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North American ILCA Builder


New Member
Laser Sailors,
Lets start making lasers is North America again.
What would it take?
Does anyone have interest?
Does it make sense?
I realize this is a complex business, but I’m spitballing. DM if you prefer.
I am potentially motivated investor.


Well-Known Member
I understand this is a builder-initiated process; at least this last wave of new builders coming in was something that started with the candidates applying for a building licence from ILCA. After that it was mostly about the technical capabilities of each applicant. Geographic location was a factor that was specifically stated to not count.

I also believe that several North American builders applied, and one - Zim Sailing - got a licence. However, it looks now like they won't use it, and are rather importing the boats from their Chinese parent company (Zou Inter Marine), who has a separate licence of its own.

ILCA said at one point that there are a few additional unnamed candidates that might be licensed in the foreseeable future, but there has been no news about that for a while. There are already 8 builders worldwide, which is the most since the 1980s. The demand is however much lower now, and unlike in the past, everybody is free to sell new boats everywhere. Instead of even more builders joining in, I find it more likely that one or two more will drop out.


beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I think you would have to have a compelling point of difference for an NA builder, and probably a plan to sell boats in other countries too to get enough volume. The boats would have probably fit one or more of the following: be cheaper, more readily available (the new mfr's seem to be offering pretty good US availability), set up a broader dealer network than the non-NA boats, have the quality or speed somehow be perceived as higher/better (in reality that should not be possible, but perception is everything), provide better post-sale support, etc. I cannot imagine a lot of people buying an NA made boat just because it is NA made.