Laser Quality

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by viktor188924, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    It seems that its been a slippery downhill slope in quality among the newer lasers. Mine was sailed for the first time as a charter boat at the 2007 Laser Midwinters East. Note the number 188924. My teammate bought his boat about a week before I did (his was also one of the 2007 model charter boats). Both of our boats are already showing signs of wear and just plain bad quality manufacturing. In some of the older models, the hull and deck meeting points in the daggerboard trunk are flush with eachother. In the new boats, they are not flush, and when the boat is upside down, you can see the lip of the deck hanging down when you look into the trunk. This isn't so bad in itself, but listen to this: The hull and deck don't meet squarely, so the daggerboard will always be turned in one direction, causing the boat to be faster on one tack. My teammate's boat must be skewed 5 degrees. Mine is a little better, but still not perfect. Another thing: on the back corner of the trailing edge of the trunk, there is a lot of wear. Your thoughts?
     
  2. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    So, have either of you contacted your dealer ?
    Have you contacted Vanguard ?

    How did you measure the the degree off center ? (and why didn't you do this prior to buying ? )

    Considering how the boats are constructed, how do you think the deck and hull can can end up 5 degrees off when they are put together ?

    Can you post some pics showing some of the issues you describe ?
     
  3. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    No we did not contact our dealers.
    Yes my friend contacted vanguard.
    I did not measure, im just estimating, it probably wasnt that much but it was clear to the eye that there was a problem.
    I'm really not sure how it could be off so much, I understand your point. Well if you look at the gunwale and follow the hull/deck joint it seems that they line up fine around the boat.
    I'll try to send you a PM later with some pictures.
     
  4. bel120343

    bel120343 New Member

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    we spend lot's of money for crappy boats, we know, that's unfortunaletly typical laser. even my 143840 has gelcoat coming off after banging my knee against it, and my older one 120343 had his side decks falling in, and also the bottom, thats why i dont race her anymore, and i use the 143XXx . it has a stiffer waterline. But its the game we love.
     
  5. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    You're absolutely right.
     
  6. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Those are big statements. I've owned 4 laser, (76, 81, 94, and 98) models. The 98 I"m currently sailing was beat to hell by the previous owners, but i've fixed her up and even though it's the oldest boat in my local fleet by nearly 8 years I'm most always in the top 4 of our 20+ boat local fleet. Does it have voids? yes. Does the mast step get wear? yes. Does the filler in the deck/hull joint come out? yes. Do I fix these things? Yes! Every off season I garage my boat for a complete check up and fix every little ding on her. If you beat your boat up every season and just throw a cover on it until next time then you'll lessen the life span of the boat. This will happen with anything.

    I've never experienced initial build quality related problems with any of my boats. While I have heard of a few issued with particular builders over the years those problems were always taken care of by the dealer/builder in the instances I was aware of.

    While I have problems with the cost of class sails the total package price of a new boat can't be beat by anything on the market right now that offers the same type of serious OD sailing and for such a broad range of individuals. Yes, $5,000.00 is a lot of money, but you get a good return on the investment fun wise and for years to come.

    If you have a measurable initial build problem on a new boat then get your dealer involved. If you have a problem with a second hand boat then you should have done a better job looking it over before you bought it. There is no way you can blame a QC issue of a used boat on initial build as you have no idea of its history.

    Rant over.
     
  7. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I agree. Most recreational sailors have a very very limited sample size when it comes to commenting on build quality of new boats. Thus, finding a (debatable) problem with one or two newish boats does not in itself mean that there is an issue with quality control.


    To be honest I would suspect it is only the larger dealers who would detect a quality problem (as they see a larger number of boats and get to have to deal with any problems) and they would take it up with Vanguard who would almost certainly resolve it. After all, it is far more expensive for a company to sort out a problem with a boat after it is built and sold than sorting out the problems in the factory during building (a simple matter of economics that).


    Of course there are occasional faults that slip through - but as Rob says, these would be dealt with by the manufacturer. There is another thread running where somebody has a problem with the mast step and by their account Vanguard (and dealer ?) are being very responsive and helpful.


    Ian
     
  8. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    This is what is "absolutely right". I think I accidentally read over the part about "crappy boats." I used to use a REALLY old laser, you know, entry level. It was actually a '74 but it had a new paintjob and I don't think it held me back all too much. But i felt that the hull and deck were getting too soft, and that after all my efforts I couldn't get the old thing to stop leaking. Thus, the new laser. It's not really a rant, this daggerboard trunk thing is not too bad on my boat, I just wanted to hear YOUR opinions in the changes in Vanguard design over the years (for better or worse.) I have heard from other people (coaches, friends) that they think it has gotten worse. Thank you for your input!
     
  9. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    And I aree with YOU too... for the most part. Just because two boats have the fault doesnt mean it's a big deal... and it might not be a small deal either. I didn't mean to sound like I had such a big opinon on this from the get-go... I'm more interested in what you guys think, and if you guys have seen something like this happen to you or someone you know. It's sort of a hidden flaw, It's not obvious when you just look at the boat. I don't know what the other new boats look like. When I go to my next regatta there are sure to be some more '07's there. I'll take a look.
     
  10. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I believe the big question at this point is.... What does your dealer say? or the dealer of the guy that has a worse proplem than your boat?

    If it is not brought to the attention of the dealer or the builder then it must not be much of an issue for the customer.
     
  11. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Conventional wisdom is the Canadian-built boads were pretty good boats, and I think quality improved a lot with SLI in the 90s. My '99 Vanguard is still in pretty good shape, but I have BABIED that boat since I got it.

    There was a time, in the 70s I believe, where the Laser license bounced around from builder to builder (I think Pearson had it for a while). I think many of these builders used the Laser as "filler work" between their higher-profit large boats. Laser was not their first priority, so quality may have slipped some.

    I'm not speaking from any first-hand knowledge, just class lore passed down through the ages.
     
  12. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    Yes, my buddy contacted Vanguard, they said they'd take a look at it or something... I'm not sure about the details but my friend still has the same boat now so I guess nothing happened. I don't think either of us have contacted the dealer. I'll find out more info.

    Ohhh. Well Vanguard makes: Optimist, Club 420, Club FJ, Laser, Laser 2, Sunfish, Vanguard 15, Nomad, Vector, 49er.
    I don't know how big each of these fleets are compared to the Laser membership, but I do know that Vanguard has invested a LOT of money in making Lasers. Good point. I'm no expert either.
     
  13. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    Opti is the biggest one design fleet on the planet

    and CFJ and 420's are used in most Junior programs, high school and college sailing teams

    49er is an Olympic boat, but they don't make em anymore

    Sunfish is another HUGE wordwide fleet, possibly bigger than us, but not by much

    Nomad, very new boat, still growing

    I think they might have stooped Vector, or you have to order

    Laser 2, used to be THE junior boat in the 80's early 90's, not so much, small fleets, gotta order to get one, no longer a constant production run

    V15, good match racing dinghy, used a bit for college
     
  14. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    But do you guys think that Vanguard could be so caught up in any of these boats that what torrid is saying might be happening? I don't. Yes, I know where the boats are used, but.... FJ's and 420's are the classes where they are popular AND cost more than the Laser. But how popular? And Opti's cost much less, people only buy hulls from Opti Dealers... plus not everyone buys a Vanguard. Many buy Winner or McLaughlin hulls.
     
  15. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    trust me, Vanguard does all they can to make the Laser the best product it can be within the rules, don't be hating on Vanguard, if the rules where updated, the boat could be a lot better

    their not trying to shortchange us
     
  16. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    No no, I aint playa hatin' gee
     
  17. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    aiiiiiight

    don't hate the builder, hate the rules the builder must abide by, and the stiff organizing committee lol
     
  18. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    viktor188924,
    Its all about profit. It would be daft for Vanguard to "pay less attention to Lasers" or just ignore any QA issues - as this would end-up costing them loads and hitting profits badly. Its just standard manufacturing and business principles. Far more expensive to solve problems once item is with customer (and is used, etc.).


    I think your initial post starting this thread suggested to many that you were being critical of Vanguard's quality. Starting It seems that its been a slippery downhill slope in quality among the newer lasers implies to me that you are being critical, not that you are inviting comments on peoples experiences. You then go on to detail two problems boats you have experienced (justifying your initial comment about poor build quality). Thus, you cannot be surprised that many have assumed you were being critical, even though you later changed to I just wanted to hear YOUR opinions in the changes in Vanguard design over the years - which to me appears completely different to your original comment.


    Ian
     
  19. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    he was being critical, he was criticizing something

    and I would think that one would generally assume that other people would throw in their comments and experiences
     
  20. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Let me re-state;

    I wasn't talking about Vanguard today but companies like Pearson 25-30 years ago. They typically made big yachts, a completely different market and (I would assume) manufacturing technique from small boats. They weren't building Lasers because they wanted to be in the small boat market. They built Lasers to keep the cash coming in during lean years.

    Being that Vanguard concentrates exclusively on small boats, I think that would be a plus for the Laser.
     

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