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ILCA misses the mark?


New Member
I guess I’m too late to do anything about it, but I’d like to comment on the (not so) recent changes approved by the ILCA. First, what were their objectives? Fair sailing… make the control lines sufficiently adjustable that regular mortals can compete. Limit choices so the boats remain similar. OK, what about some objectives like; Make changes economical so people can upgrade their boats and enjoy the benefits of the new rules without spending a bundle; Make changes which will address the Laser’s inherent defects? In Canada, you can buy a good used Laser for $2,000CDN, but the kit with the new style vang, ‘builder supplied’ turning blocks and cleat costs $500CDN… 25% of the price of the boat!!! You can’t just go to your spares bin and pull out a block with a cleat on it for a vang because the rules say you can only replace the stupid stock block with the ‘builder supplied’ one… Do you think the ILCA’s in bed with the boat builders? I’d say so. And to say, well the rule allows you to add blocks and purchase to your vang is to miss the point… We’ve all figured out how to reeve a million to one purchase under the old rules… now we’ve got less friction, but you STILL can’t release it from the cleat unless you pay the big bucks for the ‘builder supplied’ product. And what about the annoyance of the mainsheet getting caught on the transom? Sure, you people have all found a way to avoid that, congratulations… but how many people dump the first time they sail a Laser because of that and say “I’m going to buy a boat with a REAL mainsheet setup” and leave our fleet forever? Why not allow the traveler fairleads to be moved forward a foot? Easy and free to do, simple to police the change, results in a more sailable boat. Wow, what was wrong with that? And while we’re talking about moving fairleads, lets talk about these blind fasteners… The gunwhales on these boats are bulletproof… why not have both fairlead fasteners bolt through the gunwhale instead of insisting that one of them go through to the rotten piece of wood in the inaccessible place inside the hull. Which brings me to the new cleat base… This item is designed exclusively to bring money to the builders and to ensure that if you happen to release either the outhaul or the cunningham that you will exert the maximum amount of torquing force possible on the two tiny screws going into the, you guessed it, rotten piece of wood in the inaccessible place inside the hull. Now my Mum taught me never to say something was stupid unless I was prepared to offer at least a suggested improvement, so here goes… They should have allowed us to place up to 3 cleats on each side of the boat, at between X and Y distance (they like that measurement stuff) bolted through the gunwhale. Now, presto change-o! we have securely mounted fittings that can be adjusted from the straps on either tack, sort of like, ummm… EVERY other dinghy in the world! And we can do this from our spares bin without lining the ‘builders’ pocket. <<END OF RANT>>