Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Sailing4LIFE, Apr 28, 2010.
So do you volunteer and assist? Or do you leave it up to others?
There are - and have been for the past 30 years - alternatives for the Laser, cheap single handers for middle and light weights. In Germany it's the Europe for youngsters, the OK, the Olympia/O-Jolle, the single hander for the 1936 Olympics, not so muche the RS-boats. In the UK you have a choice of a zillion racing dinghy classes.
The financial aspect may not necessarily be the most important aspect for chosing the Laser. Here in Germany the prices for 2nd hand boats are ridiculously high, 2500 Euros for twenty year old boats. A competitive 2nd hand OK can be had for less and it should be as cheap or cheaper to maintain, even though the class allows for a range of different masts and sails. They have large fleets too, bigger ones than the Laser class in some areas, and good racing participation. Still on the whole more people chose the Laser over the OK and other dinghy classes worldwide.
Maybe it has something to do with the Laser's simplicity, the fact that you don't have to be a boat tinkerer to compete. You don't have to give much thought to the equipment. Because there's no choice, except for some gadgets like the hiking strap, the main sheet block, the new dagger board brake, the tiller, that we get all excited about. On the whole from a competitive point of view, these things are marginal at best. As long as things don't break, there no reason to alter anything on a 10-15 year old boat (well, one with the upgrades).
I wonder if carbon spars, the performance gains and probable price tradeoff (however compensated by durability) aside, would change that equation, because people would get the impression, we're having the same arms that others are classes are indulding in. Not just because there is a new spar but because they/we would suspect the next change around the corner - ?
So the dude won some watch for sailing in the same year I got married. Big deal.
Quick compasrison between two very succesful "one design" classes:
My son sails an Optimist. One design, many manufacturers. He had a new boat recently so foils, sails, spars etc had to be measured and signed by a class trained measurer, all the forms filled out and countersigned on the makers booklet then the whole document package was sent to the RYA technical dept for a class measurement certificate to be issued. I've just got that back so I now have to change the numbers on his existing sails, get them remeasured and then transfered and countersigned onto the new certificate. The "suggested" rate for a measurer is £18 per hour, most of the guys I know will do it for a bottle of scotch. I should have this ready dor the Inland Championships next week where, on registration, all documentation will be scrutinised. (i must remember to get the buoyancy endorsment filled in by the class captain as well). His new sail was carefully chosen fron a range of 7 or 8 makers (so lots of competition) and cost £420.
My Son freind has just moved out of Oppies into the Laser 4.7 . Next weekend he has a national selection event. His dad has bought him a new sail(£360 no angonising choice and sales waffle to fight through....just oder the only one available) and as long as all the other bits have genuine Laser stickers on...everthings fine.
I wish the Optimist was only made by one company....it would make everything so much simpler and i would save a load of time and cash.
If the Oppie class is going to require that much effort, it has one key advantage over other classes. For every person sailing, there are two parents available to volunteer to run the class and sailing events.
I have always been involved in the measuring process (as a flunky) when I am lucky enough to go to a nationals event. That's the only time they do any serious measuring.
It's a bear. For example, in Edenton NC, I and several others were the 'folders'. I had a large deck to work on, and was responsible for folding/unfolding/rolling/etc the sails in the process. We had a place set up to measure, but handling the sails was done on this rickety deck on the waterfront, and I was scared to death that a sail was gonna get a nail head or huge splinter thru it.
It's a bear, but also fun, and about everybody is involved somehow. We weigh the boats, measure and mark the sails, check the blades for profile, and at least check the boat for obviously illegal rigging. That's pretty broad on a Highlander (c:. The chief measurer is involved with that, as he alone has the authority to pass or fail a boat. But he is a manager.. the class participants are the worker bees.
If it were left up to one or two people, it would not be any fun at all, and I am speaking of regattas that have 30-40 boats. Some of the Laser crowds I have heard of would be pretty time consuming unless everybody pitched in and the measurer had it well organized.
Excellent to hear 203. In so many districts the measurer gets little or no help and is rarely backed up by their own district committee.
I have sailed in the F18 class for 5 years, box rule open manufacturer of boat and sails. There are NO differences in the boat speed between boat or sail manufacturers, and these boats are radically different designs. The boats are kept "low cost" by not allowing Carbon anything, and IMHO open to multiple manufacturers.
Sails cost me $1300...we are talking alot of fabric, serious mylar/kevlar/pentex weave, and a CNC cut sail from high end lofts.
Compare that to a small dacron 3 or 4 panel sail from Hyde or North for $500-$600 and there IS a big difference in price.
I think those prices come close to matching once you account for size and material differences...
Doyle , Ullman and Quantum don't even list them on their sites which usually means they don't consider the market big enough to go after or don't have competitive designs. I don't think I have left out any other "Big" lofts in the US - all the rest would be local/regional who get marketshare first on price
PS - When did they allow Aramid (Kevlar,Twaron) in the sails ?
They may have gone up a little since I sold my F18 and started racing A cats, but no one uses North sails in the F18 class, they are using Ashby, Landenberger, Ullman Italy, then manufacturers have thier own suppliers such as Hobie, and NACRA(Skip Elliott supplied). I imported and sold sails for Landenberger for a few years, and those were my prices 3 years ago. The biggest Catamaran lofts in the US are Glaser, Calvert, Elliott Pattison sails, and whoever makes Hobie sails.
The F18 mainsail is 17sq meters compared to the Laser's 7 sq meters. The cost per sail area may be quite the same, a little more for Laser, but the materials and craftmanship of the developemnt class sails are far superior to a plain Dacron sail.
Dont get me wrong, I like the Laser class, just not the prices, but I did find this funny in both classes rules.
Read the language between a developemnt class, and a stict one design
FORMULA 18 CLASS RULES GUIDING PRINCIPLES:
The box measurement rule allows manufacturers to develop
catamarans that are competitively priced yet allowing freedom to
builders to develop to higher levels of performance. Being open to
any manufacturer allows many builders and sail makers to
compete and so keep costs to a minimum.
The Class remains aware to keeping development under control,
maintaining a good balance between cost and performance.
Corrected crew weights allows fairer racing with more ladies
involved as helms and crews.
IF18CA measures hulls, hull appendages, rigs and sails which
are required to conform to IF18CA standards, such boat parts
only being altered to stay in line with current IF18CA rules.
Appendix A. Cloth list issued March 2010-03-17
Appendix B. Class drawings
Appendix C. Championship rules.
Then ILCA Rules Introduction
Class Rules - One Design
One of the attractions of the Laser for most owners is that the class rules are very strict
and that the boat is one design. The Laser philosophy incorporated in the rules is
that we want to go sailing, not waste time fiddling with boats. We want to win races on
the water using our skill, not by trying to find a way round the rules that will give us an
The Class Rules are written to prevent any changes from the standard boat that might
affect performance, so that on the water each boat is the same. The few changes to the
standard boat that are allowed are minor and only to allow for a few options that make
racing the Laser more comfortable and enjoyable.
Over the years the class has refused to make changes to the rules that allow more
expensive or complicated equipment or which makes older boats redundant.
If you feel you want to change something on a Laser - STOP
Ask yourself why you want to do it? If the answer is “to make me go faster” there is a
very good chance the modification or addition is illegal!
Take a look at the Laser Rules.
• Part One explains the Fundamental Class Rule which covers the philosophy
and any item not specifically written into the rules.
• Part Two tells you what you must do to have a legal boat.
• Part Three details a few optional changes and additions you can make.
If Part Three does not specifically allow a change or
addition - IT IS ILLEGAL!
If you race a Laser that has a change or addition not allowed by the class rules you will
be disqualified from the race. Ignorance of the rules is no defence.
In our sport in every club and class there is the odd person who needs to cheat to win.
Cheating is doing something that you know is illegal. Whether you gain an advantage
or not is irrelevant.
Our class is strong and popular because we believe in a strict one design and our sailors
want to know that they are racing on equal terms. The ILCA takes a very strong line
with Laser sailors who do not sail according to the rules. There have been cases in the
past where sailors who have sailed with illegal boats have been banned from sailing a
Laser. Such a ban can be for life.
If action is also taken under the racing rules, the ban can cover racing in any boat.
Our class is much bigger than the odd person who wants to gain advantage by illegally
changing the Laser or its equipment. They can sail in other classes where the rules
allow changes to a boat to get an advantage. We do not want them with us.
i personally would only soupport an indestructable laser and that would only be if they didnt change aneything else e.g. weight.
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