New sail design - Keep the Dream Alive!

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by dyzzypyxxy, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. beaker

    beaker hi

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    if your sail number matches your hull number as required by ILCA rules then having more than one hull and sharing the sail is not a valid skirt of the rule.


    What if they just opened the building of sails up to other sailmakers? and have them have a sail royalty, just like lightnings J24's even opti's. Cost of sails down due to competition, quality up due to competition. royalties go to class ot builders or split.
     
  2. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Um, if you owned two boats, then you would get to buy two new sails per year - one for each boat.

    THAT'S the skirt around sail purchase limiting rule for the rich, and dedicated amongst us.

    I still think the new, more durable sail just makes the limiting rule work even better. There will always be guys willing to buy a little bit of performance or psych value that a new sail provides, and the rule would prevent that.
     
  3. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    This thread is starting to morph off the main line and into a sail quality/price thread... and there are already a couple of those.

    A key thing to remember on the current pricing of class legal sails is that its not the cost to produce the sail, nor the profit of any single hand in the supply chain but, rather, the number of hands in the chain. Intensity buys from a manufacturer and sells direct over the internet with little overhead. Class legal sails are built by larger sailmakers, who sell to the builders who sell to dealers, each with larger overheads than, I bet, what Intensity has.

    Rats, now I am off topic.... and I've said all this before... sorry!
     
  4. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    As a very satified owner of a Rooster 8.1 that is now almost a year old I can say that the sail it still in very good condition. It has had an average season of wear already and is still in good shape, not stretched and no sign of leech flutter at all!

    We all know that the genuine sails are a complete rip off but I don't accept SFB Lasers argument about hands in the chain being the explaination. Here in the uk a new sail costs around £400 then you need to buy battens and numbers taking it to around £450. As far as I can see there are only 2 hands in the chain.... the sailmaker and Laser Performance. Frequently I find that you can buy a class legal sail from a dealer slightly cheaper than buying it direct from Laser Performance (I live around 1 hour drive from Laser Mecca so they are my local part supplier). I tend to buy from Rooster who are around 4 hours drive (should I wish to collect) purely because they are generally cheaper and much more friendly (Steve C loves a chat on a Monday morning especially if the weekend was a good sailing one).

    A lot of clubs in the UK are allowing people to use 'pattern' sails because it is recognised that the sails are horrendous for what you get.

    I say roll on the development and (from what I have seen) I hope the Hyde design wins. It may mean that there is a disparity from the 'haves' and the 'have nots' for a short period of time but we had that when the new control lines came out. At a club level the use of a different cut of sail on a Laser is not really going to make a huge amount of difference, the cariation in skill level is much more apparent. I used to win club races in a 25 year old boat with an 3 year old sail and using the old control lines (because I did not change straight away).

    So come on lets not even entertain this purchase limit, in practice it will not work (and bear in mind most SIs limit you to using the same sail for a club series anyway unless you damage it) and instead vote for a more durable sail when the time comes. I am planning to join the UKLA when I know the vote is coming purely so I can cast that vote (for those who know me personally I am very critical of the way the UKLA conducts itself although they are getting better).
     
  5. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    How many Laser sailors are really buying more than one sail per year? I bet it is only a couple of percent, and by and large those are the guys who are competing in a very different league to the rest of us regardless of the equipment they are using. Limiting sail purchases would just add a layer of bureaucracy to stop something that isn't really that much of a problem. Own up, how many sails have you bought this year?

    For most of us, one sail a year is plenty. I normally buy one a year - in the first year it is my regatta sail (on average 40 races), in the second year it is my club racing sail (another 50 or so races), and in the third year it is my training sail. That seems like a pretty good return for $600 (Australian) to me - maybe $3 each time I go sailing? I chose the changeover point pretty carefully to coincide with the biggest regatta of the year, and have never in my life felt that someone else has beaten me in a race because their sail was better than mine.
     
  6. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    This thread always was about sail quality vs. price. The sailors have felt for years that the sail is not a good value for the money.

    Many sailors don't think the sail is competitive after more than a few regattas. They buy two or three sails per year - IF they can afford it. This gives them an advantage over the guy who CAN'T afford it.

    Most sailors also think that the sail is a rag even when it's brand new. But at least because they all come from the two sailmakers, and are cut the same, everyone sails with the (approx.) same new rag. That's the beauty of having the builders produce the sails.

    Remember, the whole premise of one-design sailing is to keep the boats as even as possible. That's "the dream". You really don't want anyone to be able to gain any advantage from any piece of their equipment (except their own bodies, of course).

    Why don't they simply sell the sails online like Intensity does, and pass the savings on dealer markup on to the sailors? I guess this would eventually put some of their dealers out of business, but y'know, some boat builders have gone that way - selling direct - to keep costs of their product in line.

    As for Tony in Oz, you are already doing exactly what I envision people would do if there were a limit on sail purchases. You're satisfied with your sail's performance over the year's use, but some sailors are not.

    I'd suggest you walk the boat park at the end of the first day of racing at the next regatta you attend. Talk to the guys who finished top ten in the fleet, and ask how many sails they buy each year. Betcha it's a bigger percentage than you thought - especially amongst Masters sailors (who can afford to buy performance when they don't have time to get it by fitness and practice).
     
  7. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    Is someone able to say how many exact of this "many sailors" do buy 2 or 3 sail a year, in relationship to the rest of the Lasersailing world? The most sailors, I know here at my country (GER), are not even able to buy 1 Hyde-sail in 2 years.

    F.e.: If I'd try to offer a totally new folded Hyde (without battens, telltales, sailnumbers) to Laserites here at GER for 647 US$ (450 €), no one would want to buy it. To the opposite: such a sail at the Laserstore (GER) here does cost 830 US$ (577 €) for non distict Association members and 763 US$ (92% of 577 €) for district Association members.

    What is the advantage to buy a "Porsche-Cayenne-S" Laser sail for not-often racing Laserites, that probably end in the middle of the final race results?

    Also, once again, the "OD"-idea of Kirby would be digged:
    There was a sail change in the early years from Elvstroem (1st generation without and next generation with a window) to Haarstick, then internal a change of the sailcloth at Haarstick (to that "compucut" 3.2 oz sails) and again to the 3.8 oz sails from North and Hyde in ~1992.

    Perhaps if "one" does permitt to the world: a new "Porsche-Cayenne-S" Laser sail, one may permitt PS Australia or PS Japan, too, to build Laserhulls with a durable HDPE-mastcollar/-step like it is built at this dinghy of Ian Bruce Industries "here" .

    For me a "Porsche-Cayenne-S" sail not makes ANY sense personally to me at/on my pretty 2001er PSE Laser: If I would have compete in a race against you, dyzzypyxxy or/and SFBayLaser, and you both would sail such a nice-looking "vintage"-Laser, built in 1978 with a "1st generation"-Haarstick Standard sail and wodden tiller, you definitely already would reach the finish-line, meanwhile I would not have even reached the Leeward mark the 1st time. ... ;) ;)

    If I would be such a pro-Laserite like Simon G. of GER, yes, I would loooove such a new sail. My sponsor sure does pay the bill for me, no problem. And in that case: When may I get it at my Laserdealer, I hope early enough to be delivered by Santa Claus?

    Good winds
    LooserLu
     
  8. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    That statement just isn't correct - It is possible to build the laser sail out of materials other then 3.8 w/o having to resdesign anything else (spars, fittings etc) Most of the non-class approved sails are made from dacron other then 3.8 (which is hard to get btw since it's only being used for laser sails now and produced in such small quantity)

    http://www.laserforum.org/showpost.php?p=38243&postcount=110 shows a proto sail made from a mylar/dac laminate a few years ago. Looked good on the Laser mast. I've seen a few more since then made from other styles of dacron that also looked good (and with different patch sizes, tweaked luff sleeves, batten pocket reinforcing on the inboard ends etc)

    I've also seen a few prototypes made from the existing 3.8 with better (larger) reinforcements etc that in theory should last longer.
     
  9. gordo

    gordo New Member

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    is it just me or did the new hyde prtotype look alot like a byte sail. it is partially because of the radial cup and windown tho. a radial cut would help alot i believe
     
  10. mlemieux1978

    mlemieux1978 New Member

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    My two beefs with the current sail.
    1. luff sleeve wears out.
    2. leach stretches out.

    You can repair the sleeve, but you shouldn't have to do that for a while. My sail is 4 years old and the sleeve is fine for club and open events in the area.

    Can't fix the leach. How about a leach cord? you could make the sail last a bit longer then without making everyone's year old sail instantly obsolete.
     
  11. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    I race every week against some of the top Masters sailors in the world and have a pretty good idea how many sails they buy. One, maybe two if they are doing the Worlds that year. One notable case who buys other people's two year old discards and proceeds to beat everyone else anyway. The only new sail he has bought for the last 15 years, he used to get a podium place at Terrigal.

    I'm sure there are some out there who are caught in the vicious circle of blaming their two regatta old sail for their poor performance and throw money away to try and solve the problem, but by and large the top ten aren't deluding themselves about the causes when they don't do well. If the mid fleet sailors think they are getting beaten because the boats at the front have newer sails then they need to re-think, or stay they will stay mid fleet forever.

    The problem with a sail limiting rule is that it wouldn't take into account the huge disparity between sailor's time on the water, and the huge disparity in sailor's expectations of their equipment. If we had a rule that forced Tom Slingsby and Andrew Campbell (who sail around 2000 hours a year) to be limited to the same number of sails as the guy who sails once a week in summer and rarely ventures from his own club (maybe 50 hours a year), then it would be a bad rule. There are a thousands of different sailors between those two extremes. If you tried to take those disparities into account the rule would be too complex, difficult to manage, and open to manipulation.

    Ultimately, what problem would the rule be attempting to solve? It does sound like a solution looking for a problem to me, to quote whoever said that earlier in the thread.

    Whether the sails can be made more durable for the same money and performance is a different question - of course they can, and it sounds like the investigations are underway (again). Whether there is too much mark up on sails and too many hands in the supply chain is another question. But it's just supply and demand, just like any other commodity. If you don't like the price of sails, don't buy them. If enough people do that, the price will drop. But don't waste breath complaining to the manufacturers that they charge too much - they charge what the market is willing to pay. They're in the business to make a profit, not to subsidise our sailing. If we keep demanding, they'll keep supplying.

    Until recently, new sails in Australia were over $1000. Everyone started buying their sails directly from the US, and depending on the exchange rate were paying around $600 a sail. Now the Australian manufacturer has dropped the price of locally bought sails to $600 - that's a huge drop, and you can be sure they are still making money at that price. The only reason the sails were $1000 until then is because that is what people were willing to pay. Simple economics.
     
  12. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Just another post to emphasize that the initial topic of this thread is a solution in search of a problem (SFBayLaser said it first). The previous post (TonyB) describes my observations of the local scene where I sail quite well. Therefore, I won't repeat.
    In conclusion, let's not go someplace where we have no good reason going.
     
  13. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    But I saw this big puff way out on the left. I swear it wasn't a flyer
     
  14. YachtKnotSail

    YachtKnotSail New Member

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    If a new sail does come out. I hope I can still fold it, which is a plus for Dacron, and fit it into the blade bag or duffle bag. Rolling a sail in an 8' tube would be a hassle, especially for those who travel by plane to the Coasts and charter/borrow hulls/spars.
     
  15. 177102

    177102 New Member

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    What kind of timeframe are we talking about for any decision about a new sail or is this still a bit of a pipe dream?

    Just thinking about when I will purchase a new sail....
     
  16. gordo

    gordo New Member

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    go buy a sail this wont happen for a while if ever. this is one thing the class should have done with the release of the radial and their sail design. hopefully we can catch up on design and use a better sail design but im really not expecting too much
     
  17. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    [​IMG] w/ Gordo
     
  18. LooserLu

    LooserLu LooserLu

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    Hi,
    At Page 8 at the "Laser World of Dec 2008"* did inform about the proposed boat developements and class rule changes. The new blocks for the mainsheet and the traveller are reality now. Any news to the other Laserparts that are mentioned in the text? There surely has been a meeting of the ILCA World Council at the Laser Senior Worlds /Laser Master Worlds at Hailfax, a couple of days ago. Any trustful hearsay of news for the rest of the Laser sailng world to tell openly?

    Ciao
    LooserLu
     
  19. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    As an average (I hope!) Laser sailor that is pretty much the model I use, although I don't manage to log that many regattas a year outside the beercans which get my B or C sail typically. I think that if sail prices were say $325-$350 I might buy two in a year depending on what regattas I get to go to but might do that every other year instead of every year. Of course, I recall that it wasn't too many years ago when sails cost that much and, because of my income level at the time, I didn't ever buy more than one a year anyway. . .

    Gouvernail's point is well made although he forgot
    11. spend $3+ on a cup of coffee every day
    -- try giving up Starbucks (or whatever your primary vice is) everyday or every other day for at least part of the year and see how much savings you can put towards your new sail!

    While I think a more durable sail is the way to go, has anyone looked at the opposite model? Maybe trying to make sails last longer is the wrong way to go for sailors and the class and we should work on making them cheaper even though they won't last as long.

    Could sails be made cheaper so that even though one might buy several a season they still come out ahead in the long run? I'm thinking something similar to a North 3DL where they're essentially cranked out on a machine in high volume might be a way to bring them down to a "magic" price point where buying several a year is practical for most sailors.

    Let's say that sails could be cranked out cheaply enough that they could sell for say, $200 and still cover all the hands in the chain with a fair margin. Maybe your average club sailor doing a summer beercan series, a number of regional regattas and one or two big ones in a year would not find it unreasonable to buy a new one at the start of the season, another part way through the season for the regionals and one for the major regattas. Each hit of $200 is a relatively small percentage of the overall cost of competing, the sailor gets relatively more new sail sailing time during the year and the builders, dealers and class benefit by more volume. The guys who sail a lot more would buy proportionately more while the guys who sail less would of course buy less new but might benefit from more second-hand sails being available.

    Mind you, a cynic might say that whatever the quality of the class sail we might still be having these discussions about the cost & longevity of the sails not being good enough as our expectations continue to change over time. . .
     
  20. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    I think making the sail cheaper so we all buy more is the wrong way to go. In this world of climate change and recycling that just means that there will be more junk going in to landfill (unless anyone has found a way to make something useful out of a lot of ols Laser sails).

    Lets face it the top (olympic level) guys will almost always use a new sail at each regatta they compete in. For us mere mortals just having a sail that is competitive for multiple seasons would be great.

    For other classes I have competed in this is the norm. I had a 5 year old sail in one class and was still sailing at the same speed as I was when I put a new one on (I only changed it because the old sail quite literally fell apart).

    My 2 year old Intensity replica is still in very good condition given the hammering it has had (I only sail the standard rig when it is too windy for the 8.1 or if I fancy some class racing). It has been a windy 18 months over here in the UK! If I were using a class legal sail I have no doubt that it would be trashed by now! It is possible to make this change sucessfully but the technical guys have a very difficult job to do to ensure that they do not suddenly obsolete all other sails that are out there.

    I look forward to the developments once they become more public (perhaps even having some 'beta' trials to get feedback from the grass roots).
     

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