Is Laser Performance Europe going bust?

Thread starter #1
I have heard lots of rumours about Laser Performance Europe being, or going, bust. Their website shop looks like Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard and the whole place does not look lived in. I dropped them an email 2 or 3 weeks ago and have heard nothing back. Are these the same guys that ILCA suggested that we back in that vote?? I am truly astounded that money can not be made from the most popular sailboat in the world. When benchmarked against or in the UK the LPE outfit looks like the circus has come to town. I am all for supporting the builders but not if they treat us like sh*t. It smells like big bellied bankers or private equity has got their hands on the tiller. Or maybe nobody is at the helm? Does anybody have the lowdown on what is going on?


Active Member
When I broke my boom I was told by my insurance company to order a replacement from Purple Sailing. Apparently they and Northampton Sailboats are the suppliers of Lasers and Laser parts in the UK now.

As for the financial health of LP Europe that is a matter for much speculation most of it bad. I know the LP rep at the Grafham Instructors conference was not really available for chatting to....

My 2p is that it is not worth worrying about for now. Aside from the lack of availability of sails it would seem most other parts are available from Purple or Northampton Sailboats.

I am sure at some point the whole rotten bubble will burst and things will get sorted from there and we can all get back to sailing.
. . . . I am truly astounded that money can not be made from the most popular sailboat in the world. . . .
It's my understanding that prior to Vanguard most of the Laser builders had gone under so I don't think that making money from the most popular sailboat in the world is quite as easy as we would wish.
Sunfish/Laser Inc was profitable when it was sold to Vanguard - SLI's intention was never long term ownership, just wanted to keep the production going after the Pearson days while finding a long term "caretaker" ie builder.
Pearson went under not because of producing Sunfish/Lasers but because of their big boat business, non boat building business and some poor management decisions.

As far as LPE, my guess would be IF they have any financial issues it would be brought about not by the Laser but by trying to produce a myriad of other boats. However I'm not convinced they have financial issues.


Active Member
From what I have heard over here (from some reliable sources) they have not been paying their suppliers. that is usually an indication of financial problems.

If it is a case of won't rather than can't then that is appalling business practice. Given my dealing with LPE in the past I find the 'can't' scenario more likely.


Active Member
That tells you nothing of any substance.

All it says is that the parent company has money (if Dory Ventures is indeed the parent/holding company for LPE). As LPE is a Limited Liability Company in it's own right the finances of the parent or holding company are immaterial is it is not liable for any debts of any of it's subsiduries. the subsiduries could spun off or wound up at any point in time without affecting the parent/holding company.

We will probably never know the full story all we can do is hope it gets sorted for the good of the class soon.

One thing I am told is that LPE no longer own the Trade mark for UK and Europe but it has been transferred to a holding company making the whole situation more complicated.
It tells you something if it is history repeating itself. Maclaren's IP is held the same way as LP's (same corporate structure and addresses - just a different name) and the talk about LPE these days sounds familiar when compared to Maclaren USA just before they bankrupted the company with no revenue and $15M in debt to its sister companies. The US is still investigating whether it's bankruptcy fraud. Dory is most likely a creditor of LPE and not the parent. At least that's how it worked in Maclaren and Dory is associated with the trademark work for LP in the US. Maclaren USA may very well be a blueprint of what is on tap for LPE. It must be the LPE entity that has creditors Rastegar doesn't want to pay (Global Sailing, Kirby, Hyde) and once he flushes the debt in bankruptcy, the new LP entity will resume business as usual. At least that appears to be the blueprint from Maclaren.
Just out of curiosity:
Will these boats actually be legal Lasers?
In theory, yes since the Internation Class Chief Measurer is doing the measuring. But if you want to make a case that they aren't technically legal because of the trademark anbd other disputes you may have a case. In theory. . .
The Fundamental Rule of the Laser Class requires that a Laser must be manufactured by a builder who has a building agreement with Bruce Kirby or Bruce Kirby Inc. The article linked to above does not make clear whether or nor Jean-Luc's "inspection" included an investigation of this issue. However, knowing how thorough and meticulous he is, I would be amazed if he overlooked this aspect of measurement.
If you click on the "here" part of that link and follow it to the "Equipment" section and then to the laser class documents section, it's interesting to note that the class documents being furnished are from 2010. The other classes have current class documents. The class document shows who the builders are and how many boats have been built in the past year. Does this mean the class doesn't know the information and therefore didn't update the document?
I'm told by my source (yesterday) that the Olympic boats are "new", but may not be newly built, and most may be 2 or more years old. Perhaps they have been reserved for the Oympics for some time, because LPE haven't been building boats for a quite a while, and it's been almost impossible to buy one lately? Some lucky people who have been able to get hold of a Laser from a supplier have said they are old stock with numbers below 200000. This seems to fit with all the inaction at LPE recently.

The good news coming from my source is that there is a LOT of activity going on at present to resolve the LPE issue and a solution is not far off so we can expect an announcement from ILCA fairly soon. This is great news for the Class, so let's hope it's sooner rather than later.


Just sailing
Looks like a some of you UK people will be able to get a slightly used boat in the near future if you wish. Too bad they won't part them out.

I've always kind of thought we'd have to get through the Olympics before the builder/class impasse is resolved. On a positive note, at least ILCA and LPE are talking about SOMETHING.


Former ISAF Laser Measurer
In the past technically no Laser at the Olympics has been legal as none from memory have sail numbers. I doubt it will be different this time.
I'm told by my source (yesterday)....

... because LPE haven't been building boats for a quite a while, and it's been almost impossible to buy one lately? Some lucky people who have been able to get hold of a Laser from a supplier have said they are old stock with numbers below 200000. ...
Check the trustability of your source, please ... I don't believe in that what you write, there above. Although each one here knows, I am definitely not a friend of LP-E, but as long there are not hard evidence to show, all speculations here above are rumors to me. Sorry to say that.

My "LP-E"-Laser left the production line in the UK in October 2011 for the model year 2012 (I guess we now have the year 2012, am I correct?). My Laser was delivered to me (at GER) about 4,5 weeks ago. So, the part "....J112" of the HIN at the transom of my new "LP-E"-Laser seems to me very correct ... Otherwise, LP-E would be massive cheating at the HIN, which I definitely don't think, as this would be very indictable, by trading laws of the European Union, related to the HIN.



Sadly, it is true that this manufacturer hasn't been viable for some time and boats have been hard to come by. Count yourself very lucky, because others have been buying boats built by PSA (Australia) and have had to pay the extra freight.

However, progress is being made toward a solution soon.
At least they have enough boats and parts left for the Olympics. . .
I guess it was one of the most closely guarded secrets of the past months: the brand of the Olympic Laser hulls. It's not longer a secret, now! Paul Goodison posted a photo of the hulls on his Facebook pinwall (!/paul.goodison.10?sk=wall ). Thanks Paul , well done, they look great!
(P.S.: The FB-link above does only work if you are logged in at FB.)