I did not assume anything about what you think. I just said it was an interesting topic, and brought out some more issues. In fact, I think we pretty much agree. At least, you make a lot of points that are similar to mine.
Gouvernail aka Really cool guy:
Yes, but the topic is related: it was mentioned earlier that the carbon mast section brings a bigger advantage to lighter radial sailors, a category most female sailors fit in. This is something that in my opinion should be applauded and can be seen as another argument to let men and women sail in one class, without separate awards, which is, some of us think, sexist.
Back on the subject but sticking with sexism and carbon top sections.....
Currently we have a male aluminum top section with male plugs stufffed in its female ends. The male plugs are held in place by male rivets inserted in female holes in the male aluminum and plastic parts and those male rivets are secured in place by pulling the male part out of the female part of the rivet until the male part snaps off at the opening to the female part. The female collars are held in place with rivets whose male part is pulled to expand the female part where it serves as the male fastener inside the female holes in the aluminum and plastic. The entire assembly serves as the male part of the mast.
That male part of the mast fits into the female part of the mast which has a male part which is inserted into the boom....and on and on and so forth
focusing again on the subject>>>
The carbon top section with no collar and fewer or no rivets would, for Lasers as a whole, remove some of the need to identify sex.
:Last> I know what Georg meant but, in his last sentence, he wrote the exact opposite. Dang fool English language..phooey
Carbon top mast sounds exotic - but the cost was part of the europe's demise in terms of accessibility in Olympic selection because it flowed on tho sail cost as well - a competitive rig was worth as much or more than the boat.
Carbon is certainly strong and light - but it may not be the total answer to improved gust response in very rough winds/wave conditions.
Experience in Australian 18 ft skiffs (a somewhat different dynamic due to the ratios and stayed sloop rig configuration) was that a flexible 'non-carbon' tip on a pre-bent 9to the max) lower section gave gust response that released pressure progressively from the head (and restored pressure vis a vis) in response to the wind's roughness. This type of dynamic potentially responds automatically more rapidly than any manually adjustable rig can and permits closer to optimum control than can be achieved with a manually adjustable set-up.
For the Laser, the problem is firstly that it is a one design - so no single flex is going to optimise the all sailor weight/experience/condition equasion, secondly the unstayed rig and current bottom sections are a different dynamic and it is likely that a stiffer bottom section may be required, thirdly the sail is currently cut to provide a compromise between high wind and light air performance on a particular alloy 2 section spar-the challenge of getting current sails to perform to an optimum on a revised carbon top section is not as straightforward as some may imagine.
We do not need a new Laser M oddity that becomes actually harder for lightweights to handle than the current rigs. We also do not need to follow in the footsteps of other classes that have simply increased the cost of participation and reduced the universitality of one design by adopting custom exotics.
I am not suggesting we ignore progress (I understand the new Byte Mylar Carbon rig is a great improvement- but both the rig and sail needed to change). The advantage of the Laser in its current guise is simply that if you are light you should expect to do well in light air - if not you will excell when the wind comes in. Increased adjustability from new gear and skill can blurr prior boundaries of performance in various conditions, but in the end, with equal skill and experience/weight/fitness/technique in particular conditions
sailors of radically different weight and height will all have a differnt design wind - so they will be individually challenged or advantaged in different conditions.
Maybe we should just except this, and possibly consider 'weight divisions' in addition to the age categories currently adressed so w can just enjoy our sailing.
The comparisons with other development fleets who have allowed carbon deveopment spars is not particularly valid.
The carbon spar is being sold to the Laser Class for a number of reasons.
One reason is absolutely NOT ..anybody can make one of his own to optimize his own performance with his specially and personally designed sail.
In fact the Laser class is being sold carbon by people who tell us they can find suppliers who will produce reliable spars which are more consistently uniform than the aluminum spars we have been using for 35 years.
We are also being told the carbon spars would last longer and rearrange the stress on the rig such that fewer lower sections would break or bend.
If all the sales points are achievable, the carbon spar will save money for most of the sailors who regularly sail radial rigged boats.
I don't know whether any of the claims are true, but I do know I will be quite vocal if we are being sold something and we are presented with something else...
Because they truly love the game and are doing their best to help Lasering and radializing and the 4.7opolitans world wide, I believe most of the world council members hold true to that position.
Carbon top sections wil not cause a laser rig arms race
We sure wouldn't have the same sales pitch and I don't think the same carbon top would work fairly in the Lasers as the Radials
1. Laser lowers almost never bend...unless there is a bad batch of aluminum which happens but the builder has been good about backing that with replacements.
sooo...Full rig sailors, unlike some of the nbigger Radial sailirs, don't buy a new lower after every windy regatta...so we don't need carbon for that reason.
2. The crbon top section goal for the Radial is to make something more flexible to depowewr the rig and to lower the weight of the competitive sailor...so the Radial game will actully serve the clientelle the Radial rig was introduced to serve.
3. Top sections could still be aluminum and last a ton longer if we would simply redesign the damned rivet out of the system ( Yes! I do have a cheap and simple way to do it which could be retrofitted to any rig for less than $20)
and maybe we don't even need anything..
I have not bent a top section since I listened to real engineers and switched to the rivet on the side technique. I'm a big fat guy. If anybody ought to bend top sections...fat dudes should.
Note: Slam dunking remains the number one cause of top section bending.
Further note: Slam dunking while riding the weather rail with the sail high in the air and the boat accelerating is the number one perfect way to ruin a top section.
If you slam dunk an E Scow you bust that mast too. How bad shpoiuld we insist a klutz should be able to screw up without hurting the boat?
research for yourself : There was quite a thread about slam dunk prevention on the old email list
4. Why did I put a 4.?? .I am sick of typing already.