New Upgrades proposed by Ed Adams In Sailing World

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Sailing4LIFE, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Sailing4LIFE

    Sailing4LIFE New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I am sure many of you fellow Laser Lovers have seen, In May 2010 adiition of sailing world, in the Tech Review section, Ed Adams (2002 Laser Masters World Champ and has owned 13 lasers since 1973) has proposed some upgrades for the laser. He states "The two-part aluminum mast should be made of carbon tubes." now i will hardly be able to afford a radial sail next year because 120 pounds is a bit heavy for 4.7! I'm not sure i would be able to afford new carbon spars, and if im not, how much more of an advantage is everyone else with carbon spars going to have over me? I'm not familiar with the flexibility of carbon, so when i go to crank my vang on in 20 knots and the mast bends, is it going to snap?
    There is also talk about changing the fullrig sail design but i am not that smart in sail design so i'll leave that for the experts to discuss. Ed also states "Perhaps it's time to cut the hull weight back to 125 pounds..." I see that this is a great idea but when I arrive to a light wind regatta weighing 10 pounds heavier than some of the competition should i recieve a handicapped rating? I'm not trying to say that these upgrades are rediculous but just looking out for the future of the Laser class. Opinions please and Thank you!
     
  2. 203

    203 Very Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I'm a newby here, but not to sailing.

    If we ( the class ) is going to sit around and grouse about Intensity Sails and their legality in major events, and Intensity blades and their legality in the same events, then this guy is absolutely off the deep end.

    Those are major changes, as in defining a new class. Class rules are there to allow folks to compete with the 'same' equipment. Being a 'classic' laser owner, I might be even biased against the hearty vang and outhaul arrangements that are not on my boat.

    I am pretty much in favor of keeping the boat 'stock', even though I personally cannot afford to buy a new laser sail every other season so I can be fast.
     
  3. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    48
    New sail (that costs less and lasts longer), yes. Carbon fiber spars, no.
     
  4. capitanahab

    capitanahab New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    In my opinion the mast should be made out of gold according with the price you pay for a legal class stuff, so I would support the change as far as the price remains the same, not to mention if it is cheaper.

    It will be also interesting to know which option is more environmentally friendly.
     
  5. scars_scrapes

    scars_scrapes New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    its time we get what we are paying for. At the costs of a new boat it should already come with a carbon spar and the cost of the class legal sail should be woven out of gold.
     
  6. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I didn't know that the boat weighs more now than it did back then when it first came out. That can't be done. Everyone would have to buy newer boats to want to be competitive.
     
  7. pez

    pez Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Why would it need to be tweaked at all... it's not as if the wind is different now than it was in 1972.

    As far as the boat weight, I could stop drinking PBR and drop 10 lbs off the wight by the end of summer.
     
  8. laserxd

    laserxd Member

    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Carbon Fiber is stronger than steel while being lightweight, they've been used on keel boats for a while. Carbon fiber can snap, especially on boats like the volvo ocean racers because of the extreme loads they endure. The performance will change based on the weight difference, and bend of the mast/sail shape. The gains will likely be minimal on a laser but, its still a good idea in theory.

    It will be difficult to change the full rig sail, especially if it increases performance because anyone that wants to be competitive will have to buy one.

    125lbs is 10lbs lighter than a brand new built perfectly to spec laser. This will definitely disadvantage older hulls and even newer 135lbs+/- a few lbs hulls. Having a hull that is 7+% lighter will be nice for anyone that has one, with new technology it is possible to build a stronger hull and still lose 10lbs.
     
  9. petem

    petem New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    The whole idea of a one design class is to keep cost down. On the club level you can compete with a 15 year old boat. A Carbon mast is an uncessary expensive to make a fleet upgrade to. It will definately have an advantage in weight alone let along flexability. Drop the hull weight 10 pds, unnecessary. Improve the sail cloth to last loonger, i think thats an upgrade long overdue
     
  10. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    They are already working on a radial cut full rig sail.
     
  11. ralfeez

    ralfeez New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think that we can calm down about this. As also mentioned in that article, the Laser class has the most strict standards of any one design class. There will be no rush to change. Here are a couple of observations:
    • I believe that the class officials are conscious of the cost of new parts and trying to keep them down to a similar price as the existing parts.
    • I don't believe than any huge performance changes will be made before the 2012 Olympics.
    • A huge performance change is definitely possible. Look at the change to deck mounted blocks in 2001 for an example. You really cannot be competitive without them.
    • That said, I am sure that the class officials are aware of trying to keep older boats and gear somewhat competitive.
    • Anyone who has ever broken a top mast section is all for changes to the mast design.
    • Anyone who has ever broken a top section has probably also torn their sail and needed a new one. Between the mast section and a sail, you are talking about a repair of over $700 (over $800 after taxes in CA).
    • Any changes that will be made will be argued over and batted around for many months before they are allowed. Start saving your money. Change is good in this case, I think.
    • I have seen one of the new sails that has been proposed for the full rig. I did not sail with it, but it really looks like an improvement. The person using that new version did very well in the local regatta.
    thanks,
    Ralph
    #175237
     
  12. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Lots of good points here. The class is often afraid of change, being very concerned about "loss of competition". However not changing may very well be the cause of less competition, mainly butts in boats.

    I know many people who avoided the class because of the "stupid Laser tricks" rigging. The upgraded rigging helped address that. I believe we are approaching a similar point with the expensive class sail and the cheap knock-offs.
     
  13. Deimos

    Deimos Member

    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    18
    For me the main issue is "why ?"

    If the changes proposed are to make the boat faster then its a complete non-starter as it would in effect create a new class (and there are already plenty of those). So lowering the hull weight would achieve what ? Better speed, planing in lower winds, etc. any of which would just completely mess-up the existing success of the fleet.

    Why change to carbon spars. From what Tracy said some time ago about the investigation into a Radial upper section in carbon it was looking like it would be quite a bit more expensive. How often do people break their masts and would carbon lower that possibility - all without changing boat performance ?

    Similarly with the much discussed sail issue. My thoughts are that the problem with the sail is the cost per race (i.e. that they are expensive and don't last long). This could be addressed by dramatic price reductions (unlikely ?). Maybe a re-design is the way through making the sail last longer - but the critical thing is that this is achieved without performance enhancements.

    It sounds like the proposals include at least some to make the boat perform better - which is creating a new class, destroying everybody's existing investment in their boats and maybe shows the person proposing the change does not understand the class (though I would never start arguing that I do - just that I understand what I like about the class). If the changes are about performance improvements then those can be achieved by changing class.

    Maybe the XD upgrades have a performance impact. However, existing boats can be upgraded (for a lot lot less than buying a new hull) and the change does arguably broaden the appeal of the boat, making it viable for a wider range of people and thus helping bigger fleets.

    Ian
     
  14. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Having measured boats at the open worlds, it's surprising just how many of the top male standard rig sailors have not fully converted to the turbo / XD set up, many are still running the old vangs system. The Turbo / XD kit doesn't give a performance advantage, it allows everybody to utilise their sail controls more eaily. If anything it's narrowed the performance range, as the top sailors were already fully utilising their sail controls.
     
  15. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    An upper composite mast wasn't about breakage; it was for really lightweight women to compete in the Radial. If anything, it would make the 4.7 obsolete. I had a chance to try it when I visited SF a couple of years ago. Felt funky as it spilled air and changed the performance of the boat. Like training wheels. There would probably be less of that feeling for women who actually are really lightweight. ;)
     
  16. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    The carbon upper was proposed for many reasons.

    1. The builders thought they could make more money if the boat had a carbon top section.

    Why??

    The sales pitch was and I am not endorsing or criticizing...just relating the facts as I know them...

    the radial lower section was at it's aluminum design limits and the top section was too strong for it. There was no more available structure without making to too stiff.. The aluminum top section cannot be made thinner or it would simply break.

    So.

    The solution to stopping the horrible rate of bending radial lowers was to make a plastic top section with the forces rearranged to the top section could bend enough without bending and destroying the lower section.

    Some spars were built and even tested in regattas. The problem seemed to be getting the things into production as a reasonable price.

    The solution has been to re=design the sail and decrease the necessary amount of mast bending to sail fast.

    end hijack:

    As for teh Sailing World Article....?? Their publication of an irrational inflammatory Laser article isn't going to suck me into picking up one of their rags and reading their ads.
     
  17. powergroove

    powergroove Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I sailed with my sons Radial rig this weekend in 12-15 and I was shocked by the bend in the upper, But I didnt recognize the lower spar bending, maybe the top just scared me too much to look at anything else.

    Would the Carbon help or cause more breakage for the lower spar?
     
  18. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Less lower spar breakage is the intent. The carbon upper will bend more than a metal one, taking the load off the lower.
     
  19. arm

    arm arm

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hola.
    I say please leave the boat alone....if you want so many modifications...design a boat with all of that and get on it, join an open class and tinker it to death... I race my laser against a very good sailor at my club level. He beats me all the time. I have gotten it down to about 3 minutes in a five mile race (as opposed to 5 to 7 min. in years past). So, I get all the modifications, spiffy bendy mast, that super ultra new sail, the updated blades (sure to come out soon) and I finally beat him....did I?...he is still a better sailor...I just have a "different boat", not a laser anymore not like his. Nah, I'll keep trying to get better and get him someday based on my sailing not my pocketbook. Oh come on...someday I'll be on fire and he will have a so-so day and I'll get him!! oh but wait..he "smarts" up and gets all the new modifications and he beats me by tons of minutes now....is he a better sailor now?...no, same guy different boat. Do I feel I have a chance?..no not based on the "boat-arms race".
    have a lovely day
    ARM
     
  20. SStreuli

    SStreuli New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    There's a lot of constructive discussion in this thread. As the editor who put together the story (and wrote the Farr 30 bit) I'm pleased to see it generate discussion here and elsewhere. We'll have the story up on SailingWorld.com soon, we're launching a new website now and working out the bugs is taking most of our web time.

    If there's a disappointment with the story it's that I had to chop the intro so dramatically due to space constraints. The original intro did a better job of setting the table for the story.

    One thing I will add, which has only come to me recently, is that a common link between all three boats is they're true one-designs. This is a newer concept in sailing. Many dinghies that we consider one-designs are actually box rules, with the design required to meet a series of measurements. The Lightning, the Star, and the 470 all fit this description. Anyone can build and race a boat within the class, provided it measures in. It's an important distinction because the box rule classes can evolve. As construction techniques improve the boats become stronger, possibly lighter. The sails can be designed for maximum performance and/or durability, the deck layout can be changed to make sailing easier.

    Most modern dinghies are, for financial reasons, true one-designs, where the boats are built from identical plugs or molds and most everything is controlled by a single builder, designer, or company. This is great for level competition and keeping costs down, but it stunts development as most changes are controlled by the patent holder, which is loathe to disenfranchise potential customers by changing the design.

    This means that change comes, if it comes at all, in fits and starts and is more of a shock to the system than the gradual development in box-rule "one-designs." But it's still necessary. A re-designed Laser will be that much more viable in the years to come. Same goes for the J/24 and the Farr 30.

    Maybe making the boat lighter would scare off more Laser sailors than it would attract and yes you could say that would be a new boat. However, changing the rig and sail could make the boat easier to sail competitively by a wider range of people. It could make the rig more durable, faster, and in the long run, cheaper to own.

    Initially it will hurt. Changes of this type usually do. People will get upset and leave the class. But when evaluating the idea, it's important to look long term at the health of the class, not simply whether it suits your individual budget, sailing style, etc.

    -Stuart Streuli
    Sailing World
    Laser Fleet 413 (Newport, R.I.) co-captain
     

Share This Page