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Intensity Sails

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Well I broke down and bought one for practice/local club racing. I must say I'm impressed. It is the same size as a class legal sail, perhaps slightly heavier material. However, it came with a full set of battens, numbers and even a clew strap. All for $200.00 even. Quite a discount from the upper $400.00 prices we are seeing today, (not including battens or clew strap- Then you're over $500.00!)

It's a shame these guys can't be a provider for class legal sails. How much does a sail maker have to pay for the Laser class logo anyway?
 

Josef

New Member
The ILCA should really do something about the laser sail prizes.
The sails are made from the cheepest kind of fabric and there are no developmentcosts whatsoever.
A lasersail shouldn't cost more than $200, and then they're still making decent money.
 
The ICLA gets a cut of all of the class legal sails I believe. Your local dealer also gets a cut as does North or Hyde sails.

I have argued that the Intesity sail should be OK for club racing but many here will disagree.

If you are to use the sail for racing I would clear it with the managment of your club first just to be legitimate and avoid issues.

this thread will show what issues can come up.
http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=4012&highlight=team+intensity
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
We have about 20 boats sailing at our club. I'd say about 12 of us are using the Intensity sails, (with the agreement of everyone else). We have not noticed a speed difference in the sails one way or the other.

Why can't we buy the class sails directly through North? This would eliminate at least one animal from the food chain and make the sails less expensive.
 

Josef

New Member
The design of a lasersail is really simple so anyone can make a copy that will work the same as the normal sails.
Lasersails should be almost free considering the kind of crapp their made of and how simple it is.
 
Rob B said:
We have about 20 boats sailing at our club. I'd say about 12 of us are using the Intensity sails, (with the agreement of everyone else). We have not noticed a speed difference in the sails one way or the other.

Why can't we buy the class sails directly through North? This would eliminate at least one animal from the food chain and make the sails less expensive.
I agree to a point but how is your local dealer going to stay in buisness if not supported. I like my Intensty sail but I do struggle with it from an ethics prospective
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
My local supplier is selling the Intensity Sails! If I need a new class sail, (which will be a lot longer from now thanks to the inexpensive Int sail) I'll go to him. In the meantime he's still selling boats and stuff too.

How do regular boat dealers stay in business? All the lead mine sailors and MANY other one design class sailors can deal directly w/the loft.
 
Rob B said:
My local supplier is selling the Intensity Sails! If I need a new class sail, (which will be a lot longer from now thanks to the inexpensive Int sail) I'll go to him. In the meantime he's still selling boats and stuff too.

How do regular boat dealers stay in business? All the lead mine sailors and MANY other one design class sailors can deal directly w/the loft.
Perhaps Westcoat or The Boathouse could answer that better than anyone.

Just out of interest Rob what price does your dealer sell the Intesity sail for??
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
He's part of our fleet and works to grow it. I think he makes a lot of deals at low margin just to get more boats out and grow the fleet.

I know on the Intensity sails he buys about 10 at a time. They also make radials.
 

pez

Member
Something that strikes me as odd is that there is not any sort of market for more extreme laser sails... back in my skydiving days thay were making chutes oput of some sort of zero-porosity fabrics...

Perhaps a full-length batten mylar sail would kick the pants off the class legal one... perhaps it would also kick the pants off the maststep...
 
You could get a sail made of mylar /kevlar/spectra, any sailmaker would be happy to build one at a cost. I believe the idea with the Intensity sail was to copy the class legal sail and hence allow you to use a practice sail...(the same as the Laser sail) not better or worse. The reason that the class insists on the legal sails is to ensure that the people win and not the equipment
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
True. I don't see anyone building a better mousetrap here like the carbon mast section. Just a cheaper one.
 
Laser76489 said:
On the web they sell from intesity for $200 so either your dealer trades $ or is getting discount...good price though

thanks
They're simply selling the sails for retail, not wholesale value so that the dealers don't get undercut and they get more cash.

Pez- because the rig isn't stayed, a fully-battened sail wouldn't work so well. You couldn't really change the design of the sail that radically (including kevlar or some other material) without changing the rig as well.

The class association gets a cut and sells licences to ensure that the sails are still made one-design. The sails shouldn't be as expensive as they are though. C420 sails (main+jib) are only $700, and they're almost twice as thick, twice as big, have a steel halyard wire and boltropes in them, and a full-length batten at the top.

Something doesn't make sense here.
 
I know that this can be a charged discussion and I do not wish to create that by replying. My only goal is to make saiing a Laser®, Laser® Radial & Laser® 4.7 more affordable. I receive many emails from people asking if our sail will fit the old hull they got from their neighbor's backyard. This builds the class in the long run (in my opinion) Anything to get people out on the water and catch the bug.

I am an active Laser sailor and use my class sail for Laser Class regattas. I am frugal in my use of that sail due to it's cost.

For the record I have offered to pay a per sail fee to the ILCA and was turned down. I personally am a member and advertise my deck and hull covers in the class magazine. I do try to support the class.


I am now actually producing 420 Jibs. I will have them for $225.00 each.
I will have the Mains next year. For clubs and sailing programs this is a huge expense. I am trying to cut the cost for them while they can still have new equipment.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
I used my Intensity sail for the first time this weekend and was very happy with it. Each of the top 5 boats in every race was using an Intensity sail.
 

Merrily

Administrator
Rob B said:
Each of the top 5 boats in every race was using an Intensity sail.
Well, what does this mean? Is the Intensity sail giving those sailors an advantage over the legal sail?
 

GTChris

New Member
If you say that it isn't fair that I can 'buy' better performance for $200, then why is it fair that YOU can buy better performance for $500? Do you have to be loaded to be able to buy 'fast'? I'm confused. The $200 isn't making me any faster than your $500, so what's the big deal? Plus, I still can't use it at the big events anyways.


Merrily - Most likely it means that a new Intensity sail will outperform an old class legal sail, since I doubt most people at the club would be using a NEW class legal sail in a casual club race, since they are so expensive. That's all there is to it. Perhaps having a similarlily performing, less expensive alternative helps level the playing field for casual sailors who otherwise would feel like they need spend $500 or more just to be able to sail in the same league as others. I haven't heard anybody here offer any evidence whatsoever that a new intensity sail will outperform a new class legal sail.

What in the world is wrong with something that helps even the playing field for as many people as possible in casual racing? Isn't that the GOAL of one-design racing? I just ordered an intensity sail, and will use it for local racing and practice. At any bigger events I will use a class legal sail. An OLD class legal sail, since I can't afford a new one. So the intensity sail is not keeping me from supporting the ILCA, I wouldnt be able to afford a new sail anyways. I won't be complaining about how those with new sails point higher than me, so again, why would you complain about something that lets more people be on a level playing field in casual competition???

Maybe some people are afraid that all the people they can usually beat just by shelling out more money will all of a sudden be able to point just as high as them, and may turn out to be better sailors. I for one was getting discouraged after getting rolled over on every beat with my old legal sail, I thought it was something I was doing wrong. After trying a new practice sail, I found that I was on a level plaing field, and that I wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. My practice partners enjoyed better competition, and I enjoyed more confidence. Where is the harm in this?

As soon as you show me how an Intensity sail outperforms a legal sail, I will change my opinion, and stop using the sail in any competitive situation. I want the race to be decided by the sailor, not the sail, which is why I think people should be able to use what appears to me to be identically performing equipment in casual racing.

Chris
 

pez

Member
styluscentral said:
...
For the record I have offered to pay a per sail fee to the ILCA and was turned down. I personally am a member and advertise my deck and hull covers in the class magazine. I do try to support the class.
...
I have no opinion regarding the use of non-legal vs class legal sails... I have no place telling a boat owner what to do with their time, let alone their money...

However I'm curious what reasons ILCA gave you, if any, for turning you down?
 

Merrily

Administrator
GTChris said:
I haven't heard anybody here offer any evidence whatsoever that a new intensity sail will outperform a new class legal sail.
I'm guarding my newer class legal sail like it's gold and I understand not being able to buy what you want. However, I haven't seen any evidence comparing Intensity and class legal sails performance at all. I'm saying it would be an interesting comparison.

Are there two well-matched sailors out there with a new Intensity and new North or Hyde who want to send us a report?
 

GTChris

New Member
I agree completely that more comparisons should be done. All I have seen so far is the review from Michael Blackburn, straight off the Intensity site:

[FONT=arial, helvetica] "I've sailed with your sail in a variety of conditions against some good opposition. I found the sail to perform better than an old legal sail, providing a just a little more height for no loss of speed. This is a similar result to a new legal sail versus an old legal sail. I would say performance of your sail would be quite similar to a new legal sail and is unlikely to be worse and is therefore a great value substitute whenever the legal sail is not needed."

Review by Michael Blackburn

Admittedly, not very scientific, and opinions from a lot more experience sailors would be needed for a final judgement. Maybe if we can get some solid evidence, there would be some room to lobby for legalization, or at least use it as leverage towards less expensive LEGAL sails...I'm not trying to buck the system, I respect it completely, but I'm also all for making this sport as accessible and fair as possible.

After I get my sail, I will try to test against a few sailors while they break in new legal sails, and we'll see what happens; we'll even switch boats. My opinion counts for nothing, but it might settle my own questions....I'll let ya'll know.

Chris
[/FONT]
 
As for being a top sailor in the class I fall short of mark by a long (long long looooong) way. I do however have 2 sails about the same age 1 is calss legal and the other is made by Intensity. If I were to say one is faster than the other I would be telling a lie...They are the same. The difference from my point of view is the cost.

As the bank commercial says "Save your money"
 

GeoffS

Member
I don't own an Intensity yet, but based on everything I've heard about them it will be my next purchase.

When my garage-door opener mangled my best class legal sail I asked around about options. Even the best eBay price for a new sail was twice that of an Intensity.

I know my local "fleet" won't care what I put on the mast as long as it's not got a grossly obvious speed advantage. I have a standard rant about the relationship between costs and participation in the class, but this is really a thread about the performance of the sails, so I'll leave it for a more appropriate time/place.

I'm really interested in hearing more from people (and esp. fleets) sailing with Intensity's and class-sails. My biggest question is if there are any differences in how you adjust the controls for the Intensity vs. the class-sail. One of the problems I'm facing is that my "old" and "new" sails significantly different from each other, never minde a new sail, that I'm having to adjust the controls differently than I used to with a newer sail. Since the good fraction of the point of practicing is to internalize all the "mechanical" aspects of sailing, I'm missing out on keeping up that part of my skills by sailing with blown-out sails.

Cheers,

Geoff S.
 

168664

New Member
A speed difference is not the only consideration. Are they the same quality using same weight cloth. Sail a legal sail in 25+ knots and you risk blowing it out. This is not good enough and is an inferior product at a premium price

In Australia a new legal sail costs AUS$1000. Some people buy a new sail every season or 2, not many can afford to do that.

This is totally against the objective of a strict one design class where a speed increase is so easily available to the wealthy
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Merrily said:
Well, what does this mean? Is the Intensity sail giving those sailors an advantage over the legal sail?
No. I should have also pointed out that there were Intensity sails in the back half of the fleet as well.

I was talking to a guy that just purchased a Hyde sail from Colie. He said he was told, (as far as class legal sails go) the Hyde will last longer than a North and you can expect the North to be blown out past its competitive life after only one year of a "well traveled" Laser circuit.

The Intensity is thought to be a tad heavier than the class sail. I think its on 4 oz cloth compared to 3.8 oz. Folks in our fleet are saying the Intensity sail holds up longer than the class legal North.

By the way I usually finish in the top 5 at our club and I sail the oldest boat. Would a new hull make me the top finisher?

I have a strong personal opinion that it is past time for a price break on our class sails. $350.00 should be the going rate with numbers, tell tails, and battens.

$450.00 and up is insane for a computer cut 71 sq ft piece of 3.8 oz cloth made in sri-lanka. It's not a 3DL roto molded produt for pete's sake.

I make a motion. The Laser class needs to shop for a source that can provide our existing class legal sails for this price and hold it for 3 years. I'd bet they could find one in a week.
 

49208

Tentmaker
The class would need to completely change the distribution model for the sail for use to see lower prices. Don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

This has been covered before, but here it goes again.
Sailmaker builds the sail, sells with a profit margin to Licenced builder. Builder sells sail with a profit margin to dealer.
Dealer sells sail with a profit margin to end user....

IIRC there is also a payment to the Laser class in there as well

Do the dealers and the builder help contribute to keeping the class strong and healthy - IMHO, yes, in many ways

The fact that there is a non-class approved sail available for $200 may be good for your wallet right now, but is it good for the long term health of the class ? Also, if the dealers and builder were to give up some profit on the sails, don't you think they would have to make it up somewhere else ?
 
I believe there is also a cut for the ILCA as well...Intesity does not have to pay that.


49208 said:
The class would need to completely change the distribution model for the sail for use to see lower prices. Don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

This has been covered before, but here it goes again.
Sailmaker builds the sail, sells with a profit margin to Licenced builder. Builder sells sail with a profit margin to dealer.
Dealer sells sail with a profit margin to end user....

IIRC there is also a payment to the Laser class in there as well

Do the dealers and the builder help contribute to keeping the class strong and healthy - IMHO, yes, in many ways

The fact that there is a non-class approved sail available for $200 may be good for your wallet right now, but is it good for the long term health of the class ? Also, if the dealers and builder were to give up some profit on the sails, don't you think they would have to make it up somewhere else ?
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Also, if the dealers and builder were to give up some profit on the sails, don't you think they would have to make it up somewhere else ?[/QUOTE]

No. This is called competition. However, the class has pigon holed itself by allowing only 2 sail makers to be approved for distribution of the sails. On top of that there's 2 middle men involved?

Really. What other OD classes have such a convaluted sail distribution process? You take the same cloth, cut it the same size, sew it the same way, stick a class sticker on it, (which this cost goes directly to the class let the builder make money off of the hulls, spars, blades) and bingo one class legal sail.

It's true that the sails are the "razor blades" of this product. However, I'm a believer in inventory turns. Make them for less and sell more. I'd bet they would see an increase in sales if they dropped $150 off the price of the delivered product. They could do this right off the top or remove the 2 middle sales avenues and the $150 would probably come right out w/no problem or margin loss to the sail maker. Intensity in hand would most likely see a decrease unless they went sub $200 at that point.
 

GTChris

New Member
I see no reason whatsoever why these non-legal sails hurt the laser class. In order for people to participate in ILCA events, they still need the class legal sails. While I think they're overpriced, I'll go along with it. But why in the world should I blow out an expensive sail just to sail round the buoys on a thursday night? Explain to me how THAT hurts the class. If anything, it gets more people involved, who may someday move up and start sailing in ILCA events, and then they will buy ILCA sails.

If the ILCA is worried about losing money on royalties, then they should find cheaper builders. They could charge the same royalties, but they would sell a LOT more sails, and would make MORE money. Only ones that lose are the sailmakers that refuse to play the competition game. Welcome to capitalism. It Works. If new legal sails were $350 (perfectly reasonable), I'd buy one per season. I thin a lot of others would, who otherwise sail with used sails. The ILCA doesn't make ANY money off of used sails.

Chris
 

leftfield

New Member
Ok then, lets say the class gives in and allows sails from other sailmakers such as Intensity, like some people on this post seem to be suggesting. Sounds like a great idea, right?

To start with, the class would have to provide measurement diagrams for sailmakers to use. The class would need an influx of measurers with new skills to be able to measure all of these sails. Have you waited in a queue at a major regatta to get your boat and equipment measured lately? Takes a while? How much longer do you think it would take if you had to get the sail measured as well?

More importantly, all measurements need tolerances - it isn't possible to build sails, boats or anything without a little give and take. But tolerances mean that things can be tweaked slightly and experimented with, to try and gain an extra advantage within the rules. All of a sudden, we would have "fast" laser sails and "slow" laser sails. Do you think that everyone would want one of the fast sails? If everyone wanted one, how much do you think the fast sails would cost?

Oh yeah - the foils are probably a bit more expensive than they need to be too. I can make them a bit cheaper, can I please make them and sell them? I promise I will make them just like the class legal ones... How about the spars? The hull? Why not just open up the whole thing? It worked for the Finns - they are a one design class that allows different manufacturers. Look how successful that was for them - a competitive new Finn only costs three times what a new Laser costs - how could that not be good for the Laser classs?

Or maybe this all sounds a bit silly. Maybe you just want to change the class rule a little. Maybe they could say something like "Only class legal sails can be used, but we will also allow those Intensity sails because they are cheaper and Michael Blackburn and a few people on an Internet forum said that they were almost exactly the same as the real ones." Is that what you are proposing?
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
What I'm saying is our sails are insanely expensive and the program set up to buy them does not make sense. They should allow us to buy direct from the manufacturer. By trimming 2 sources from the food chain it would be easy to take at least $100.00 off of the existing cost. The cost of the Intensity sail is PROOF of this.
 

leftfield

New Member
Yes Rob, Laser sails are indeed insanely expensive. Those who live in the US are lucky - you can buy a new, legal sail for $500. At today's exchange rate, a new sail would cost you $US800 in Australia. But legalising sails from unlicensed builders is not the solution - it would cause many more problems than it solves.

The idea that a new sail is a speed increase available only to the wealthy is quite simply nonsense. When did it become the Laser class's responsibility to narrow the gap between rich and poor? Of course I would like my sailing to cost me less - who wouldn't? But expecting the Laser class to challenge the status quo of the capitalist system is a bit much, even for our erstwhile leaders.

Yes, sailing costs money. Yes, we pay too much for our sails. Yes, rich people can afford to buy them more frequently. But then they could afford to buy $200 dollar sails more frequently too, couldn't they. There are so many rich people sailing Lasers too. I often have trouble finding a parking spot at my sailing club, what with all the Ferraris, Porsches and Mercedes in the parking lot.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
You're still missing my point. Hyde and North can still be the source, but remove the builder and "dealers" from the food chain. Laser class still gets their class money, the customer deals directly with the loft and we save $$$'s. Just like most OD classes.

The builder still sells the boats, spars, pieces/parts through the dealers and they can keep pushing rigging and gear that gets updated every year. The sailors get a price break on the sails. I think this would be good for the class.

Arguments to this philosphy?
 
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