Laser 470 Build

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by NA me, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Got to agree with CT 249 here. Racing isn't about who is fastest from A to B - fastest is pretty much always the guy with the most money. One designs level the playing field, and make it accessible to more players - rather than create an environment where only great athletes with a lot of money can compete (I-14s, 49ers, 18s).

    Lasers are great boats - they aren't the fastest, they aren't the most comfortable and they aren't the most expensive. They are however the best class to race as an adult, and the best place to find competition almost anywhere.

    I stand by my critique of the Laser - but the minor issues with the Laser are irrelevant when compared to the value in fleets and competition.

  2. idkfa
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    idkfa Senior Member

    Guys, everything gets faster, that's just how it is, have a look around.

    The laser may seem untouchable but she too needs to compete for new blood.

    190,000? Clubs that can afford will (like those that buy a new boat every year), and those that can't will in 5+ years.

    Anyway, we had a race on in 25+, I abandoned the race and started chasing windsurfers for fun, did not pass any but looked way-cooler keeping up with them, then I'd wipe-out! Planing IMHO takes a bit more than having the water exiting smoothly off the transom. What % of disp is being supported by buoyancy versus lift, where does semi-disp/plaining end and planing start? The rate of increase in drag with speed, should change. You encourage (many) keel boaters to say they were plaining, when clearly they were not!

    Finally, I was seriously asking about price. I do believe for a general purpose boat like the laser, price does trump all else, so if someone did make a lighter, laser with a dead simple rig (like the laser) for 1/3 less money, all those minor faults will not seem so minor any more.

    And it CAN be done, for even less, just ask the Chinese.
  3. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Not everything gets faster, if by that you mean changing the rules to make stuff significantly faster.

    We haven't changed the rules much in running, football, swimming, or sports like that. It's the same in sailing. The most popular classes are boats like the 420, Laser, OK, Hobie 16, J/24 and others that are pretty much the same speed they've ever been (allowing for usual "micro developments" in tune and gear). The Laser is little faster than it was in the '70s - actually the rise of the Radial and 4.7 means that the typical Laser is probably slower than it was in 1970. The Opti hasn't gotten significantly faster but it's hugely popular. Some classes (18 Foot Skiff) are less popular.

    Here's some facts about the comparative speed of adult's* racing dinghies in the UK (probably the world's biggest market) over time. In the late '50s, the average popular dinghy class was about 2.5% faster than a 420**.

    In 1970, the average popular adult racing dinghy class was 2.5% quicker than a 420.

    In 1974, around the height of the "dinghy boom", the average popular adult's dinghy class was 4% quicker than the 420. There were vast fleets of fast boats. 505s averaged over 100 entries per year in the Nats for most of the decade. In 1974, there were a staggering 175 Fireballs, 116 505s, 98 Ospreys, 82 Hornets, 84 FDs (must have been a worlds), 78 470s and 67 Int 14s at their respective national titles. That's the massive total of 700 high performance trapeze boats - way more than you see today.

    And that seems to have been the high-water mark in the dinghy boom in the UK. Dinghies were, on average, faster than ever before or ever since, and yet the numbers of people sailing started to slide. The fact that boats were faster didn't attract sailors.

    Today, the average popular adult's class in the UK is 2.6% quicker than a 420, so there's been almost no progress in that respect since the '50s. Fast trap boats like Fireballs and 505s were in the top 6 most popular classes in the UK during the mid '70s - now there's only four trap or wing dinghies in the most popular 20 adult's classes.

    So the facts are that the most popular boats these days are, on average, the same speed or slower than the most popular boats of earlier eras. And that's in the biggest market in the world.

    It's similar in other countries. The new boats that catch on are rarely (but sometimes) fast ones. Most dinghy sailors in the UK still choose Thistles, Lasers, Lightnings etc. There's only one fast new class (29er) that has made a big impact. Most people - and we're talking smart, knowledgeable and experienced people most of the time - simply prefer to sail slow or middle speed boats.

    This applies just about everywhere, even if people prefer to ignore the fact. You may say "everything gets faster" but that is just not true, if we're talking about popular boats and significant increases in speed.

    The most popular classes in sailing simply are not much faster than they used to be, and the classes that are much faster simply aren't that popular. All the hype can't change the facts.

    What is working in some markets are simple, economical, easy to sail little boats that may be replacing the '50s "family" boats - but these emerging classes aren't very fast boats.

    About "190,000? Clubs that can afford will (like those that buy a new boat every year), and those that can't will in 5+ years."

    The guys around here who buy a new Laser every year can often afford to do so because they can sell the second-hand one on at a good price. If everyone gets out of Lasers the bottom will drop out of the second-hand market and people will be LESS able to afford to buy a new boat.

    And in 5+ years there'll still be a smaller stock of second-hand boats in the new class, and the new class will still be battling against LAsers and there'll be a fragmented marketplace. Of course, it seems that you're assuming that everyone's going to chose the same new boat, not fragment the market into 10 new boats.

    And, as CutOnce points out, what in the world is the point? Who in the world would be dumb enough to buy a Laser for its pure speed anyway? Everyone knows it's not a really fast boat in terms of pure speed, but they still buy it. Buying a Laser-style boat to go fast is like buying a bonsai tree so you can use it for firewood - it's just not what it's good for.

    PS - here's a little tidbit. This year, the 1912-designed gaff rig clinker 12 Voetsjoel had its biggest event, and it attracted 93 entries - more than the much-hyped (and fantastic) foilers got. When there's more J-Classers, ancient schooners and Big Boats on the circuit than there are leading-edge supermaxis, when the timber 12 foot gaffers get more boats than the 11 or 14 foot foilers, it seems evidence of a change in the way sailing is going.

    * "adults classes" include some that are popular with adults racing with kids.
    ** YEs, I know the 420 wasn't around then, but yardsticks were around and it's a well-known boat so therefore a good comparison.
    Tink likes this.
  4. gunship
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Sweden

    gunship Senior Member

    Personally I only find the Laser pleasurable to sail in pretty powerful (by inshore standards of course), preferably steady winds and no waves.

    Only when you have to lay flat out on the side, holding yourself up with the mainsheet rope (and the normal foot ribbons or whatever) it is decently comfortable, otherwise my back DIES when hunching on the side and crawling around. Also, the waves in combination with the useless self drainage makes me take a larger dinghy (im my case a Triss Jig) any day.

    just my 0.02€
  5. rq7
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: UK

    rq7 rq7

    This thread is more than 10 years old but it would be nice to see whether things have changed over the years. I know there is something happening between ILCA and Laserperformance atm but I didn't understand what is actually going on. I am just wondering whether it is legal to build a Laser for myself.

  6. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    In the US anyone can legally build a boat with the same shape as a Laser and the same sailplane, etc. You can't call it a Laser since that name is a trademark and the Laser class will not recognize your boat as a Laser.
    New Canoe commercial design. Possible?

    In the UK new designs are protected from 10 to 15 years or possibly 25 years depending on circumstances. The original Laser is over forty years old so any such protection would have lapsed long ago.
    Design right
    Design rights - Intellectual property - Clarke Willmott LLP,document%2C%20whichever%20period%20expires%20first.
  7. rq7
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: UK

    rq7 rq7

    Thank you for the explanation. That sounds reasonable.
    Stretching the topic, what I deduce is one can even sell a laser look-alike with the condition of not calling it Laser.
    Clearly, this can't race in official competitions.

  8. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    wet feet Senior Member

    Would a suitable analogy be the sale of aftermarket car spares,a company may make a part that is identical in shape and function to the original and sell it,but they would be in trouble if they suggested it was from the original supplier.The Laser (or is it Kirby Torch or ILCA ?)is a slightly odd example as there was a bit of bother about one of the regional builders deviating from the common spec if my memory is correct.
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