New standard sail

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by TonyB, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    Is anybody else hearing the stories about the new standard sail being available later this year?

    My sources are pretty reliable, but if the stories are true it would seem strange that there has been no publicity yet. Maybe after the World Council meeting in a couple of weeks?
     
  2. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    How many of the old sails would get sold, once the new ones are released or once a release date is known? It's better for the manufacturer to keep the hat on it, so all the old stock is sold. However, this might explain why there seems to be a shortage of sails in North America.
     
  3. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    The sail shortage in NA was a couple months ago (the pipeline is flowing again), and not due to a new sail design
     
  4. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

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    No they are still hard to get.
     
  5. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    In basic retail terms the "old sails" should simply be considered "spring/summer fashions", advertised as such and put on the markdown rack to move them. At our store we take a 40% first cut on out of date goods and BAM they're out the door! It's a great cash flow generator as those goods are always long paid for and typically when the customers are in buying the sale items they are also picking up new season, (full priced) goods. It's known as a win/win. Just think of how many low budget beginners the class could help out with CLASS LEGAL new sails if they were on sale? Instead of being forced to by a knock off to replace the bedsheet on the 1983 boat they just bought for $500.00?

    This COULD be a well handled PR boost for the manufacturer if handled correctly like they did with the offer to polish old hulls if folks brought them to the plant and took a facility tour a year or so ago......In addition, it would put the lid on rumors of liquidity problems w/the manufacturer. Or they can play the cards close to their chest, let the rumors fester a little longer and piss off a lot of class members by announcing the new sails 30 days in advance. I hope no one in the executive office of the manufacturer went to the same PR class as the soon to be former BP CEO went to........
     
  6. marginal

    marginal Member

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    A sensible solution would be to introduce the new sail a long time in advance of it becoming class legal at major regattas.

    It could be introduced this year, but only become legal after the 2012 Olympics for example.

    This would allow graceful phase out of the old sail, as serious racers would continue to need the existing design for events. It would also allow everyone to plan their phase over to the new design, without all of the old sails becoming obsolete overnight. Suppliers would also have an easier time managing their stock.

    I would be much happier buying a new 'existing design' sail if I knew that I would not wake up tomorrow to find it was obsolete / no longer competitive (in fact, I have a new rolled sail behind the couch, and this is a concern....)
     
  7. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Given that there will (supposedly) be no performance difference between old and any new design sails then I would probably delay buying anything until people have decided if the new design really did last longer. However, I do like the sound of old design being discounted - but if e.g 30% discount against a new design lasting e.g. 50% longer ...

    Ian
     
  8. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    I don't think this is realistic in any situation. A new sail or any kind is going to cause a hiccup in the one-design aspect of the class for a couple of years. I think most of us would say it is worth it to address the cost/durability issue of the current design.
     
  9. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I see your point, but who is going to throw down $ 600.00+ for a new design "practice" sail that can't be used at events until 2012, (assuming one comes out before then)? When it happens it needs to be a clean break. The manufacturers don't want or need the hassle of managing inventories and production of 2 different full rig sails. If/when the sail change is made there will be growing pains associated w/it. The trick is to minimize the pain for all parties. I can see Alan's point how the class may not want to open this up for a "General discussion", but it would be in their best interest to do this in some other way than "SURPRISE! as of today we'll no longer make the old sail and the new sails are being shipped tomorrow!"
     
  10. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

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    Didn't that happen with the last Radial upgrade?
     
  11. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    I don't know about the lag in announcement and availability, but I know there was a considerable inventory backlog of the old design. I had a hard time getting my hands on the "new" design, when ironically the "old" design was probably better for my size.
     
  12. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

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    I remember back in January of whatever year that was announced one of the local dealers touted they had a few left because no other dealers in the area had them.

    Obviously there will be a limited supply at first as well so you do have to wait after the first batch gets out.
     
  13. ChrisOwens

    ChrisOwens New Member

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    I'm not so sure. At the highest levels of competition, people buy new sails for every regatta, so the sail change isn't going to make any difference there. Down in the trenches, people sail until their sails look like dishrags, and then replace them. Not sure the change is going to matter much down there, either. Maybe in the middle it'll make a diffrence.
     
  14. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    I had a lot of issues with a well-known supplier of Laser equipment. I asked point blank if they had the Mk. 6, and was assured they did. When I got my sail, it was the old design. I had to go through a bit of hassle to get it straightened out.
     
  15. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I went through the same thing back in the early 90's with a standard sail. These guys told me it was on the way and charged my credit card. 2 weeks later no sail and lots of excuses. It was a good thing to be an American Express customer. I never did business w/those guys again.
     
  16. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    I would have thought some sort of introductory discount would make sense, to accelerate the uptake of the new sail.

    There's going to be significant pain when it's released because it can't possibly have identical performance to the old sail. There were notable differences between the Mk5 and Mk6 Radial sails, and those changes were just tinkering - this is a whole new sail.

    Short sharp pain will be much better for the class than long, drawn out pain - the sooner the bulk of the fleet are using it the better. The best way to do this is a decent discount for the first three to six months.

    Other stuff I've heard about the new sail - heavier cloth (4.8 oz), radial cut except for one panel, maybe a different sailmaker (but still one of the big players). Hopefully updated construction method as well, to allow laser cutting and so on.
     
  17. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    There's an idea. Discount the new sails to get it out there, but they'll have to take a hit on the old sails to clear them out or donate them to college programs or some other tax deductable organizations. Either way they have an opportunity to do the change well or handle it poorly.
     
  18. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Why not identical performance because supposedly the 3rd party knock-offs have identical performance whilst lasting longer. But then on this forum the guy from Intensity claimed that their Laser sails gave better performance so it s all a bit confusing.

    I am sure the builder will say "identical performance" whilst enjoying rumours about better performance (so everybody will rush out and buy one - whatever the state of their existing sail). After all, builder wants profit and has no interest in the success of the boat (other than how that helps profits).

    Ian
     
  19. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Obviously the top Laser sailors will buy the new sail right away or get an inside way to get such a sail before us, regular guys and gals. They will be winning when racing with weekend warriors (most of us). Based on these results, many will conclude the new sail is 'faster'. This is hogwash of course, because those top guys and gals are much better sailors to begin with, training almost full time.
     
  20. IntensitySails

    IntensitySails Member

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    Not true. Our sails sail level with the class sail. 5 years of selling them and no one has been able to show an advantage or disadvantage. Not confusing at all.
    Thank you.
     

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