ILCA Class Rules vote ends July 31 (tomorrow!)

Chris123 said:
Or, set up the rules to allow people to use whatever mousetrap they want, as is the case for tillers, tiller extensions, mainsheet blocks, side deck cleats, and a few other things. Nobody has yet explained how the class benefits from mandating this particular solution, as opposed to letting people try out their own solutions.

When I sailed Moths, albeit 30 years ago so dont know what they do now, but we used a simple track and slide which worked very well. Available off the shelf from any boat chandlery. Cheap and very efficient.

Many people may have tried this new sleeve out, and say it works well, but was any of them ever asked if any improvements could be made to it.
Mate, the Laser is a one design class. The purest one design class. Always has been, and hopefully always will be - our success is built on it. Development classes are about everyone being able to design their own mousetrap, and the game becomes about fiddling with gadgets as much as going sailing. Good luck to those who enjoy that game - there are plenty of classes for them to choose from. For better or worse, there is some flexibility in the Laser class rules (tillers etc), but suggesting we apply this flexibility more broadly is suggesting a fundamental change to the nature of the class.

I would be amazed if the people who tried out the new sleeve didn't suggest improvements, and I would be amazed if some of these suggestions didn't reach the final product. It has been in development for a few years now and has undoubtly been greatly refined over that time. Just because you have only just become aware of this process doesn't mean it hasn't been going on for years.

You seem to be intent on arguing against this fitting (which has already been approved by at least two thirds of your fellow Laser sailors) when you haven't seen or used it, even though everyone who has seen or used it raves about it. Are they all wrong? Obviously most of us trusted their judgement and/or our own instincts when we voted for it sight unseen - but how else can the process be managed? Send 5,000 fittings all around the world so we can all play with it before voting?

If you think you can do a better job then go for it. Spend your $100 on designing something, then spend the next few years convincing everyone else that it works better. Then get the class to vote for it, and maybe if you are really lucky it will be legal in time for the Olympics in 2012. Or you could just accept that the Laser is a one design class, spend the $100 on the new fitting (or persist with the strap and spend the $100 at the bar) and go sailing.
Well Mate.... You obviously have no idea if improvements were ever suggested and acted upon. Did everyone who voted, know that they were voting on this exact sleeve as it is now, or on the idea of a solid sleeve. What were the questions asked in the vote, I havent been able to find them

Lets look at your so called purest one design class:

We have a choice of 2 brands and designs of turbo vangs
We have a choice of 2 brands of sails made from different cloth
We have a choice of spars which differ from country to country. How many threads have there been here about getting hold of Aussie spars because they are better
We have any number of choices of tiller
We have any number of choices of toe straps
We have any number of choices of mainsheet ratchet blocks
We even have a choice of mainsheet eye straps

So Mate... it seems we have a choice of nearly everything above the waterline, EXCEPT a solid clew strap. Its choices that make for competitive pricing, better design, personal preference.
If you are having a problem with North sails, then you have the freedom to go and buy a Hyde sail, and if enough people are having the same problem, then North will very soon realise that they need to pickup their act and make a better sail or they just wont sell any. I am happy with my North sail because it was my choice.

So you take your $100 and go and buy it, not because you really want this particular one, but because its the only one.


168664, I checked the International website, where the stuff to vote on was published, and it is no longer available. I'm sorry that you missed reading it. You are not the only one who feels passionately about being able to supply your own, but personally, I'm happy to buy the one that will be available and feel that the one design stuff has to start and end somewhere. I have a sample of the outhaul as a gift from Tracy Usher, AKA SFBayLaser. Mine is a next to last generation, in other words, the final edition has an improvement. I'm very happy with it even still. I mailed it to a sailor on TLF, and he loved it too. He had it rigged backwards, I believe, and it still performed superbly for him. I hope you try it, you might like it.
Thanks Merrily.

Im sure that this sleeve will work. My point is that I believe it could work better.

From this thread of 2 years ago, it appears that any modifications have only been cosmetic at best.

It also appears that there has been no open discussion (or argument as Leftfield likes to call it) on the design since photos were not allowed to be publicly released.

The only questions asked have been "do you want a metal sleeve as opposed to a piece of spectra cord." Well of course everyone will answer "yes"

If I were to buy one of these, am I allowed to alter it. Can I take the hook off and use a shackle. Can I take the block off and fix the outhaul directly to the clew eye, as allowed in the rules. Can I add an adhesive Teflon strip to the inside to reduce wear on the boom
Thread starter #26
168664 said:
It also appears that there has been no open discussion (or argument as Leftfield likes to call it) on the design since photos were not allowed to be publicly released.
There is, of course, this thread from last May. Note that those pictures are of the production prototype (notice the Laser trademark on the sleeve).

The voting page of the ILCA website did contain a detailed description of the boom sleeve/clew hook - with photos - and this web page was reproduced in the last three issues of The Laser Sailor (as well as the last Laser World). During the voting period (February through the end of July), a large number of questions were fielded, here on TLF, on the Laser email list, on the Masters email list, and in other places, including some voicing the same question as you pose now. The vote was on the specific wording of a rule change which allowed for a "builder supplied fitting" and the pictures provided were of the proposed builder supplied fitting. Personally, I'm quite happy that this fitting had a good discussion, that a large number of people involved in the discussion were able to trial the production prototype fitting and comment and that we appear to have a good solution to simultaneously provide reduced friction AND a quick release mechanism - which was the goal all along.

There were four rule changes proposed, all passed with, if I recall correctly, better than 80% approval. The next step is to get ISAF approval at the November meeting (which should be a formality) and, unless a hiccup develops there, these four new rules will go into effect the beginning of December. It is my understanding that the boom sleeve and clew hook fitting will be available for purchase mid to late November. But I am not priviliged to either production or delivery schedules.
The photos together with the proposed wording of the new rule were available for some time before and also during the voting process. There was considerable discussion on the web and particularly via the laser email list about the fitting, and I am sure there were plenty of offline discussions at sailing club bars around the world - I know there was at my club.

Our elected representatives considered the introduction of the fitting with the due caution we would expect of them (as shown in the thread linked to above), and once they were happy, asked us to vote on it. They gave us photos and information to help us decide, and others voluntarily provided testimonials. The class voted to approve the change. Two years have passed since the World Council first looked at the sleeve and it was being designed and discussed for a couple of years before that - the now defunct DrLaser web site had photos and information pretty much from when the first prototype was designed.

Of course a better fitting could be designed. Which Laser part couldn't be improved with some redesign? But that isn't the point. All changes to the boat are a carefully managed compromise between minimising obsolescence and cost while maximising performance and durability without having too great an impact on the one design nature of the class. A well tested evaluation process exists and the approval mechanism is democratic and well informed, like it should be.

Apart from the ISAF rubber stamp, the deal is done - although some spoke out against it, the majority of members voted for this fitting, as it is. It's time for the class to move on to the next problem, of which there are plenty. Maybe the short lived sail, or the easily bent mast section, or the inadequate rudder. In my opinion, all much greater challenges than the clew sleeve.
There seems to be a more than normal push to get this particular sleeve approved. And anyone who has a vested interest in getting this sleeve approved should declare their hand. Valid questions are not being answered and are simply glossed over and dismissed

looserLu said:
- How to prevent wearing (abrasion of the surface) at the boom?
- Isn't it better, to have the gromment inside of the new Clew Tie Down (I mean: using a shackle instead of the hook)
The point of the hook is to provide a simple quick release. I doubt you can really get the clew closer to the boom with any sort of hook, shackle, etc. since the cloth of the sail is already hitting the boom. You can, of course, use a tie down line or a clew strap to get it a bit closer since then you can strap the grommet right down on the boom. I've not yet had any indication that at my level of sailing I can detect any performance difference...
This has not so far been a problem in my experience. The fitting is sliding along the boom but not really scraping. Maybe over the long term with lots of usage it will scrape through the anodizing, I suppose we will see...
His question was not about the hook, it was about it being better to have the gromment inside the sleeve, and use another method of quick release
The problem with abrasion was simply dismissed as not being a problem.


gouvernail said:
it would work better if the outhaul line were rigged slightly differently.
The line in the photo is led such that the moving part on the block is against the boom and it can bind.
You can rig the line going through the pulley so it runs in the opposite direction.
As you point out, the real problem is the line rubbing on itself in the eye at the end of the boom. Old habits die hard I guess, I'm trained to dead-end the line at that eye, hence you avoid most of the friction of the line rubbing on itself there by running it the way it is shown. I don't really notice any friction from that particular type of line rubbing on the boom...
This is not answering the question, or statement really. It was about the block on the sleeve pressing on the outhaul line between it and the boom, not about friction going around the boom fairlead


crazyuncle said:
How does the shockcord tie on to the sleeve? Can't see from your pictures.
Good question, I've not thought about it. I don't use a shock cord, it not really being necessary, IMHO, in anything but the lightest winds and... well... that's not an issue where I sail normally.
But... maybe hook into the clew grommet?
Again virtually dismissed as not a problem... although it appears that shockcord is needed and with no means of attachment been provided, as Merrily goes on to say:

Merrily said:
Also, I added shockcord to the trial boom sleeve that SFBayLaser gave me. There's plenty of light air at my club. I tried the sleeve without a shockcord and it didn't return easily in light air. I had to use 3/16 inch and was just able to fit it through and tie it to the pin that holds the hook. It worked well then.
It works. Very little friction. McLube only in light air.
SFBayLaser said:
John Christianson looked at the pictures I posted and reminded me that the correct way to run the outhaul line has it going to the right side of the fitting, not the left as I have it. My excuse is a combination of "I'm right handed" and "I've always done it that way."
This problem has not been addressed, using a hook will always be a potential risk, even in John Christiansons own words

John Christianson said:
The final integrity of this fitting rests on the sail never coming off by accident. When the sheet is on the port side along with the open end of the hook, a slight risk exists that the sheet could, in some way, push the long straight hook end forward and release the sail.
John Christianson said:
I can almost guarantee that some will mount the hook backwards, pointing to starboard, which although it looks almost normal is unstable and allows the sail to come off. This is a bit humerous as it seems no amount of clear instructions even with pictures, will stop some from doing it.
Not one of my concerns have had an adequate answer except accusing me of being argumentative and too late, its already approved.
Another question that is not being answered, "can I buy this sleeve and take off the hook and block and attach the sail by another method', and put teflon tape around the inside of the sleeve?



168664 said:
Another question that is not being answered, "can I buy this sleeve and take off the hook and block and attach the sail by another method', and put teflon tape around the inside of the sleeve?
The answers are technically yes and no. The sleeve is constructed so that the hook could be removed and replaced with a shackle, oh ye of little faith. A shackle is class legal now. I don't know if it is legal with the sleeve. No teflon, because there is probably not room for it inside the sleeve. I don't know why need it though. It was already slicker than a ribbon.

168664 said:
There seems to be a more than normal push to get this particular sleeve approved. And anyone who has a vested interest in getting this sleeve approved should declare their hand. Valid questions are not being answered and are simply glossed over and dismissed

You go too far in making an accusation that some people are getting kickbacks. I endorse the boom sleeve; I'm a District Secretary; I'm getting no special favor or money by endorsing the boom sleeve. I resent the implication that I am. You are also on the wrong list to really get the answers you want. Try TLF Laser List for the answers from people who know the answers.

The vast majority of ILCA members did think the answers were adequate and voted for the fitting. You don't think the answers were adequate - that's fine, everyone has a right to their opinion. Unfortunately for you, you are in the minority, and the fitting has been approved. At the end of the day it's as simple as that.

The only people with a vested financial interest are John Christianson, the licensed builders around the world and those in their distribution chain. The rest of us have an interest in being able to more easily adjust our outhauls, - that's it. Believe it or not, the ILCA membership is intelligent enough to think of the same questions you have, consider them, and express a well-informed opinion by voting.

Unless of course we are all being hoodwinked by some dastardly criminal mastermind out to make his or her millions at the expense of poor innocent Laser sailors around the world. They're probably doing it to fund some evil terrorist plot that will unravel the fabric of western society. Maybe it goes all the way to the top - was the whole vote rigged? Is Jeff Martin just a puppet? Who is really pulling the strings? Hmmm, maybe that explains where Shevy has gone... He is probably lurking in his secret hideout cackling fiendishly while plotting our downfall.

We need a saviour. Someone to give the evildoer his comeuppance. It will be a dangerous job - the hero (or heroine) is sure to be captured by Shevy and connected to his cunningly designed Hiking Bench of Death before ingeniously escaping seconds before his (or her) demise, setting up a final, spectacular confrontation. Of course, in end Shevy will get away by blasting off into space in his secret escape pod, with his plans for a sequel already underway. But who will our saviour be?

Any volunteers?
Very well put leftfield. I was just thinking of exactly the same reply but you beat me to it. I guess it comes from me being a pathetic, defeatist electronic engineer (they're the worst kind you know).
I think we need a parliamentary enquiry in to this issue - this could rival the AWB scandal (sorry to all the non-aussies who aren't aware of what this is).
As you say, this topic is over. The fitting is approved. Decide for yourself whether you want to buy it or not and go sailing.
Lets now move on to the bigger issue of sails - keep the debate going re intensity sails (and other laser "training" sails made by others) vs class legal sails. I'd rather look at that A$1000 "fitting" than the $50 clew sleeve.
leftfield said:
Of course a better fitting could be designed. Which Laser part couldn't be improved with some redesign?
so partly thanks to you we have been stuck with an inferior fitting. You voted for something which you knew could be better. Ok, lets move on and leave it for the next generation to fix up

I did not say that the new fitting is inferior. I said that it is a compromise, which is not even close to the same thing. If you read the entire paragraph you are quoting you would understand that. But quoting out of context is so much more fun isn't it?

And yes, I suppose that it is partly thanks to me that you are stuck with this fitting. For my part, you are very welcome. I hope the next generation will find something of greater worth to fix up though. Anything to distract them from the actual sailing - they are getting way too fast for me.

That's it for me. Over and out.