LP no longer an approved builder-- why?

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.
 

thieuster

Active Member
#37
2017 LPE boat here; #212xxx. 'Driven in anger' so to speak: >120 days/year in -sometimes- atrocious weather conditions, hauled across Europe (20k kms) on the stackable A-frame trailer. No cracks, no flex. The only thing that has failed is the lower mast. Besides, when sailing a Laser after the Dutch design Splash, you're in for a treat. Those Splashes are só prone to failure, production quality differences etc. Luckily, we had a 'good one'.

I have seen AUS Lasers as well; some people have managed to get one or two shipped to Europe. No-one has been able to show me (not: tell me - I've heard the stories as well) the difference in quality. The main problem is that LPE suppliers here in Europe are reluctant to work on AUS boat when there's damage to the hull etc. Must say I do love the colour of the AUS boats more than the Ice Blue hull.

Back on topic: it is it's odd that EurILCA and ILCA are not on the same page in this one.

Menno
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#38
2017 LPE boat here; #212xxx. 'Driven in anger' so to speak: >120 days/year in -sometimes- atrocious weather conditions, hauled across Europe (20k kms) on the stackable A-frame trailer. No cracks, no flex. The only thing that has failed is the lower mast. Besides, when sailing a Laser after the Dutch design Splash, you're in for a treat. Those Splashes are só prone to failure, production quality differences etc. Luckily, we had a 'good one'.

I have seen AUS Lasers as well; some people have managed to get one or two shipped to Europe. No-one has been able to show me (not: tell me - I've heard the stories as well) the difference in quality. The main problem is that LPE suppliers here in Europe are reluctant to work on AUS boat when there's damage to the hull etc. Must say I do love the colour of the AUS boats more than the Ice Blue hull.

Back on topic: it is it's odd that EurILCA and ILCA are not on the same page in this one.

Menno
I think EurlLCA is sort of playing the middle.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#39
I'm partial to the Vanguard hulls, (on my 3rd one now) as I feel they have a nice quality build. Everyone "says" the Aussie boats are the ones to have. I have seen LPE boats with stress cracks along the center board trunk and I've heard direct from dealers how getting "complete boats" from LPE in the US is near impossible. A friend of mine bought one and it was shipped with the LPE practice sail! The best way to get a new LPE hull in the US is buy one from a builder supplied charter event.
 
#40
2017 LPE boat here; #212xxx. 'Driven in anger' so to speak: >120 days/year in -sometimes- atrocious weather conditions, hauled across Europe (20k kms) on the stackable A-frame trailer. No cracks, no flex. The only thing that has failed is the lower mast. Besides, when sailing a Laser after the Dutch design Splash, you're in for a treat. Those Splashes are só prone to failure, production quality differences etc. Luckily, we had a 'good one'.

I have seen AUS Lasers as well; some people have managed to get one or two shipped to Europe. No-one has been able to show me (not: tell me - I've heard the stories as well) the difference in quality. The main problem is that LPE suppliers here in Europe are reluctant to work on AUS boat when there's damage to the hull etc. Must say I do love the colour of the AUS boats more than the Ice Blue hull.

Back on topic: it is it's odd that EurILCA and ILCA are not on the same page in this one.

Menno
A lot of the load on the boats depends on the size and strength of the sailor. A smaller radial sailor abuses the hull a massive amount less than a big strong full rig sailor. Many of the top US full rig sailors buy a new LP boat each year because how quickly they wear them out. A large amount of the wear on the boat depends on how much you tow your boat, especially in waves. At my club it is a 30 plus min tow to the sailing area. About half of that tow is in the open ocean. A good trailer will do no damage to the hull. You also just might have gotten a stiff hull. The person who organizes shipments of PSA boats in my area says that the AUS lasers are just better quality in production. But hey that makes sense as they make far less boats per year.
 
Top