the future of sails

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by PaulM, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. PaulM

    PaulM New Member

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    I recently purchased a new radial sail. It cost ~$1000 (AUS). At my club where I sail there a number of Tasers, a new set (main & jib) of mylar sails cost around $650 (AUS). These sails stretch very little and last a long time, much longer than Laser sails. Will this ever be the way we go with Lasers?
     
  2. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Paul, there's been quite a bit of discussion relating to the quality and price of Laser sails here on the forum. You can find some of the old threads using the Search feature on the bar.

    I reckon we won't ever go that way with Laser sails. The manufacturer only allows 2 venders, North and Hyde, so that we are a true one-design class. These sails have strict quality controls, only you might not like what their parameters for quality are. This would not be bad, except that the sails are priced as if they are premium grade. The general impression is that they are making buckets of money, and no one from the company has visited us to disabuse us of that notion.

    If you are sailing only at the local level, you probably don't have to buy a class legal sail. I'm pretty sure that no one from my club would complain if I used a practice sail for the Sunday afternoon races. A practice sail can be obtained for half price or less. Of course, you'd have to be careful to not end up with a worse sail than the class legal ones, and this might take some experimentation.
     
  3. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    If the legal sails are such rubbish as everyone seems to believe then it's entirely possible that a so-called "practice" sail from another sailmaker would actually be better than a legal sail. Would the folk at your club complain then?
     
  4. 144679

    144679 New Member

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    over here in the uk and i think the rest of europe you can only purchase hyde sails,

    the peeps @ my club wouldn't be bothered and they aint if we use practice sails its only if we hold an open where they require us to have a class legal sail,
     
  5. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't know. If I ever decide to use a practice sail, I'll ask them, but I seriously doubt it.
     
  6. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    This seems to be a bit of a slippery slope IMHO. If I show up with a new set of blades (or insert any other part including spars and hull) that I made to save some coin and proceed to do better then I ever have prev, is that fair to everyone else ? For true practice, where it's just a couple of us thrashing about, it would be totally reasonable that I would substitute in some low cost similar performing parts, to save wear and tear on my race stuff, but as soon as the word "race" factors in, I would prefer to know that I am sailing with all class legal stuff, and would prefer that my competitors were too...
     
  7. LPW

    LPW New Member

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    someone should start organising regattas where only a certain make of practice sail is allowed, such as the rooster one.
    Would save everyone alot of money, and would really annoy North and Hyde!
    Who knows, maybe then they would consider lowering their prices!:D
     
  8. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    Hi Paul.

    I don't want to be picky, but the Tasar sails cost quite a bit more than $650. About $AUD1550, plus delivery (ex Sydney), plus sail numbers, but you do get a set of battens included. There were discounts (7% I think) if you bought from the first batch of the new mylar sails, but that offer ran out last year.

    It is interesting though that the new mylar sails are significantly cheaper than the previous Tasar Dacron sails, which cost close to $AUD2300 (plus extras) for a full set. The new sails are over 30% cheaper, for an allegedly better product.

    Being fully battened, the dacron Tasar mains did last well, but to compete seriously you still had to buy need a new set every season or so. I agree that the Laser sails are way overpriced, but it is still one of the cheapest classes to sail.

    Tony
     
  9. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    Where I used to teach sailing we had great success with Neil Pryde Club Sails for the Laser. They are not "better" in terms of performance but were awesome for their durability and low cost for training relative beginners. These sails lasted through a phenomenal amount of abuse from heavy use, LOTS of flogging and capsizes for several years. Compared to a class legal sail they were adequate in our weekly beer can racing -- good sailors could beat people with class legal sails but, of course, between guys with more or less equal ability the one with the class legal sail would usually do better.

    Obviously they're not for a serious racing program but for clubs or other programs, this might be a cost effective way of getting a full fleet of equal sails at a much more affordable price (I think they were about $275 - $300 each with a minimum order of 10).

    -Steve
     
  10. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    If you haven't read this thread, check it out
    http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=3007
     
  11. glasky

    glasky Member

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    From a purely cost perspective, there used to be a ready supply of secondhand and relatively unscathed sails available for the club racer because of championship attendees need to buy a new sail for each regatta.

    A friend recently forwarded me a web link to a special offer on 'practice sails' apparrently discounted as part of a default on a dealer order. On investigation these were more expensive than good second hand 'race legal' sails adequate for at least club level competition.

    Maybe we just need a better network for for buying and selling good used sails when we decide to upgrade??

    GL
     
  12. Cenutrio

    Cenutrio New Member

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    700 euros, no battens, no sail bag, no numbers, is the cost for a std. hyde sail in Spain.

    I fount it outrageous, they're crap. They should cost ~350 euros and laser still would make a 200 euros profit.
     
  13. IntensitySails

    IntensitySails Member

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    Our Practice sails will measure in as Laser class legal sails do by dimensions. We are forced to use a firmer fabric that will break in over a longer period. I have raced mine with other class sails and my finishes have been where they were when I sailed with the class legal sail.

    The real reason that prompted me to develop my sails is that to be competitive in a Laser you really need a new sail every year at the least. At nearly $500 that can be tough for many sailors.

    If you put the wear on the practise sail you can stretch the life of the expensive class legal sail out.

    So I developed the Intensity practice sail. I include everything you will need; battens, numbers, clew strap, and nylon sail storage tube. I am trying to add free yarn tell tales and disks for the next batch. We have sold out the first 50 and have 100 full rig sails coming in May.

    I now have the first sample of the radial sail. I am planning on 100 of them as well.

    I also found the cost of top and bottom covers to be a bit steep. So I have those at $99 each.

    I am a Laser sailor and class member. My old boat was 110195 and my new one is 185839. I am just trying to keep the cost of great sailing down.
     
  14. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    You could make sailing, for everybody else, cheaper by giving the sails and covers away.

    Sailing is already way cheaper than it's ten times more popular cousin powerboating.

    Laser sailing is about the cheapest form of competitive sailing.

    Your services seem well thought out and should have a waiting market. I sure hope you are properly compensating yourself for providing the service.

    You customers are generally well to do hobbyists who live in nice homes, drive nice cars, dress well, attend or send their offspring to fine institutions of higher education, have health and retirement plans at work, and most certainly do not perform their professions at a discount rate.

    They will be happy to take your services for free, and they will also be happy to purchase your products at a fair price.

    If your sails and covers are as good as the high price products, you have no reason to sell your product for a low price...Unless of course you just don't like counting money.
     
  15. IntensitySails

    IntensitySails Member

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    I assure you I am not in a charitable venture. I am structured to my costs.

    I would disagree, however, that Laser sailors are all on the wealthy side. Many of the folks who are out there are supporting families and mortgages. So sailing dollars are competing with new roofs and phone bills. A used laser can be purchased and with our products can be raced for less that the price of a carbon fiber road bike. Ours can be a very accessible sport. I would like to keep it that way.
     
  16. nicka

    nicka New Member

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    The near identical thread to this is running on yachts and yachting! Obviously a popular theme.

    But 'tis true. Laser's prices and service are poor. North are making laser 3000 sails out of 29er style mylar, complete with battened jib, for 80% of laser's originals. My spanking new rooster laser 1 sail cost the same as a second hand laser one. And the pico sail I bought off laser (its a triangle, nothing fancy) was over £300 without numbers or sail bag and came looking like it had been ironed into its packaging.

    Buy someone elses sails, just to buck their ideas up. Well done Mr Styluscentral I say.

    Meanwhile - how about a new Laser Plus class, using the existing hulls but a carbon rig and a mylar fully battened sail. That might be fun. Seen the Byte CII compared to the original Byte?!!! Come on Bethwaites, you know you want to.
     

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