Preview: New Laser Rudder

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by rock steady, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. rock steady

    rock steady New Member

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  2. computeroman2

    computeroman2 Member

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    Is there really a new class-legal rudder in the works?


    Do we know anything at all about it, for example quality control, stiffness, etc?

    Production date?
     
  3. sailor327

    sailor327 New Member

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    hmh what is the benefit of this and would they do this with the centerboard also.
     
  4. WestCoast

    WestCoast New Member

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    news to me. maybe it *floats* :)
     
  5. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Hmmm. Foam biscuit? Sounds like the inside of the current rudder. Are you sure you were not looking at an aggressively sanded rudder?
     
  6. The Boathouse

    The Boathouse New Member

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    IF the class ever came up with a new rudder it would be much higher aspect and at least a foot deeper then the old one...This looks like someones DIY project..
     
  7. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Saying "new Laser Rudder" gives, probably, the wrong impression. It is supposed to be the same shape, dimensions, weight, etc., as any current Laser rudder. What should be different is the construction technique (maybe more efficient?) and supplier. As I understand it, there is concern that current blades are sole-sourced and from tools/methods which are "old." You see these "new" blades (no centerboards yet?) in Australia because the Australian builder is taking the lead on development there (like Vanguard has taken the lead with the composite spars).

    Note that this is not the first try at "alternative" blades (remember back about 3 years at the last go round).

    As I said, that is my understanding and maybe already a little out of date.

    Tracy
     
  8. rock steady

    rock steady New Member

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    Yes there is a centreboard as well (no pics yet). Sorry if I gave people the wrong impression. It certainly is a new build though.

    It was exactly the same in dimension and shape as what we are using now. The rudder construction looks very tight, as if it would hold it's shape better than the current one. It also looks easier to maintain as the surface seemed very hard. On top of that it looked damm fine.
     
  9. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    How flexible is the trailing edge compared to the current boards ?
    And not that anyway has done it on purpose (maybe they have :) ) but how does the board respond to heat ? ie the old board warps when left in the car during the summer.
     
  10. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    I spoke with the guy using this rudder while we drifted along on Saturday afternoon at the NSW Masters, waiting for the breeze. He said that new boats in Australia will be supplied with these from this week.

    The production versions are built in the same way as this prototype, but will be lighter in colour. It did seem to have a much better finish than the current blades, and looked like it would be more resilient too. My understanding (which could be wrong!) is that these will eventually be supplied around the world from the Australian factory.

    How did you go in the regatta Chris? It's always a great event.
     
  11. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Just speculating a bit....

    There are literally hundreds of plastic molding companies around the world who could make tooling and produce a board exactly like the board supplied with the last 100,000 Lasers. WE CAN find a new supplier.

    The introduction of a blade made with different materials will absolutely create "two different blades." One will almost certainly be perceived as better than the other in some condition. The "better board" will be the preferred board and one design Lasering will be screwed up just a little more.

    If we believe we need another supplier to make Laser boards, we should circulate some specs, obtain a few bids, evaluate those bids and hire (perhaps for a short term test) another company...or two or three.

    The introduction of an entirely new blade seems like just that.

    If we are going to introduce a new blade we need to :
    1. Tell the world we are looking
    2. Look over the proposals.

    My thought? If we are going to open the blade for development again, let's see what other blades will fit the trunks and last forever with no maintenance. Can we improve the performance of the boat? Can the rudder be made better? Can the blades be made for less money?

    So...Is there any reason to scrap the current blades and replace them?

    Note: There are probably 100.000 Lasers still in condition to race somewhere. New blades will cost those owners of those boats no less than $200 each.
    This $20,000,000 decision seems like a no brainer for a potential supplier. It also seems like a no brainer for those who will be forced to spend the $20,000,000.

    Hey sailors!! THINK!!!
     
  12. Dennis

    Dennis Member

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    Hi, Fred,


    I am THINKING, all right, and I think my new "Big Olson" rudder is still the way for outlaws like me to go!

    Dennis O.
    Tomales Bay, CA
     
  13. Steve_Landeau

    Steve_Landeau New Member

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    I think if a skipper has to worry about warping a blade because it's left in the car for a day, then yes there is a real problem with what is being offered (and controlled btw). I firmly believe that a new supplier should be sourced (yes, sailmakers too). No, this is not a call to make boats faster, just more economical. One design Laser sailing should not be as expensive as it is. I have no problem paying $500 for a sail, or $300 for a blade, but I do have a problem if I have to buy one every season.
    See the difference? A better made part will not make the boat go faster if the specs remain the same. It should, however make the class more affordable in the long run. Boats/parts will last longer and have even better resale value than before. The only entity that won't like this are the ones that have been raping the pockets of Laser sailors since the class went olympic. BTW, at the prices we are currently paying for parts, better won't even cost more!
     
  14. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    It sure seems like a dam shame to me for the Class to come out with a blade that has new construction and a better finish, but not to go ahead and change the shape so it won't stall out so fast when it heels over.

    IF the new rudder really IS better in any way, everybody's going to want one anyway, so why not make it right?

    When asked what he would change about the "perfect one-design" Laser, designer Bruce Kirby said "First I'd make the rudder bigger" (or words to that effect).

    Yes, it will be a $200 upgrade, but hey, tons of people spend $200 on carbon fiber tiller extensions for little to no gain in performance and handling. Nobody's going to mind a new rudder that actually allows you to steer the boat in big breeze.

    Why didn't somebody on the World Council ask this??

    dyzzy
     
  15. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    It sure seems like a dam shame to me for the Class to come out with a blade that has new construction and a better finish, but not to go ahead and change the shape so it won't stall out so fast when it heels over.

    IF the new rudder really IS better in any way, everybody's going to want one anyway, so why not make it right?

    When asked what he would change about the "perfect one-design" Laser, designer Bruce Kirby said "First I'd make the rudder bigger" (or words to that effect).

    Yes, it will be a $200 upgrade, but hey, tons of people spend $200 on carbon fiber tiller extensions for little to no gain in performance and handling. Nobody's going to mind a new rudder that actually allows you to steer the boat in big breeze.

    Why didn't somebody on the World Council ask this??

    dyzzy
     
  16. vtgent49

    vtgent49 Member

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    Hi,

    An externally glass wrapped foam blade would undoubtably be stronger, especially along the trailing edge (TE). The centerboard TE is really inadequate as it is, as even a 120 pounder can snap off a 6" sharkbite by climbing on it the "wrong" way. I'd also think it would be very hard to warp the TE.

    Presumably both boards are being prototyped in GRP. Hopefully they won't have to reduce the amount of steel re-bar to make the final weight. But, without reducing steel, a GRP board will be stiffer. Thus better in some conditions.

    The drawbacks of GRP would include having less material to sand fair w/o damaging what can only be a very thin glass wrap.

    The wood boards had stronger TE's, and were stiffer. So much so, that the class had to outlaw the swapping of boards. In this case I'd guess there will be some (many?) who will rush to get the new boards.

    And if the new ones are brown vs. white? Well, that will only increase the "blade envy" factor. So, I think this is more like a 500-600. US$ issue, not a 200.

    Al Russell 182797
     
  17. Owyn in Barnsley

    Owyn in Barnsley New Member

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    Is it just me who doesn't mind the little rudder? it makes you sail the boat right. having a bigger one would make you lazy like those fireball sailing tarts.
     
  18. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Hi Lainie,
    The goal was to be able to source the "same" blades from a different supplier and definitely not to enter into an R&D effort designing a new rudder and make a major change in the way the boat sails. In what was discussed "Same" meant same dimensions, same stiffness and weight specifications and built using a technique already allowed by the Laser Construction Manual. I am told that "GRP" is a technique already allowed by the LCM in addition to the reinforced polyurethane foam technique used by the current (sole) supplier (Crompton). So, if the "new" blades meet the requirements then we're going to see them soon. If they don't then, like the last time GRP blades hit the street a few years back, you'll never see one.
    As to "better"... only time will really tell, but given the experience with the last round of GRP blades, I'm betting on another Hyde vs North war, always entertaining but with no solid evidence of one being superior to the other where it counts - on the race course. (We could ask our Australian friends who started this thread if the guy sailing the boat with the new blades won or not...)

    Tracy
     
  19. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Yeah, but your're still making it different, so why not make it a real improvement to the boat?

    If all the people seriously racing will buy one anyway, it makes sense to me to make it a whole new rudder.

    Was this discussed? Was a vote of WC members taken as to who just wanted "same blades, different supplier" vs. "a whole new blade" from whoever would build it properly.

    New rudder design was discussed at the 1997 WC meeting in Chile, and a new prototype rudder was actually tested by WC members - including me - in Melbourne in January of 1999.

    It's not like it's a new idea . . . as I said earlier, Kirby has wanted to change it for years.

    Busted Lainie

    aka Gilgamesh - still throwing stones at the lions. From a distance.
     
  20. Rob E

    Rob E Member

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    We could have a much better rudder.

    My other boat is a Hobie 16. It has EPO rudders. AIUI these are foam core with
    an outer epoxy-fiberglass layer. They are stiff and won't melt in your car. The
    rudders for the H16 are larger than the laser rudder, and they cost $250.

    The easy solution would be to make them the same size and shape as the
    existing laser rudder.

    Switching to EPO would require a rules change, because it has a performance
    advantage. Everyone would need to get one to be competitive. Is it worth
    it to have everyone need to upgrade?
     

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