The class IS listening

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by 49208, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Let me do a 180 and explain why it IS in our best interest to let the monoply builders control their own businesses..

    The builders have bills to pay, employees to feed and families of their own to feed. They want the Laser game to continue so they can continue to feast of of it. They MUST keep their product good enough to maintain the customer base or their financial world will crumble.

    Messing with the boat must always be done carefully.
    1. The boat has to continue to be marketable
    2. The builder must continue to make a profit

    Buy our really great boat that is built with a very short serviceable racing life...


    Has fed lots of families for over 30 years.

    and the game played by the customers has been teh best one design single handed sailing game for a very long time.

    It is reasonable to believe in continuing with that which works.


    Note: I think they are screwing us royaly by failing to build the very best product they can possibly produce, but by gum they are PROFESSIONALS!!!!
     
  2. Deimos

    Deimos Member

    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I had never realised this was what was being discussed. I thought the new sail idea was for a limited number of manufacturers to provide a better lasting sail, ideally giving no performance advantage (or penalty). Certainly opening-up the supply of sails to any manufacturer would be something I would be against as it would definitely take the boat a long way from its "strict one design". It would very quickly result in endless discussions about this that or the other sail designer having a faster sail. Some people would attribute their (poor) results to a duff sail and winge about company x being "slow". There are loads of classes with that available and for me one of the attractions of the Laser is that this happens less.

    Of course I would like a cheaper sail and/or a sail that lasts longer, etc. but that is very different from wanting to allow "any brand of sails".

    Ian
     
  3. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The only thing being tested/discussed is a new design from the existing suppliers.
     
  4. Deimos

    Deimos Member

    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I would have thought in an ideal world it should be an equitable balance. Of course a company has to make a profit, pay employees, etc. and of course a customer wants a keen price. When the balance is right most people should be happy. However, maybe in the world today the greed factor takes over and it is no longer about a fair price for a fair product giving a fair profit (etc.) but more about separating the customer from as much of their money as you can.

    I'm not an economist but can see that when you have good free competition, whilst the greed factor is still present, it has to be balanced against your competitors greed. It is about making as much money as you can rather than making as much profit per article as you can (OK I accept its a bit more compex as you need to bring in return on investment and profit as a percentage of turnover, etc., plus some aspects of maintaining your market, etc, etc.).

    In some respects a Laser is a monopoly. The builder is only really competing for market share rather than against equivalent products. Given that the Laser is so dominant in its class (i.e. one design, single hander, large fleets, quick to rig, etc.) the builders have to do little to sell the boat to people looking for such a class. Competitors face something of an uphill struggle. Thus, the builders have much greater scope to set their pricing independant of other companies. Less competition means they can exploit their customer base more and greed (excessive margins) can become a bigger factor.

    How I see it anyway. As to if/how much this happens with Lasers - everybody will have their own opinions.

    Ian
     
  5. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    There are lots of businesses where a similar investment could make more profit for the builders.

    They must in some way be in the small boat business out of a love for small sailboats.

    But the fact they might make a bit less money if they supplied fabulous sails does not deter me the customer and end user from wanting a high quality product.
     
  6. knot_moving

    knot_moving Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I haven't been involved in sailing that long and in laser sailing for just over 2 years. I saw my first finns up close this fall at a regatta & the first thing that came to mind was the difference between the finn & laser is like the difference between a porsche and my miata.

    my miata is a cheap easy way to get into a really fun 2 seat convertible, but you can't mistake it for a porsche. Likewise my laser was a really cheap and easy way to get into some fun & very challenging sailing, but its a whole different thing from sailing and owning a finn & both the miata and the laser are a whole lot more accessable to me that the porsche or the finn!

    So as the gouv so eloquently says they are screwing us royally -- and I still love sailing my laser and driving my miata
     
  7. knot_moving

    knot_moving Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16

    earlier I tried to make the point that they could come out with a much better product and sell it for a higher price & still make more money and have happier laser sailors. So here goes again:
    only a very small percentage of sailors buy a new sail every major regatta (2%- 5%?). A significantly greater percentage buy a new sail every year (25%-50%?). The rest of us buy a new sail less frequently or buy the old sails from the ones buying new sails once a year or more.

    If the new sail stayed competitive for 2 years of racing, then the 5% would still be buying multiple sails a year because of the number of days they sail. The ones who buy a sail once a year would now go to once every 2 years, but that means that I don't have nearly as many old sails to buy, so I am more likely to buy a new one every other year too.

    So if the cost of the sail that stayed competitive for 2 years is 1.25x the current cost, and the builder/dealer sells it for 1.5x the current price, then the builder/dealer probably makes more money & we gripe about the exorbitant price, but if the quality really is such that it is competitive for 2 years, then I think people are happier & willing to pay & the builder/dealer makes more profit per sail and probably more profit per year.

    ...of course as you said somewhere else - they are the professionals and they have real marketing gurus with real excel spreadsheets that must prove the above logic all wrong. So I will continue with my crappy old class legal sail that I use once a year and otherwise I'll use my intensity sail -- both ways I'm on the water and having fun!!

    ... btw Sunday it was 24kts 10min average gusting to 30+. Some people actually had their boats flat for most of the upwind legs. I wasn't one of them, but I did survive it and had a blast and we had 14 lasers plus 4 other boats in our portsmouth fleet
     

Share This Page