Fees for the Laser Hull Plaques & Sail Buttons?

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.

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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.

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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.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#37
I wonder if LP has paid the outstanding royalty fees for the last decade. That dispute seems to have "disappeared".
I believe round 2 of that is still going on in a Connecticut court. That everybody involved have obviously agreed to not talk about it publicly is probably a good thing.

Not in NW Europe. Parts supply has never been / is never a problem. Everything is readily available.
In NE Europe you've been able to get most of what you want most of the time, but I understand it was a bumpy ride for my former local dealer. There's no walk-in store anymore, so it's either the Internet or a day trip to a neighbouring country now.

-
 

thieuster

Active Member
#38
n NE Europe you've been able to get most of what you want most of the time, but I understand it was a bumpy ride for my former local dealer. There's no walk-in store anymore, so it's either the Internet or a day trip to a neighbouring country now.
Yeah, that's the difference, I suppose. The dealer is 40 mins. from my home and has a proper webshop - for when I'm too lazy to make the trip.

Menno
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#39
Yeah, that's the difference, I suppose. The dealer is 40 mins. from my home and has a proper webshop - for when I'm too lazy to make the trip.

Menno
Must be nice. Now it appears you may get to feel the pain MANY of us have been enduring for YEARS! Once you've been in our shoes a bit you'll understand our feelings.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#40
The dealer is 40 mins. from my home
I used to live only 2 km from the dealer's warehouse... could have pulled the trolley I bought from him home along the sidewalk :D
But now it's a 2.5 h ferry ride + a 3.5 h drive to the nearest dealer with a real shop, in Riga. (And I'm not sure if they have a very wide selection of parts.)

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