Introducing the New Official Class Sail

Rob B

Active Member
#21
My current two race/training sails (Hyde) do not suffer from leach flutter, both have had 2-3 years of heavy usage, often above the 20 knot range. My current regatta sail (Hyde) with about 20 days usage including two days above 35 knots does not suffer from leach flutter.

With a defective Laser sail, it's covered by the builder distribution network and is covered under warranty, so it's easy to return to any laser dealer. No such network exists at least in our region to send sails back to Intensity, as mentioned above, the shipping costs back to the USA are about $USD60, so hardly worth sending back.


I'm probably also one of the few who is also a member of the class association and definitely makes me think whether I should provide feedback to those who aren't class members.
I agree there are likely a lot of non-class members that post here. As for the sails I can't speak about Hyde as I've never had one and unless the sucker is proven to provide a quality 2-3 year competitive life or is a mylar roto moulded sail I'm not dumping nearly $ 700.00 into it. It would also apprear that the sail longetivity and mast bend issues go hand in hand with the upgrading and maximized purchase capabilities of the "new" vang and other sail control lines. In the 80's and 90's I did not experience the wear issues or bend concerns.....
 

Rob B

Active Member
#22
As somebody who also argues strongly against the 3rd party knock-offs, I think the situation is more complex that a simple "argue against".

I think that everybody in the class would be very happy to use class legal sails were there not the (alleged) value issues (price in relation to longevity). Were the cost/longevity the same there can be few people who would purchase a 3rd party sail when it has such constraints. So the 3rd party market is the result of a value issue. Some (like myself) value the strict one design aspect of the Laser class and are disappointed when, having purchased a boat find that people are just breaking the class rules. The sail has been the same for quite some time. When I purchased my Laser, it came with the same sail design as in currently available (and not at a massively different price). So I would be a bit hypocritical for me to start complaining about the price now. A bit like buying a house at the end of an international airport runway and then complaining about the noise. It is true that some sail on very limited budgets but it is also true that a lot can be achieved with old boats/sails. So often you see a boat turn up with a really old hull, sails that looks like a rag and then it wins (whilst everybody else discusses the thickness of their kicker line or similar).

I agree that the sail need sorting (and before the Olympics because the Laser is a lot more than a few elite individuals at one event - and there are solutions to their using new/old sails as well). However, when you look at the costs of racing a Laser for a year (club membership, insurance, petrol, berthing, etc.) then it is not a cheap sport (compared to some).

Ian
Well, on thing that is not going to happen is seeing the sail issue sorted out before the 2012 game. That's one unfortunate result of oning an olympic class boat..... The economy and presumed builder issues are slowing down any kind of change further. So, it's a bit like beating your head against the wall, but it feels good to vent.
 

Merrily

Administrator
#23
It is quite costly to be competitive on a high level in the laser when compared with other boats, if you just consider the sails alone you could get new sails for say a thistle for around $1200-2000 or so that will last about a season and you could be competitive on the highest level.
It's interesting you bring up the Thistle. The Thistle class limits their members to one new suit of sails per year. Think of that for the Laser.
 
#24
It's interesting you bring up the Thistle. The Thistle class limits their members to one new suit of sails per year. Think of that for the Laser.
Somewhat of apples <> oranges. Stayed mast to limit mast bend and high quality sailcloth make the sails stay fast longer.

Enforcing a one or two sail limit in the Laser class might just make for less attendence overall as people "ration" what events they are going to do, not to mention a whole 'nother layer of bureaucrazy, and people scheming on how to "beat the system"
 
#25
"The truth is .... " You have absolutely no idea, (that's ZERO), what it costs Hyde, North and the China Sail Factory (Intensity) to produce a sail. .
Just a point of clarification. Intensity Sails are not made by China Sails. We have our own loft in China. Some of our competitors do use them though.
 
#26
Just a point of clarification. Intensity Sails are not made by China Sails. We have our own loft in China. Some of our competitors do use them though.
I think it would be an advantage to this proposal if all the replica sellers (Intensity in the US, iSails and Rooster in the UK, etc) DID use the same Chinese loft - we'd then effectively have several regional distributors for the same product.

It allows this discussion to scale globally rather than being US specific.
Intensity is unheard of in the UK (except for readers of this forum).
It would be bad if we were able to use Intensity in the US, but then had to buy a different sail for international events.
 
#27
It allows this discussion to scale globally rather than being US specific.
Intensity is unheard of in the UK (except for readers of this forum).
It would be bad if we were able to use Intensity in the US, but then had to buy a different sail for international events.[/QUOTE]

You may not be aware that we ship world wide and a large number of sails into the UK specifically. We are shipping individual sails globally at a cost effective postage cost on a daily basis.
 
#28
It allows this discussion to scale globally rather than being US specific.
Intensity is unheard of in the UK (except for readers of this forum).
It would be bad if we were able to use Intensity in the US, but then had to buy a different sail for international events.
You may not be aware that we ship world wide and a large number of sails into the UK specifically. We are shipping individual sails globally at a cost effective postage cost on a daily basis.[/quote]

I used an Intensity sail for club events through 2010 in the UK, and was constantly asked what it was, and where I got it. The quality of the sail was often complimented.

If we move to a different sanctioned class sail I just want it to be the same one in each country I race in, otherwise the whole idea is a non-starter.
 
#29
I think it would be an advantage to this proposal if all the replica sellers (Intensity in the US, iSails and Rooster in the UK, etc) DID use the same Chinese loft - we'd then effectively have several regional distributors for the same product.

It allows this discussion to scale globally rather than being US specific.
Intensity is unheard of in the UK (except for readers of this forum).
It would be bad if we were able to use Intensity in the US, but then had to buy a different sail for international events.
Whilst I am against the 3rd party replicas, what I am really for is everybody using the same. Thus, if the rules were changed to allow sails from a specific loft (e.g. in China) and provided there was some controlled consistency in the product, that would be a change I would be in favour of.

Shipping to the UK is a very different matter from a company having a presence in the UK. Shipping costs become high, as Alan pointed out, any returns just not worthwhile, shipping delays make availability limited (we do not really have stocking local chandlers as I have the impression the US does - online companies yes but your local chandlers does not stock e.g. Laser sails). Costs would be liable for import duty (making delivery even slower and putting the cost up further).

Same product through national representation would be needed (could be exclusive distribution in each country subject to legal considerations).

My priority is competition on a level playing field. No particular interest in the builder being involved (given that they seem pretty involved in the creation of the current complete mess).

Ian
 
#30
:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

I believe the sailmakers aren't that concerned if they build or don't build under the current deal, for at least two reasons:
1. It's not anything close to a sweet deal for them.
2. They are forced, by the builders manual, to build crappy sails, which are then declared by some to be representive of the quality of all their sails for all other boats they build for.
Sails are not an "off the shelf" product. Each sail is custom fit to your boat using simple measurement forms. Sailmakers have to consider all the ways.
 
#32
honestly, why not set the sail dimensions, cut, panel design, and dacron weight. It would seem to me that if they all follow the same recepie then the end product should be comprable. Honestly, do you believe LP would not switch dacron manufacturers mid year if they found a great deal? So lets set the standards and then each manufacturer that wants to play can prove their product and be welcome to play?
 
#33
I've raced in classes with multiple sail makers, and competition does nothing but make a class better. I remember back in the early '90's when I started using sails from my buddy here in Dallas for my MC, everyone scoffed at them, but as they started to see success, it helped him build a nice business with the class on a national level. Not to mention they were 30% less than the other makers.
 

torrid

Just sailing
#34
I've raced in classes with multiple sail makers, and competition does nothing but make a class better. I remember back in the early '90's when I started using sails from my buddy here in Dallas for my MC, everyone scoffed at them, but as they started to see success, it helped him build a nice business with the class on a national level. Not to mention they were 30% less than the other makers.
That knife cuts both ways. People see someone else winning with X piece of equipment that is much more expensive and assume that is the reason. That's why you have $2000 blades for Optimists.
 
#35
I still don't see it, if you make the size and panel shape regulation and the weight of the Dacron, then they should all be about the same, some may be sown better, but that would only go to longevity.
 
#36
I still don't see it, if you make the size and panel shape regulation and the weight of the Dacron, then they should all be about the same, some may be sown better, but that would only go to longevity.
Until the Laser builders (PSA and LP) decide to change either their markup or the spec's of the sail itself (ie the "new model"), or the class it somehow able to change the rules themselves (not likely) it does not matter who makes the class approved sail, it will be the same price to the end user, built from the same less then ideal cloth.

It's not just the weight of the material, it's the "specs" of the material ie the stretch on the bias and 90 degrees that are the biggest part of the problem with today's class approved sail. No sailmaker in their right mind would purposely build a sail for the Laser from the cloth the builder's manual specs . If you dig back thru early posts here (2004 -2007) you'll see the same discussions, with no change thru today, and the sail issue is a lot older then that. There are reasons why it is the way it is and those that have the power to change it are very very resistant due to those reasons.
 

torrid

Just sailing
#38
Back in the day when the current sail design was rolled out, was that a common type of sail cloth? Or has it always been an oddball cloth spec?
 
#39
3.8 was used in Finn mains in the 70's and 80's, but even the specs on cloth for the Finns was geared towards less stretch on the bias. That said it was pretty common for Finn sailors to go thru a couple of sails a year, especially those with Olympic/World aspirations - But those were basically the two classes that were looking for that spec range to work with a bendy/unstayed mast. Once Finns removed the dacron material restriction and moved towards laminates, that left Laser as basically the only "large" consumer of 3.8 with those very "loose" specs. I say "large" with tongue in cheeck because in terms of yardage/meters made, the amount of cloth needed for a year's production of full rig Laser sails is near or at the bottom of the list in the overall production of woven styles
 

jeffers

Active Member
#40
I still don't see it, if you make the size and panel shape regulation and the weight of the Dacron, then they should all be about the same, some may be sown better, but that would only go to longevity.
You would need to trim the sail differently too. I noticed this with the Intensity replica I had which was a heavier weight of cloth. It did last pretty well though.
 
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