the entire fleet with BRAND NEW IDENTICAL Intensity sails for only $200 per sailor.

    Now you might say, but half the sailors were not going to buy new sails and your proposal forces them to spend money they don't have...

    .... odds are a certain percentage of the half who are not buying will not be buying at $600 but would be buying at $200.

    You might say... But this forces everybody to spend money just to sail.

    ....Yes it would. Please note, we all had to spend money to get official Laser equipment in the first place. We understand having to purchase the OFFICIAL Laser.

    So...a very small percentage of sailors who attend major regattas will not be purchasing new sails in 2011. Every single one of those who will be purchasing at least one sail would save $400 per sail.

    How about this?? We still have time to say, The entry fee for the North American Championships will include $200 ( or perhaps less due to a bulk purchase) for a brand new sail.

    As the North Americans is a "break out a new rag or be slow" event, everybody who plans to do well would save $400 and many others who just buy new stuff would save money too.

    Bottom line.

    If we do this...

    Our North American Championships would be a more one design event than it has ever been and we would save at least $100 per competitor.
     
  2. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    If this were a face book post I'd click the "Like" button!

    Also, if our current POS class sail cost $ 200.00 I'd have no problem buying 1 every year. The funny thing about the Intensity sail is I can't find a reason to replace it yet after using it for 2 years!
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Think of if this way. For the cost of 1 current class sail you could have a "quiver" of Intensity sails to rotate through and choose from for each event. Sail 1 would be the practice sail. Sail 2 would be the district level event sail and Sail 3 would be your midwinters, NA event sail!

    Now for the nay sayers....How much additional cost would be involved to insure a reasonable tolerance in sail cloth and spot check measurements on panel cuts and sail size? I'm sure there's something, but there's no way it would ad an additional $400.00 per sail.

    Lastly, as a class can we petition our governing body to boot the current class sail and replace it with another?
     
  4. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    We've been seeing "jury nullification" of the class sail at the club level for years.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    An interesting point was brought up yesteday after racing,

    It is quite costly to be competitive on a high level in the laser when compared with other boats, if you just consider the sails alone you could get new sails for say a thistle for around $1200-2000 or so that will last about a season and you could be competitive on the highest level.

    With the laser, to campaign at a high level you just about need a new sail after each windy regatta, thats $600+ per regatta, If you went to more than 10 regattas in a year it could cost you over $6000 on sails alone, more than the cost of a brand new boat!

    The problem with this is that the cost is driving the next generation of laser sailors away, Most people agree the class is in desperate need of a more cost effective solution which could be solved with a new class sail.

    I kind of think of this situation like an overpriced restaurant, they sell a few overpriced mediocre dinners each night barely making enough to keep the doors open and eventually they will probably fail. On the other hand a restaurant with good food for good prices will sell a great deal of dinners each night and make profit.

    The overpriced restaurant probably sells 20 dinners for $20 (if they're lucky), their total is $400 - $200 for the cost of food = $200 profit/night, they spend alot of money on frozen food that doesn't taste good

    The well priced restaurant probably sells around 200 dinners for $7, their total for the night is $1400 - $400 for the cost of food = $1000 profit/night, they spend much less money on fresh ingredients that taste great

    The Laser class sail is like the overpriced restaurant and the Intensity sail is like the well priced restaurant.
     
  6. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Note:

    If it is true that North and Hyde actually produce their sails for about the same price as Intensity...

    Either north or Hyde could supply sails for an "everybody buys one" Midwinters or North Americans for the same low cost as Intensity.

    Jut a suggeston....If North or Hyde wants to keep its sweetheart market deal with the builders, and the builders want to keep their sweetheart deal with equipment marks up under their control...

    Well...... perhaps someone who represents the sailors as an officer of a Members organizaion should pick up the ball and start negotiations.

    Or perhaps the membership needs to provide itself with a set of officers who will eagerly represent the best interest of sailors who play the racing game??

    Oh yeah...

    Happy New Year
     
  7. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    Happy New Year!

    The truth is that they are probably spending way more than Intensity to produce an inferior sail and then marking it way up

    The class material is special order and the Intensity material is a newer mass produced dacron that I feel gives the same performance as a new hyde but, lasts much longer, I sailed my intensity sail several times in over 20kts and its still competitive! My class sail I used only a few times and its already time for a new one.

    I think that if they actually tried, North and Hyde could build a new class sail for even less than Intensity builds their sails, and if they were priced at even double the cost of an Intensity sail, that would still be less than half the cost of the current class sails.
     
  8. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    You guys are talking a lot of nonsense.

    A Hyde sail (and I assume a North sail) will last two or three seasons if you are just doing sailing one or two days per week for 8 months of the year, before the sail really suffers a significant performance drop off, even sailing in winds regularly over 20 knots. Yes, the characteristics do change over that period of time, which requires different control line settings. Its the change in the control line settings rather than a significant performance drop off which is why the top guys change sails more regularly, but you're kidding yourself to think they are going through 10 sails a year. It's more like two, not including those sails supplied with the boats at the Worlds and Olympics. The sailors generally don't get to keep supplied sails generally, they are sold off with the boats. The top sailors want to race and train with a sail with similar characteristics to what they'll be supplied with at those key regattas. At the next level down, they are getting one new sail per season and saving it for the major regattas and the following season using it for club and training purposes. Each season they rotate sails down the line.

    Having had a good look at the Intensity Sails now over the last 6 months at a club where they are being used by some club members, they seem to be equally durable to the current Hyde Sails. However, in one case with the Intensity Sail, it needed to be restitched in certain locations before it's first use. Fine for you guys to return the sail to Intensity Sail, to Intensity but the freight costs between Australia and USA are about $60 for a sail, it's not worth complaining to Intensity.
     
  9. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    :D:D:D:D:D:D:D

    I believe the sailmakers aren't that concerned if they build or don't build under the current deal, for at least two reasons:
    1. It's not anything close to a sweet deal for them.
    2. They are forced, by the builders manual, to build crappy sails, which are then declared by some to be representive of the quality of all their sails for all other boats they build for.
     
  10. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Alan, 2 things: 1)- Leach flutter on a "class" sail happens in brand new sails after 3 days of 20 knot range conditions. NO amount of vang stops it. The class sail material is just too frail. I've had my current Intensity sail for 2 years now and sailed it in all conditions. Many times in 20+ or - conditions and NO leach flutter. Whatever the material or varience in material it is superior to our "class" sail material. 2)- At least with Intensity you have the option to return the sail if something is defective. Hell, they ASKED me to return a 2 yr old sail because of luff flutter in certain conditions and sail trim. Sent a full new package in return. I paid the ground freight to them on the old one. What's the customer service policy with the class sail suppliers for leach flutter or ANY kind of flutter for that matter?

    Intensity is showing Laser sailors how products are supposed to be priced, perform and be supported. LP and class executives need to get their heads around this fact and make some changes for the future health of the class and their own livelyhood.

    I'm not sure if you've noticed, but when you argue against these non-class sails you are in a distinct minority.
     
  11. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    "The truth is .... " You have absolutely no idea, (that's ZERO), what it costs Hyde, North and the China Sail Factory (Intensity) to produce a sail. All you see is the retail pricing, which is set by the class builder for the first two and Intensity (acting in effect, as a dealer for CSF)

    But we do know that Laser Performance will do anything in it's power to maximize it's profits and that includes buying from the lowest cost producers to get maximum mark-up. The fact that they keep buying from Hyde and North should tell you something..
     
  12. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    To them it must be like manufacturing the Buggatti veyron of sails (big boat racing sails) vs the Moped of sails (laser sail)
     
  13. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I'm a big fan of North sails. I know they build much better stuff than our crappy class sails. While they are forced to build these crappy sails I'm guessing LP is forcing the $ 600.00 price tag? If so, they are killing themselves. The Laser class will be around LONG after LP is gone, (assuming they stick around another 20 years or so). I'd pay $ 350.00 for a new class sail every year and not bitch about it's inferiority, (much).
     
  14. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    The leech flutter is not nec. a cloth issue, as it's easily stopped/reduced with a small leech takeup on two of the seams (which is deemed illegal). To me that says it's more an issue with the broadseam offsets which are part of the "sacred" builders manual - imagine that, a designed piece for the Laser, which is less then ideal ;)
     
  15. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    And we've fixed dang near everything else deemed less than ideal. Vang, cunningham, outhaul, rudder bolt, tiller, daggerboard brake, (sort of, but at least tried to) boom and traveler blocks, fairleads and even blades, (as long as you live in Austrailia).

    We all know the sail is likely not to change because it is the builders cash cow. Otherwise it would have changed by now. It's not that no one's listening as you'd have to be deaf and blind to miss all the pissing and moaning that's been going on about the sail performance and price for years. I guess they are intent to ride it until the cows back breaks.
     
  16. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Well, we can still make the spars less subject to bend/break, funny how that nicely engineered upper mast collar that does not use rivets has not seen the light of day.

    Agreed - that poor cow's back looks like a U about now.
     
  17. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    x2, they build the sails for the keel boat I race on in the summer, excellent quality
     
  18. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    I would sure like to find out the actual numbers...
     
  19. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    My current two race/training sails (Hyde) do not suffer from leach flutter, both have had 2-3 years of heavy usage, often above the 20 knot range. My current regatta sail (Hyde) with about 20 days usage including two days above 35 knots does not suffer from leach flutter.

    With a defective Laser sail, it's covered by the builder distribution network and is covered under warranty, so it's easy to return to any laser dealer. No such network exists at least in our region to send sails back to Intensity, as mentioned above, the shipping costs back to the USA are about $USD60, so hardly worth sending back.

    I'm probably also one of the few who is also a member of the class association and definitely makes me think whether I should provide feedback to those who aren't class members.
     
  20. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    As somebody who also argues strongly against the 3rd party knock-offs, I think the situation is more complex that a simple "argue against".

    I think that everybody in the class would be very happy to use class legal sails were there not the (alleged) value issues (price in relation to longevity). Were the cost/longevity the same there can be few people who would purchase a 3rd party sail when it has such constraints. So the 3rd party market is the result of a value issue. Some (like myself) value the strict one design aspect of the Laser class and are disappointed when, having purchased a boat find that people are just breaking the class rules. The sail has been the same for quite some time. When I purchased my Laser, it came with the same sail design as in currently available (and not at a massively different price). So I would be a bit hypocritical for me to start complaining about the price now. A bit like buying a house at the end of an international airport runway and then complaining about the noise. It is true that some sail on very limited budgets but it is also true that a lot can be achieved with old boats/sails. So often you see a boat turn up with a really old hull, sails that looks like a rag and then it wins (whilst everybody else discusses the thickness of their kicker line or similar).

    I agree that the sail need sorting (and before the Olympics because the Laser is a lot more than a few elite individuals at one event - and there are solutions to their using new/old sails as well). However, when you look at the costs of racing a Laser for a year (club membership, insurance, petrol, berthing, etc.) then it is not a cheap sport (compared to some).

    Ian
     

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