2019 Sunfish Worlds

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #22
Thanks, LaLi. I suppose that's why the sell off the race boats after the event. It does sound like a good deal to purchase one of those boats, barring any sort of defects. Do they sell them off locally? If so, what would be the procedure and cost to have one shipped to the US?
I received the following note from the Sunfish Class Office (ISCA):

There will be one container remaining in Bonaire and at least one going back to the States to dealers. I believe you will be able to buy one of these boats in that manner. If you have any questions, contact Coco Solsvig at LP for more details.
 
#23
Well aside from all the new Sunfish I have seen this year having their hull number start with GB I don’t have any proof. You could also email the class leadership for confirmation. I’ll put $1000 and my cone on the line!!

Also can you prove your crooked daggerboard slot story?
Daggerboard slot story; here is what I have so far:
PDF file #1) Partial document from BOD meeting on June 30th 2017. I can't post full document because it contains financial and other info that I'm not at' liberty to provide to the general public.
PDF file #2) Challenge Record Number #8 that presents daggerboard slot problem with repair not permitted.
I hope that this will satisfy your and others' curiosity.
That's not everything, and just a starting point. Also, I have some interesting story about LP owner, but I have to dig it out from my emails.

How big is your fleet and how many of new boats with hull number that start with GB?
What is your fleet number?
 

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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#24
I just read this. I have seen it before as it is published on sunfishclass.org. That episode from 2015 and 2016 predates the manufacture of Sunfish in China. Ergo it is a US made boat.

FYI Joe Blouin is a sailor from Florida and has no relationship with the manufacturer.
 
#26
Yes, I see it now. I remember reading about it in the BOD minutes two years ago, but didn't look into the case until yesterday.
LP had quality problems BC (before China).
I will keep digging. So far nothing about Sunfish made in UK. No announcement by ISCA, ISCO or LP.
I think that if the boats are made in UK all three would make a lot of noise about that.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#27
Yes, I see it now. I remember reading about it in the BOD minutes two years ago, but didn't look into the case until yesterday.
LP had quality problems BC (before China).
I will keep digging. So far nothing about Sunfish made in UK. No announcement by ISCA, ISCO or LP.
I think that if the boats are made in UK all three would make a lot of noise about that.
ILCO was launched by LP to try to take over the class from ISCA, - and LP seems to have given up on ISCO, so they won't be saying anything. LP is the manufacturer of the boats, so they are the ones who decided to make them in the UK - and I doubt that they think sailors care where the boats are made. Further, there is a theory some boats are still being made in China.

What do you think ISCA would "make noise about?" I can't imagine they are happy the boats are being made without foam blocks, but I don't think they have any recourse. You could check with the ISCA leaders to get their perspective.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #28
Does ISCA have a construction manual for Sunfish builders, like the Laser Class has (the mythical Laser Construction Manual)?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#29
I think Lasers and Sunfish are different in that I believe ILCA owns the rights to the Laser design and licenses builders. Whoever makes Sunfish owns the design - First it was Alcort, then AMF bought Alcort, then Sunfish Laser came about, etc. So it is a different setup. The class tries to work with the the builder - I believe some builders are more receptive than others. The Shadow daggerboard - a topic of discussion elsewhere on here - was a debacle and it took years for the class to convince AMF to make a better board.
 
#30
ILCO was launched by LP to try to take over the class from ISCA, - and LP seems to have given up on ISCO, so they won't be saying anything. LP is the manufacturer of the boats, so they are the ones who decided to make them in the UK - and I doubt that they think sailors care where the boats are made. Further, there is a theory some boats are still being made in China.

What do you think ISCA would "make noise about?" I can't imagine they are happy the boats are being made without foam blocks, but I don't think they have any recourse. You could check with the ISCA leaders to get their perspective.
ISCA made a lot of noise about moving production to China so they would definitely say something if boats were made in UK. General opinion about Chinese made goods still stands. Quality is low and inconsistent, and for sailors who race Sunfish quality is important. For LP the only thing that counts is money. US labor is very efficient and UK labor no so much. I addition, UK labor is more expensive and Europeans have more regulations than US. US by far is the largest market for Sunfish. If LP had any intention of building Sunfish outside of China, the boats would be made back in the US. There is no way LP would throw money away and make Sunfish in UK. This is that simple. LP ordered boats from China with GB in serial number, and some think that it stands for Great Britain. In reality, it stands for Garbage Build (cooperation of China and LP)
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#31
I think Lasers and Sunfish are different in that I believe ILCA owns the rights to the Laser design and licenses builders.
No one, including ILCA, owns any rights to the Laser design. The big deal is the trademark. ILCA does license builders but they have to be trademark owners as well. That rule is actually being changed right now (today is the last day of voting!) and is whole another big, messy issue.

For LP the only thing that counts is money.
That is something that's become very clear during the last few years. Not what is best for the sailors.

If LP had any intention of building Sunfish outside of China, the boats would be made back in the US. There is no way LP would throw money away and make Sunfish in UK.
Well... LP already wrapped up all production in the US a few years back, and to restart it at new facilities would certainly cost something. On the other hand, they quite likely have extra capacity at the Oxfordshire plant, especially as they've reportedly moved production of other boats (including US collegiate dinghies, I believe) to Portugal. And what else would "GB" actually stand for?

_
 

Dickhogg

Active Member
#32
LP-UK are actually in Northamptonshire. As previously mentioned, a guy there told me over the phone that they were making sunfishes there. Perhaps, for some inexplicable reason, he was joking?
 
#33
California Dude said - There is no way LP would throw money away and make Sunfish in UK. This is that simple. LP ordered boats from China with GB in serial number, and some think that it stands for Great Britain.

Hey California Dude - are you Les? If so, I have moved back east - Glad I got to sail with all of you in Mission Bay while I was out there!

LP stated their intention of moving production of Sunfish to the UK in January. Hopefully this link will take you to the Facebook post https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=LaserPerformance tariff&epa=SEARCH_BOX But here is the important part for this discussion:
"As a result of the US-China trade war, we have decided to set up our own manufacturing facilities in Portugal with the objective of becoming fully operational by this year end. Manufacturing of all sloops and collegiate sailing boats will be given priority. Our existing resources in China will continue to supply the Asian markets. Laser Sailboats manufacturing in Banbury, UK, will expand to include the Sunfish boat."

They produced some test boats from the UK in 2017, and seem to have switched at least some production there last year. I have seen several boats that have hull numbers starting in GB this year, including the one Conner Blouin sailed at the 2018 North Americans in IL and won the midwinters in this year. The ISCA president, Rich, has a new boat with a hull number starting in GB also.

The hull number is a legal thing, so I have to assume it I would be illegal for LP to claim the Sunfish they are importing came from the UK if they were really produced in China.

Anyway, happy sailing all regardless of where your boat was produced!
 
#37
California Dude said - There is no way LP would throw money away and make Sunfish in UK. This is that simple. LP ordered boats from China with GB in serial number, and some think that it stands for Great Britain.

Hey California Dude - are you Les? If so, I have moved back east - Glad I got to sail with all of you in Mission Bay while I was out there!

LP stated their intention of moving production of Sunfish to the UK in January. Hopefully this link will take you to the Facebook post https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=LaserPerformance tariff&epa=SEARCH_BOX But here is the important part for this discussion:
"As a result of the US-China trade war, we have decided to set up our own manufacturing facilities in Portugal with the objective of becoming fully operational by this year end. Manufacturing of all sloops and collegiate sailing boats will be given priority. Our existing resources in China will continue to supply the Asian markets. Laser Sailboats manufacturing in Banbury, UK, will expand to include the Sunfish boat."

They produced some test boats from the UK in 2017, and seem to have switched at least some production there last year. I have seen several boats that have hull numbers starting in GB this year, including the one Conner Blouin sailed at the 2018 North Americans in IL and won the midwinters in this year. The ISCA president, Rich, has a new boat with a hull number starting in GB also.

The hull number is a legal thing, so I have to assume it I would be illegal for LP to claim the Sunfish they are importing came from the UK if they were really produced in China.

Anyway, happy sailing all regardless of where your boat was produced!
Chris, I was hoping that you would take me up on my offer, but it looks like this isn't going to happen any time soon.
At least you have Brian and Will to play with, assuming that you are not too far from New England.

Thank you for chiming in and presenting a smoking gun, so it seams.
It looks like LP is in transition, and sooner or later we will know for sure the final outcome.

I will stick with my outlandish idea because that is what I would do if I were in control of LP and a short term profit was my goal.
It is clear that a possible US - Chinese trade war requires some business adjustments.
Here is my business plan that might be already in use by LP.
1) Produce all parts in China, but leave boat haul parts as separate components. This way all labor intensive work and materials are taken care of.
If HIN is a problem, leave room in gelcoat for final assembly or laser engrave.
2) Pack everything matryoshka style (this way you can ship a lot more boats 3 maybe 4x more) and ship to UK or other country with less costly labor (Portugal, Poland, Lithuania) for final assembly.
3) Use "proper accounting" so the cost of production and material in China is 49% and final assembly 51%.
Someone just posted that LP will no longer install foam blocks in Sunfish.
This will perfectly fit with my idea, but will make boats sail like pigs.
Also, with foam not present, boats will have short life span. This is very good for LP, but not for customers. Old boats are just too durable, and this is not good for business.
Nice story isn't it?
 
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