Fees for the Laser Hull Plaques & Sail Buttons?

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #1
Here is a question regarding the Laser World Sailing Plaque & Sail Button, for which Mr Google did not provide an immediate answer... LaserPerformance slashed its prices by approx. US$1600 in the UK (1250 sterling) for complete non-class Lasers. The world sailing plaque and sail button seem to amount to just a very small part of this amount. Maybe a combined total of around US100. Does anyone know what are the precise current fees for the World Sailing / Laser Class plaques as well as for the sail button royalties? How much goes to World Sailing, how much to the Laser Class?

WS-ILCA-plaque.jpg
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#3
No idea except that it's likely some relatively small, almost symbolic amount. Some ILCA official who reads this could enlighten us... unless of course it's a secret.

But to answer your question in the other thread, "It would be great to know why there is such a price difference between the two types of boats", it's (nearly) all about the immaterial added value of being a class boat. That's certainly how LP has calculated it, and the new fake boat price still includes the trademark value, as the product is still legally called a "Laser".

The same has applied for a long time to all other equipment. Now it's hulls and whole boats, too.

_
 

thieuster

Active Member
#5
Thanks for posting this! Interesting article with solid arguments.

One thing though: The Optimist-scene has several suppliers of first-class sails: North, J-Sails etc. Even with a few suppliers on the market, there’s no evidence of lower prices.
 

thieuster

Active Member
#6
Even with a few suppliers on the market,
*few = more than one.

Added to that: Optimist sails are, compared in sq. ft, even more expensive than Laser sails. I know the guy who owns Optiparts and Windesign (with one 'd' - these are Dutch companies), but I'm sure he will not 'show his cards' when I ask him about the prices for sails...

M
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#7
"how can one explain the price difference between class and non-class sails? " Easily. Read my previous post above. Or this. But one more time: illegal parts, including sails, are cheaper exactly because they are illegal. They lack that one very important feature, so they should cost considerably less. The math is very simple. In that article, you make the same mistake as countless others in thinking that the price of fake sails is the "real" price of a legal sail and "The price of the class sails seems in fact to be kept artificially high".

It actually never ceases to amaze me how people complain about the price of Laser sails. They are some of the cheapest racing sails anywhere! Menno already touched on the fact that sail prices are much higher in classes where the free market is allowed to reign. I always compare the Laser and the Europe: a sail for the latter from my local sailmaker features a roughly similar cut and cloth (and of course, area) as the Standard Mark 2, and it costs 1150 euros. A Lightning jib (roughly the size of a Radial sail) from the same loft is 920 €. And no one's talking about "slashing" those numbers! (And no, they're not that much durable, either.)

Sure, Laser sails could be licensed to more sailmakers than the current two. They could even have their own tack patches and the right to sell them independently of the hull builders. But it's rather wishful thinking that it would lead to lower prices, at least without heavy regulation.

_
 
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#8
Am I missing something? For several days I have tried to find WS/ILCA-noncompliant Lasers for sale on the Laser Performance UK site, and can find nothing; only Lasers which are advertised at the normal price. (They don't say whether or not they are ILCA/WS-compliant.) Same goes for Sailboats, which is the major Laser dealer in the UK.
Can someone point me in the right direction?
 

thieuster

Active Member
#9
Back to my experience with Optimist sails: the producers often use only one or two channels to sell their items. E.g.: J-Sails, Olimpic and Optimax (= Optiparts) are all sold through one supplier here. The supplier has some 'room' for sales and special offers; but most are pretty much in the same price range. Most sails are around the 340 euros mark. None of the sails is made from superior fabric! More or less all are the same.

Optimist sailors (i.e. their parents...) choose the sail with the regatta results in their hands! A few years back, J-Sails (Poland) ruled the waves. As did Toni Tio and Olimpic a few years earlier. Slowly, Optimax conquered the slipways. Most forget that it's the sailor who's the winner, not the sail. Good Optimist sailors can win with a handkerchief tied to the boom (well... sort of).

Those sails are sold with a written document stating the precise measurements of that sail. Only then, the Class will allow a button. Most big names provide the sail with a button

With the introduction of more suppliers for Laser sails, things will turn like the Optimist sails. A short drop in retail prices: the new name wants to get a piece of the action. Then everybody focuses on the 'brand vs success' ratio. Same will go for a situation with different suppliers of the hull. Again: take the Opti-class as an example: Winner, McLaughlin, Devoti: all A+ brands, but all in the same price-bracket.
 

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #10
*few = more than one.

Added to that: Optimist sails are, compared in sq. ft, even more expensive than Laser sails. I know the guy who owns Optiparts and Windesign (with one 'd' - these are Dutch companies), but I'm sure he will not 'show his cards' when I ask him about the prices for sails...

M
Opti sails are a different matter. They are not standard. There is R&D involved, with new models all the time. So there are no such large batches as with Laser sails. When you purchase at big regattas, you can have sails from the top manufacturers below 300 euros. This with the sail numbers installed and the measurement certificate. Such sails are typically produced in Europe, with higher wages than where the Laser sails are typically produced. You can get non-class Opti sails for less than US$100. Those are not typically suitable for advanced sailors, who typically train with used class sails. Also note that Opti sails are nearly always rolled. When you look at the Laser sails at major championships, especially in light wind, even the top sailors can be seen having pretty big creases in the sails.
 

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #11
Am I missing something? For several days I have tried to find WS/ILCA-noncompliant Lasers for sale on the Laser Performance UK site, and can find nothing; only Lasers which are advertised at the normal price. (They don't say whether or not they are ILCA/WS-compliant.) Same goes for Sailboats, which is the major Laser dealer in the UK.
Can someone point me in the right direction?
Greetings.

For non class sails, follow the links in the article:
It’s High Time to Slash the Price of the Class Laser Sails - Optimist, Open Bic, Youth & Olympic Sailing Blog

For the non class training boats:
Laser Laser 1 for sale UK, Laser boats for sale, Laser used boat sales, Laser Sailing Dinghies For Sale NEW! LASER CLUB EDITION - TRAINING BOAT - Apollo Duck
 

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #12
Back to my experience with Optimist sails: the producers often use only one or two channels to sell their items. E.g.: J-Sails, Olimpic and Optimax (= Optiparts) are all sold through one supplier here. The supplier has some 'room' for sales and special offers; but most are pretty much in the same price range. Most sails are around the 340 euros mark. None of the sails is made from superior fabric! More or less all are the same.

Optimist sailors (i.e. their parents...) choose the sail with the regatta results in their hands! A few years back, J-Sails (Poland) ruled the waves. As did Toni Tio and Olimpic a few years earlier. Slowly, Optimax conquered the slipways. Most forget that it's the sailor who's the winner, not the sail. Good Optimist sailors can win with a handkerchief tied to the boom (well... sort of).

Those sails are sold with a written document stating the precise measurements of that sail. Only then, the Class will allow a button. Most big names provide the sail with a button

With the introduction of more suppliers for Laser sails, things will turn like the Optimist sails. A short drop in retail prices: the new name wants to get a piece of the action. Then everybody focuses on the 'brand vs success' ratio. Same will go for a situation with different suppliers of the hull. Again: take the Opti-class as an example: Winner, McLaughlin, Devoti: all A+ brands, but all in the same price-bracket.
Greetings. I got first hand experience with the Optimist. And at first glance neglected the equipment aspect, as nobody told me about it. But as the sailor gains expertise and goes to international events, worlds etc. equipment matters a lot. It looks a bit like a jungle, with so many manufacturers, but if you get the right advice (hard to get ; not that many people in the know), then you can make proper choices and contain equipment costs. It's a bit of an arm race indeed. Except for the sails, most of the equipment retains a decent resale value. So it's a matter of navigating cleverly in the Opti scene. It takes a lot of parental time unfortunately in North America. In Europe, there are few parents involved, as the teams travel by bus, with the boats and coaches, to regattas.

https://optimist-openbic-sailing.blogspot.com/2019/02/a-note-about-those-spin-off-classes.html
 

thieuster

Active Member
#13
I like the article. Especially the part about the needlessly intricate design of the Optimist. Indeed, it isn't easy to rig, adjust and sail. And it should have a self-bailing set-up. Sadly the international Optimist class is pretty old-fashioned with that, I suppose. Furthermore: an Olympic coach told me that most (not all) medal winners didn't do well in the Optimist. Not bad sailors, of course. But not the top-of-the-bill. In so many words: you don't need an Optimist to become Olympic champion.


On the matter of Regattas... Garda is by far the biggest and perhaps the nicest, weather-wise. We, here in Holland have the Dutch Youth Regatta (DYR) with at least 400 Optimist sailors. Mostly from Europa, but also a lot from as far as Singapore or South America. Fun thing is, that the other classes like Laser, RS-X, Nacra etc are also on the water. In total about 1000 boats. There are also clinics for kids to join and try another type of boat. No matter if you're from Singapore or Peru: if you want to try a Nacra with a Dutch coach, you're welcome to try. This year, we see a lot of youngsters going from the Optimist to the RS-X surfboard. That's has a lot to do with the clinics from the Dutch World and Olympic champions during the 2018 DYR!


About what you wrote: I agree with that! You need to keep out of arms-race between parents buying the most incredible stuff for their kids. The same parents that go mad when their kid didn't win... ("I am not here to find out that you got a BFD twice today!" is what I heard on the slipway at the end of a gruesome long and wet sailing day with a few hundred young kids around us).

According to my son's stories about Radial sailors from other countries, a bunch of sailors are backed by endless sums of money from very-well-to-do parents. Last Europa Cup in Hyères: the Dutch crew was waiting for their plane home (cattle class... 36 euros for a single way ticket!) when one sailor arrived at the airport and was guided through customs towards a waiting private jet from his father, ready to him home! At least one other sailor from Asia has an annual budget of $200k, including the Coach' salary. The risk is, that when the rules are 'loosened' that it's the money that will able some people to buy faster equipment. Therefore, I'm pretty happy with the tight rules, even when it implies expensive sails - but at least the same material for all!
 
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JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #14
I like the article. Especially the part about the needlessly intricate design of the Optimist. Indeed, it isn't easy to rig, adjust and sail. And it should have a self-bailing set-up. Sadly the international Optimist class is pretty old-fashioned with that, I suppose. Furthermore: an Olympic coach told me that most (not all) medal winners didn't do well in the Optimist. Not bad sailors, of course. But not the top-of-the-bill. In so many words: you don't need an Optimist to become Olympic champion.


On the matter of Regattas... Garda is by far the biggest and perhaps the nicest, weather-wise. We, here in Holland have the Dutch Youth Regatta (DYR) with at least 400 Optimist sailors. Mostly from Europa, but also a lot from as far as Singapore or South America. Fun thing is, that the other classes like Laser, RS-X, Nacra etc are also on the water. In total about 1000 boats. There are also clinics for kids to join and try another type of boat. No matter if you're from Singapore or Peru: if you want to try a Nacra with a Dutch coach, you're welcome to try. This year, we see a lot of youngsters going from the Optimist to the RS-X surfboard. That's has a lot to do with the clinics from the Dutch World and Olympic champions during the 2018 DYR!


About what you wrote: I agree with that! You need to keep out of arms-race between parents buying the most incredible stuff for their kids. The same parents that go mad when their kid didn't win... ("I am not here to find out that you got a BFD twice today!" is what I heard on the slipway at the end of a gruesome long and wet sailing day with a few hundred young kids around us).

According to my son's stories about Radial sailors from other countries, a bunch of sailors are backed by endless sums of money from very-well-to-do parents. Last Europa Cup in Hyères: the Dutch crew was waiting for their plane home (cattle class... 36 euros for a single way ticket!) when one sailor arrived at the airport and was guided through customs towards a waiting private jet from his father, ready to him home! At least one other sailor from Asia has an annual budget of $200k, including the Coach' salary. The risk is, that when the rules are 'loosened' that it's the money that will able some people to buy faster equipment. Therefore, I'm pretty happy with the tight rules, even when it implies expensive sails - but at least the same material for all!
Hi. Interesting comments you write. And yes there is crazy stuff going on. I was in Europe last summer and saw many approaches with youth, depending on countries. Success can be achieved different ways. In France for example, there is lots of help by the government, with school / training center partnerships (pôles). Having a budget is one thing. Plenty of other ingredients are needed.

Just one precision. Tight rules for sails actually implies cheaper sails. That's how non-class sails, where there is no R&D, are probably produced at less than US$50, as they are retailed at about US$100. The class sails are probably produced at about the same cost. This is achieved though large quantities and manufacturing in low wage countries. I am pretty sure you would be even happier to buy legal sails, produced according to tight rules, at a fair price -- the very idea pursued in the article.

And for the RS:X; not sure it's that tempting by itself. The goal now is wind-foiling ... and you can have a high end package that allows you to sail at 20 knots, for the price of a Laser, or even less. And you take it with you in the plane for regattas.
 

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #15
"how can one explain the price difference between class and non-class sails? " Easily. Read my previous post above. Or this. But one more time: illegal parts, including sails, are cheaper exactly because they are illegal. They lack that one very important feature, so they should cost considerably less. The math is very simple. In that article, you make the same mistake as countless others in thinking that the price of fake sails is the "real" price of a legal sail and "The price of the class sails seems in fact to be kept artificially high".

It actually never ceases to amaze me how people complain about the price of Laser sails. They are some of the cheapest racing sails anywhere! Menno already touched on the fact that sail prices are much higher in classes where the free market is allowed to reign. I always compare the Laser and the Europe: a sail for the latter from my local sailmaker features a roughly similar cut and cloth (and of course, area) as the Standard Mark 2, and it costs 1150 euros. A Lightning jib (roughly the size of a Radial sail) from the same loft is 920 €. And no one's talking about "slashing" those numbers! (And no, they're not that much durable, either.)

Sure, Laser sails could be licensed to more sailmakers than the current two. They could even have their own tack patches and the right to sell them independently of the hull builders. But it's rather wishful thinking that it would lead to lower prices, at least without heavy regulation.

_
Hi. Laser sails are on very strict measurement so no R&D involved. And there are big batches produced. The production cost out of Thailand or another location is probably around US$50 - actually maybe less. Same cost for class and non-class sails (except for the button). IMHO, the non-class sails provide a good indicator of what should be a fair / competitive pricing for Laser sails. I have seen examples of classes which get the sailmakers bid for batches of sails, in order to get the lowest price - at a specified quality / measurement - to the benefit of the sailors. Maybe an example to follow ...
 

thieuster

Active Member
#16
The RS-X or it's owner will evolve into foiling, I'm sure about that. A few of my son's Laser team members also sail the Waszp. Another evolution that's going on, boat-wise. One of his teammates did his final-year project about a foiling Bavaria... He had big fun with that project (science and maths-wise). but what's more important: with the America's Cup boats on the top-end of the mountain and the interest of young sailors for foiling on the bottom of the mountain, it will not take long before the hard-to-move-and-rusted International Classes have to move towards more speed, more action.

Combine the new developments with the current mess of ILCA vs LPE and I get the feeling that this quarrel is nothing more than de lana caprinaia rixari. A quarrel that's not worth fighting for. When the dust has settled, the caravan has moved on leaving all parties with empty hands.

Back on track: looking at prices of the RS-X and the parts... well, these are eye-watering as well! 800 euros for a sail is not cheap. I have no idea how long they stay in proper condition, though. That puts the Laser parts in perspective!
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#17
Laser sails are on very strict measurement so no R&D involved. And there are big batches produced.
Research and development costs don't add 60 or 70 % to the price of an individual sail of a one-design class; even "tailor made" sails are practically always about small tweaks to an old proven design. And the actual physical sailmaking is still a handicraft - it doesn't matter much if you make ten or a thousand similar sails as each is put together individually.

No matter how you look at it, Laser sails are still comparatively cheap.

The production cost out of Thailand or another location is probably around US$50 - actually maybe less.
What do you base that number on? Do you have a source?

Same cost for class and non-class sails (except for the button).
You still don't get it. Want it or not, the button adds considerable immaterial value to the product, which is (and should be) reflected in the price. Just staring at the production costs is pretty naive.

IMHO, the non-class sails provide a good indicator of what should be a fair / competitive pricing for Laser sails.
Why? Should the fake sails then be even cheaper?

_
 

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #18
Research and development costs don't add 60 or 70 % to the price of an individual sail of a one-design class; even "tailor made" sails are practically always about small tweaks to an old proven design. And the actual physical sailmaking is still a handicraft - it doesn't matter much if you make ten or a thousand similar sails as each is put together individually.

No matter how you look at it, Laser sails are still comparatively cheap.

What do you base that number on? Do you have a source?

You still don't get it. Want it or not, the button adds considerable immaterial value to the product, which is (and should be) reflected in the price. Just staring at the production costs is pretty naive.

Why? Should the fake sails then be even cheaper?

_
Well if you want to pay a highly priced sail, it will always be an option for you. But frankly the sails are not cheap for what they are, obviously, the non-class sails providing a plain demonstration.

If a non-class sail sells for around US$100 retail, imported in the US, it's a reasonable guess that the production cost should not exceed US$50 - as there is transportation, and obviously retail margins involved.

As indicated in the blog post, the buttons could stay, or go. Whatever. What is needed is to have several approved sailmakers, competing with each other, and producing exactly the same class approved sails.

The fake sails would progressively disappear probably. Rooster, Intensity, and others may prefer to make class legal sails if they are welcome by the class to produce them.

If there are huge changes with the Laser and the Laser class, why not fix this once and for all? And actually, such competition should apply to the existing 3 sails - 4.7, Radial, MKII - but also to the upcoming ones ... C5, C6, C8 ... Not sure such idea would be welcome everywhere ...

Anyway, the class may need to fix this in the context of the Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory policies demanded by World Sailing. Such policies are not supposed to apply to the hulls only.
 

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #19
The RS-X or it's owner will evolve into foiling, I'm sure about that. A few of my son's Laser team members also sail the Waszp. Another evolution that's going on, boat-wise. One of his teammates did his final-year project about a foiling Bavaria... He had big fun with that project (science and maths-wise). but what's more important: with the America's Cup boats on the top-end of the mountain and the interest of young sailors for foiling on the bottom of the mountain, it will not take long before the hard-to-move-and-rusted International Classes have to move towards more speed, more action.

Combine the new developments with the current mess of ILCA vs LPE and I get the feeling that this quarrel is nothing more than de lana caprinaia rixari. A quarrel that's not worth fighting for. When the dust has settled, the caravan has moved on leaving all parties with empty hands.

Back on track: looking at prices of the RS-X and the parts... well, these are eye-watering as well! 800 euros for a sail is not cheap. I have no idea how long they stay in proper condition, though. That puts the Laser parts in perspective!
As you may know, RS:X / NeilPryde is also being under evaluation by World Sailing regarding 2024, and may need to abide well before then to FRAND policies ...
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
#20
Well if you want to pay a highly priced sail, it will always be an option for you. But frankly the sails are not cheap for what they are, obviously, the non-class sails providing a plain demonstration.

If a non-class sail sells for around US$100 retail, imported in the US, it's a reasonable guess that the production cost should not exceed US$50 - as there is transportation, and obviously retail margins involved.

As indicated in the blog post, the buttons could stay, or go. Whatever. What is needed is to have several approved sailmakers, competing with each other, and producing exactly the same class approved sails.

The fake sails would progressively disappear probably. Rooster, Intensity, and others may prefer to make class legal sails if they are welcome by the class to produce them.

If there are huge changes with the Laser and the Laser class, why not fix this once and for all? And actually, such competition should apply to the existing 3 sails - 4.7, Radial, MKII - but also to the upcoming ones ... C5, C6, C8 ... Not sure such idea would be welcome everywhere ...

Anyway, the class may need to fix this in the context of the Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory policies demanded by World Sailing. Such policies are not supposed to apply to the hulls only.
There is a really simple solution. If you think the costs for legal sailing equipment is too expensive, go sail a different class or take up another sport. The strength of the class comes from tight control of the design, monitoring of the builders and the ILCA involvement in putting on 6 World Championships per year, in most cases with the equipment being provided to the competitors. The sale of the Buttons and Plaques are used to partially fund those events. There are plenty of other classes around where no one cares if you went to the most expensive loft / boat builder or made your own sail or boat.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#21
Well if you want to pay a highly priced sail, it will always be an option for you.
I don't understand what that is supposed to mean. If the price of legal Laser/ILCA sails comes down the way you want, how would you pay more? Are you envisioning special "de luxe" Laser sails? Or are you referring to other classes?

frankly the sails are not cheap for what they are, obviously, the non-class sails providing a plain demonstration.
The only thing obvious here is that you keep refusing to understand the fundamental reason between the price difference. Immaterial things have a monetary value. Please try at least to acknowledge that.

If a non-class sail sells for around US$100 retail, imported in the US, it's a reasonable guess that the production cost should not exceed US$50 - as there is transportation, and obviously retail margins involved.
If we're talking about USD 100 sails, then we're talking about inferior quality and exploited labour.

the buttons could stay, or go.
The button is a neat and smart way to mark an official sail, in addition of being a tax stamp. If you get rid of those, you need something else. Actual (ink) stamps fade away, and sewn marks can be replaced and faked much more easily.

What is needed is to have several approved sailmakers, competing with each other, and producing exactly the same class approved sails
If the products are identical, how would their producers compete? I assume you're (wishfully) thinking that they would lower their prices, but it's just as likely (or even more so) that the prices rise as more people than one would think equate "best" and "most expensive". Even with political (ILCA/WS) regulation, it's likely that sailmakers would ask for, or close to, whatever the maximum would be.

The fake sails would progressively disappear probably. Rooster, Intensity, and others may prefer to make class legal sails if they are welcome by the class to produce them.
Steve Cockerill might actually do something like that, because he knows the class and what he's doing. Others who don't would go on selling fake stuff because that's their business.

The only thing that the class really needs is the removal of the regional sales limitations, and that really seems to be coming now with LP out of the game. I agree that having a choice of several suppliers is a good thing, not primarily for the competition between them, but to have a steady and reliable global supply of equipment.

_
 

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #22
There is a really simple solution. If you think the costs for legal sailing equipment is too expensive, go sail a different class or take up another sport. The strength of the class comes from tight control of the design, monitoring of the builders and the ILCA involvement in putting on 6 World Championships per year, in most cases with the equipment being provided to the competitors. The sale of the Buttons and Plaques are used to partially fund those events. There are plenty of other classes around where no one cares if you went to the most expensive loft / boat builder or made your own sail or boat.
This is a very undistinguished comment. If you read my article you would see that the buttons only raise about 15US$ per member. I did not suggest to forgo those revenues. But that they could possibly raised differently. If there was competition and fair pricing, there wouldn't even be non-class sails, as the button fee is very low. I am a strong supporter of youth sailing in the Laser, especially if its flaws are fixed and its cost is controlled, even reduced, thanks to new builders. And yes, it's not only the hulls, it's also the rigs, the sails for which costs need to be brought under control. Now, in terms of the work of the class for controlling builders, you may want to enlighten us exactly about what happened with the Aussie Lasers. How many such higher spec Lasers were produced? What kind of impact did that have on the results at regattas? Why didn't the class came public if there was an infrigement, and why apparently no sanctions towards the builder? You seem to be in the know, so I think many people would like to learn about this, as clearly, transparency is not the modus operandi of the class.
 

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #23
I don't understand what that is supposed to mean. If the price of legal Laser/ILCA sails comes down the way you want, how would you pay more? Are you envisioning special "de luxe" Laser sails? Or are you referring to other classes?

The only thing obvious here is that you keep refusing to understand the fundamental reason between the price difference. Immaterial things have a monetary value. Please try at least to acknowledge that.

If we're talking about USD 100 sails, then we're talking about inferior quality and exploited labour.

The button is a neat and smart way to mark an official sail, in addition of being a tax stamp. If you get rid of those, you need something else. Actual (ink) stamps fade away, and sewn marks can be replaced and faked much more easily.

If the products are identical, how would their producers compete? I assume you're (wishfully) thinking that they would lower their prices, but it's just as likely (or even more so) that the prices rise as more people than one would think equate "best" and "most expensive". Even with political (ILCA/WS) regulation, it's likely that sailmakers would ask for, or close to, whatever the maximum would be.

Steve Cockerill might actually do something like that, because he knows the class and what he's doing. Others who don't would go on selling fake stuff because that's their business.

The only thing that the class really needs is the removal of the regional sales limitations, and that really seems to be coming now with LP out of the game. I agree that having a choice of several suppliers is a good thing, not primarily for the competition between them, but to have a steady and reliable global supply of equipment.

_
Greetings. My first comment was a bit cynical and maybe not warranted. I received quite a bit of push back. suggesting that keeping the situation regarding sails as it is should be the way to go. Clearly, you are not in that category.

I have actually a bit updated the story. You can check it on the blog. The two brands of class sails seem to be made in as low wage countries as the non class sails, namely the Phillipines and Sri Lanka. The cost of the material - dacron - may differ a bit. But overall, the labour and material costs are minimal for the production of sails. And they are very similar for class and non class sails. And the button is just around US$10.

What is unclear is to what extent World Sailing is going to force higher competition among sail manufacturers and will bring prices signficantly down. The current marketing system for sails may also need to be revised; it may be a key reason why the non-class sails are so much cheaper.

And yes, I think that all the class sails will need to look very very much the same. With whatever numbering, bar code, button system that works best, to allow for a genuine enforcement of the measurement.

Maybe some liberty could be provided in terms of the colors, drawings etc ? on the sails. That would not affect the performance yet provide for differentiation. Just an idea.

I am certain the class can do a lot to fix the situation. If there is a will, there is usually a way ...

Cheers.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
#24
Now, in terms of the work of the class for controlling builders, you may want to enlighten us exactly about what happened with the Aussie Lasers. How many such higher spec Lasers were produced? What kind of impact did that have on the results at regattas? Why didn't the class came public if there was an infrigement, and why apparently no sanctions towards the builder? You seem to be in the know, so I think many people would like to learn about this, as clearly, transparency is not the modus operandi of the class.
Don't believe everything that LP publishes.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
#25
The irony from my understanding is that LPE struggled with quality control on hull construction that you could get a boat that was under weight or over weight, that is, it was outside the tolerance. I also remember a time when people imported boats from Europe/USA into Australia because they were better quality.
 

thieuster

Active Member
#26
There is a list with data. Every dealer has a list with numbers from boats in stock: the weight, the rake of the mast of every LPE boat has built. I have seen the list 'in stock' back when we bought our Laser. We were able to choose from that list. At that time there was a weight difference of about 1 kg between various hulls on that list, 15 or so boats. I cannot remember the difference in the rake (angle between the hull and the mast pulled backwards - I'm sure that others can be more specific about that).

I also know that Marit Bouwmeester makes test runs with various hulls before she decides to pick a new one; there's a club where she can launch the boat(s) next to the dealer's premises. I guess that - at her level - she must feel a difference between various hulls, I guess. I've also heard -not confirmed- that there was an uproar last year in Arhus, Denmark because of some sailors who weren't happy with the 'feel' of the charter boats. As said, not confirmed. That all adds up to the idea that not all boats are equal.

I remember that, when I bought my son his first Optimist (a Far East), the boat came with all sorts of documents with various data - the measurement certificate. A few years later, when I bought him a Winner, the same sort of papers came with the boat. When buying the Laser, I received a credit card-sized document stating that this boat '... was built within the rules of the ILCA and World Sailing.' That's all, no numbers, no data.

Menno
 
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LaLi

Well-Known Member
#27
I remember that, when I bought my son his first Optimist (a Far East), the boat came with all sorts of documents with various data - the measurement certificate. A few years later, when I bought him a Winner, the same sort of papers came with the boat. When buying the Laser, I received a credit card-sized document stating that this boat '... was built within the rules of the ILCA and World Sailing.' That's all, no numbers, no data.
Well, that's because of the fundamental difference in the rules in those classes: the Optimist is not an SMOD, so every boat actually has to be measured, and have it all recorded on a certificate. That's how it is with all "old" classes, with roots in small-batch and even amateur building. The Sunfish was the first to do away with that, and the Hobies and the Laser followed. The consumers have obviously liked the concept.

I've also heard -not confirmed- that there was an uproar last year in Arhus, Denmark because of some sailors who weren't happy with the 'feel' of the charter boats.
That's the good thing about supplied equipment at major events! No one can bring a "special" or "tweaked" boat to these, which makes for a more level field.

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thieuster

Active Member
#28
That's the good thing about supplied equipment at major events! No one can bring a "special" or "tweaked" boat to these, which makes for a more level field.
True and I agree with you!

But the message I got from that event was that not all supplied boats supplied there were the same. (As I said, I have no confirmation or first-hand knowledge).
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#29
the message I got from that event was that not all supplied boats supplied there were the same
Of course, that many boats (hundreds!) can't be totally identical. It's just something you have to live with. But this brought to my mind the only time I've done some remotely "Marit-like" choosing, which was when my father bought a boat from the 1999 Youth Worlds. I got to pick from four spare hulls stacked on their trolleys; the Indian judge at the regatta pointed where you want to push on the topsides, and there really was a small but noticeable difference! So I got to take the stiffest. It was a good boat.

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AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
#30
There is no such thing as identical anywhere in the universe, you just need to accept that slight variations are normal and work within a tolerance. The laser class has fairly big tolerances. A good builder can easily build within those tolerances and a skilled builder can work within a specific area of those tolerances without any issues.
 

JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #31
Don't believe everything that LP publishes.
Two ILCA letters (Defect Notice; Notice of Commencement of Arbitration and Notice of Subject Matter of Dispute or Difference) were released by LP, so we are starting to get a good picture of the story, and it does not look good at all ... 2,280 non-compliant boats produced over a period of 9 years ... the whole thing being undetected by the ILCA inspection system and being hidden from sailors after it was discovered ...

Aussie Lasers: Damaging ILCA Emails Released - Optimist, Open Bic, Youth & Olympic Sailing Blog
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#32
we are starting to get a good picture of the story
The point of which is what? That's all just whataboutism from LP's part. Like, "see how that other kid didn't get punished for something much worse that they did!" Pretty childish. What do they think they're achieving with that?

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JPKI

New Member
Thread starter #33
The point of which is what? That's all just whataboutism from LP's part. Like, "see how that other kid didn't get punished for something much worse that they did!" Pretty childish. What do they think they're achieving with that?

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“It shall be the policy of the Association to maintain the Laser as the epitome of a strict one-design class of sailboat.” — International Laser Class Association Constitution. -- check it out ... ILCA Constitution – International Laser Class Association
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#34
So? What should we do differently now that LP thinks they've shown that it's actually PSA and ILCA who are the evil characters in this play?

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AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
#35
I wonder if LP has paid the outstanding royalty fees for the last decade. That dispute seems to have "disappeared".

For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone in the area previously supplied by LP, would want to support them. In the 10 years I've been posting here, the most common complaint seems to be the lack of supplies available from LP, not sails, no boards, no this and no that.
 
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