LP no longer an approved builder-- why?

Thread starter #1
Does anyone know what exact incongruencies LP had in their products that drove the class to this decision? I realize that the availability of integral components was limited in recent years, but is there more to this story?
 
#3
Will be interesting to know what any new approved European builder can market the boat as. Do not LPE hold the European trademark “Laser”. Are we about to become the International Torch Association?
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#5
Will be interesting to know what any new approved European builder can market the boat as. Do not LPE hold the European trademark “Laser”. Are we about to become the International Torch Association?
One thing for sure is something big just got pushed off a tall cliff! It will be very interesting to see what happens when it lands....
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#7
And I just put down a deposit on an ARC rig.
I think the tea leaves on the new rig possibilities was always clear from the ILCA. For class purposes any direction they would approve would have been from the Australia C-rig line.

Either way- I'm sure LP is happy to sell the ARC rig to anyone wanting one. You can still sail with it, but even without the current snafu racing with the ARC rigs is/was also a long way off just as it will be on the c-rig for anything outside of the current 4.7 rig format.
 

thieuster

Active Member
#8
My British sailing buddies (some close to LPE) don’t know anything else than ILCA’s announcement.

My first thought was that this is NOT the best situation for Laser now the Olympic future is on the line.

Menno
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#9
We need some spies inside the LP manufacturing facility to tell us. What are they doing there that conflicts with the Laser Construction Manual?
Cheaper resin or fiberglass?
Aren't the spars made elsewhere?
 
#10
Class Association statement does not say they are doing anything that conflicts with the construction manual. What it says is that LPE have not allowed inspections to check that they are complying
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#11
Class Association statement does not say they are doing anything that conflicts with the construction manual. What it says is that LPE have not allowed inspections to check that they are complying
Agreed; I was hypothesizing as to why LP didn't allow ILCA inspection of the facility. Where they trying to hide 'something'?
Other ideas, far out or not, welcome!
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#12
Agreed; I was hypothesizing as to why LP didn't allow ILCA inspection of the facility. Where they trying to hide 'something'?
Other ideas, far out or not, welcome!
Another hypothesis:
LP got 'angry' with ILCA because ILCA appears to favor the C rig (or rigs) from Australia, making the ARC rig being developed by LP 'dead-on-arrival'.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
#13
You are forgetting that LP wasn't paying the royalities to Kirby (or PSA). This situation has been brewing for a decade. For the life of me I can't understand why anyone inside the LP market area would be upset as It seems that there has been supply issues for at least a decade, not experienced elsewhere.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#14
You are forgetting that LP wasn't paying the royalities to Kirby (or PSA). This situation has been brewing for a decade. For the life of me I can't understand why anyone inside the LP market area would be upset as It seems that there has been supply issues for at least a decade, not experienced elsewhere.
Not forgetting!
ILCA has been well aware of supply problems (especially in the USA), but it seems to me that there must be another reason for the recent decision to jettison LP. Moreover, the supply line to the USA has gotten a bit better of late, people report.
 
#15
I believe that there may be more going on with LP than we think. I met a chinese sailor who said that he lived close by a factory in China that was building laser performance boats. May be possible that the LP boats aren't even built in the UK.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#16
I believe that there may be more going on with LP than we think. I met a chinese sailor who said that he lived close by a factory in China that was building laser performance boats. May be possible that the LP boats aren't even built in the UK.
What he said. We may never know the whole story, but one thing for sure is it has been a painful experience since LP took over.

As for US supply things have improved some. However, some dealers are currently out of the North MKII sails at the moment and only have Hyde.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#17
May be possible that the LP boats aren't even built in the UK.
I thought of the same the other day! Maybe LP doesn't want anyone to see their site exactly because there's nothing to see... literally. Whether that would be against the Building Manual, I don't know, and as it's a non-public document, neither do many others.

_
 
#18
I saw the Banbury factory in November 2018 and it was operating normally. What impressed me was the skill and craftsmanship of the teams building the boats as well as the care which went into making them and ensuring they were all identical. Many of the craftsman have been building hulls for years and know how to avoid all the pitfalls.

I have no problem with LP in the UK they have always served me well and all my new boats have been great. I have more problems with the UK and International Associations who appear to have deserted Club and Recreational Sailors to concentrate on the elite sailors and Olympic hopefuls.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#20
Rubbish!!!! Given the supply issues I've personally experienced over the past few years, (and stories shared by multiple suppliers) I'm not inclined to believe the statements above nor inclined to go for the "spin" on this document. As a North American I take offense that all leadership MUST be based in Europe and as a class member I do not see the advantage of having "professional", (Which I read as LP employees) running the class. I stand with our ILCA leadership on this.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#21
In short, it's like it's always been: "we own the trademark, therefore we own the class, and everyone should do as we say." Nice guys.

_
 
Thread starter #22
Fairly egregious that LP seems to think they have influence over the use of Lasers in the 2024 Olympics on the basis of property rights. Nothing like corporate interests threatening to ruin a sport that rarely gets mainstream international media attention.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#23
Thanks Horizon, for posting LP's rebuttal.
I had previously offered two hypotheses for the origin of ILCA/LP conflict, but they were both wrong. I will do my turns!


But seriously, why can't the parties meet (Reykjavik seems like a good place, roughly halfway between the USA and the UK) and come to an agreement? It would save a lot of legal fees and promote the Class in a positive way which would be good for both parties and all Laser sailors.
 
#25
It looks like a power struggle, LP has the trademark, and is using that as leverage over ILCA to get their way.
ILCA has the contract, and apparently has been trying for years to get LP to cooperate.

Looks to me like both parties aren't happy, but as the worldwide organisation, ILCA had to do something to be sure there is a level field.
 
#26
This has been a long time coming... From a dealer's point of view this isn't at all surprising. As a company we've always just sent people the Aussie's way when it came to buying new boats (we couldn't import psa boats due to the trademark BS...), but the people we know who sell LP boats couldn't just order boats from the factory because they would either get soft boats or LP would send the hull with no spars and the dealer wouldn't receive the spars for a couple weeks and sometimes even months. Every LP dealer we know sends someone to LP's factory to pick out the boat they want and the spars they want so that they don't get garbage. (Garbage is their own words not mine.) Hopefully this doesn't turn into one long legal battle which could be bad for the class at a time when we are in question of being in the olympics. At the very least I hope they lose their exclusive trademark to sell in North America.
 

thieuster

Active Member
#28
As I suggested earlier, after reading ILCA's statemnet, this is not good for the chances of Laser staying Olympic. After reading LP's statement, things don't look as if it's going to be better!

Laser had a big advantage when it comes to supplying large numbers of boats for the public. The other designs are not capable (yet) when it comes to producing large numbers. When LP is cut off from supplying 'certified' lasers, that advantage is gone.

Lots of comments here about LP's reaction. What puzzles me is the fact that there's a big difference between ILCA's statement and LP's statement about 'why'/ 'why not'. That's not a matter of interpretation. Both are pretty sure about their opinion. Surely, both parties must have thought along the lines of what I've written in the previous paragraph. Despite that risk, they're willing to get involved in a far-stretching conflict.

We can take sides here on this forum (I'm sure that the main players in this situation read this as well). But for Laser sailing in general and for the Olympic future of the class, it would be best when we try to ask for some sort of mediation from -let's say- WS.

Menno
 
#29
Very unhappy that this forum is being used to make an unsubstantiated accusation of LPE selling "soft boats". I have been sailing Lasers for a long time and I and my sailing friends have never had this problem.

An alternative suggestion made to me by another sailor is the LPE boats are the best which might explain the current wranglings.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#30
As I suggested earlier, after reading ILCA's statemnet, this is not good for the chances of Laser staying Olympic. After reading LP's statement, things don't look as if it's going to be better!
And as I said in the other thread (why do we have two of these?), for the class to stay Olympic it's almost a necessity to get rid of LP. The problem is the monopoly system, and with a 90 % share, LP has the most to lose and is the least willing to agree to any change.

it would be best when we try to ask for some sort of mediation from -let's say- WS.
I have a strong feeling (which of course may turn out to be totally wrong) that ILCA's action has already been sanctioned by WS, and maybe even prepared in cooperation. WS has a history of sticking with the class associations at times like these, and the recent mess with the Sunfish class should have showed them LP 's true colours.

Of course it's a big risk that ILCA (and quite possibly WS) is taking, but there's reason to believe that they haven't made this move without covering their back, researching the legal options and making a realistic game plan. I still trust them to do the right thing.

_
 
#31
Lali can you please elaborate and explain why the Laser monopoly situation is different to the other Olympic contenders?

On the face of it the others seem to single builders with a monopoly as well.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#32
can you please elaborate and explain why the Laser monopoly situation is different to the other Olympic contenders?
This belongs rather, and was already discussed in the "Olympic status" thread, but as you asked: the three other boats are basically Single Manufacturer One-Designs, too, but in the current situation they know that they have to provide something more flexible than than a Laser-ish regional monopoly system in order to be selected.

The current business structure of the Laser was founded ten years before it became Olympic, and at the time there were many more builders than today. To pass the WS anti-trust test, having no regional sales restrictions would be essential, but that's exactly what LP is fighting for. They have repeatedly shown that they want no competition, and would even want to control class associations.

Devoti builds other less strict one-designs, and would surely let others build the D-Zero, even for the same markets. (They're actually involved in an anti-monopoly campaign, but we'll talk about that later.) The Melges 14 was already represented at the sea trials jointly by three manufacturers. I don't know about RS Sailing's intentions, but like the others, they know what the deal is.

_
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#34
This belongs rather, and was already discussed in the "Olympic status" thread, but as you asked: the three other boats are basically Single Manufacturer One-Designs, too, but in the current situation they know that they have to provide something more flexible than than a Laser-ish regional monopoly system in order to be selected.

The current business structure of the Laser was founded ten years before it became Olympic, and at the time there were many more builders than today. To pass the WS anti-trust test, having no regional sales restrictions would be essential, but that's exactly what LP is fighting for. They have repeatedly shown that they want no competition, and would even want to control class associations.

Devoti builds other less strict one-designs, and would surely let others build the D-Zero, even for the same markets. (They're actually involved in an anti-monopoly campaign, but we'll talk about that later.) The Melges 14 was already represented at the sea trials jointly by three manufacturers. I don't know about RS Sailing's intentions, but like the others, they know what the deal is.

_
Which would explain why WS might be HAPPY with the move from the ILCA and actually improve the chances for the Laser staying in the Olympics.
 

torrid

Just sailing
#35
Is there any reason to believe LPE is or isn't on the precipice of bankruptcy? The availability of parts has led to much speculation about the company's health. However, at the same time much money has been spent on lawyers.
 
#36
Very unhappy that this forum is being used to make an unsubstantiated accusation of LPE selling "soft boats". I have been sailing Lasers for a long time and I and my sailing friends have never had this problem.

An alternative suggestion made to me by another sailor is the LPE boats are the best which might explain the current wranglings.
As far as the soft boats are concerned it is a known fact the build quality of the LP lasers ARE worse. A 1 year old LP often has spider cracks in the hull while many 10 year vanguards don’t. That is why most of the Olympic sailors source themselves a PSA boat because they last longer, are stiffer and just better in general.
 
Top