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.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!
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?