Are these class legal?

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by jeffers, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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  2. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    You're only permitted a spring, ball or tape to between the two blocks, so the spliced rope is illegal and would need to be cut off. Looking at other items which they have on ebay, there is a definite lack of Laser Trademark stamps on the items that should have them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  3. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    Thanks Alan, I was pretty sure that might be the case. I will be sending the seller a message.
     
  4. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    I have been in touch with the company concerned about this item (and the others). They tell me they will 'look in to' adding a notice to the effect that these are items are not legal for class racing (I won't hold my breath). In the mean time caveat emptor.
     
  5. laserxd

    laserxd Member

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    there's no performance advantage to using those, especially against the new blocks

    Do you think racers are buying them?
     
  6. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    The class rules are set up in a manner where performance advantage is a non issue. If it's authorised, it's not legal, it doesn't matter even if it's a performance disadvantage.
     
  7. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    I would say there is a danger of someone who is new to the class who is not up to speed with the 'quirks' of the class rules who may buy them and then end up having to buy 'official' blocks to race with.
     
  8. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Fully agree, this is why I'm anti people using "replica parts" on there boats they don't race. When / if they sell their boat, the new owner may want to race and is in for an expensive surprise.
     
  9. Emilio Castelli

    Emilio Castelli Member

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    Below is a list of parts that are functionally equivalent or identical to each other beside being stamped with a laser trademark.
    I'm sure this can be refined and made more complete but it gets the point across.
    I left out sails, masts, blades since I do not consider them identical to the official ones.

    Part /Official /No Laser TM /Delta
    Bailer $75.00 $20.00 $55.00
    Bow eye $15.00 $5.00 $10.00
    Deck blocks + plate $64.00 $56.00 $8.00
    Deck cleats $108.00 $40.00 $68.00
    Fairlead $12.00 $8.00 $4.00
    Hiking strap plate $9.00 $1.00 $8.00
    Rudder lift stop $5.00 $2.75 $2.25
    Large traveler block $24.00 $9.00 $15.00
    Small traveler block $17.00 $8.00 $9.00
    Gooseneck $53.00 $18.00 $35.00
    Vang strap $16.00 $7.00 $9.00
    Vang tang $27.00 $13.00 $14.00
    Mainsheet block $22.00 $6.00 $16.00
    Mainsheet block w tang $24.00 $6.00 $18.00
    Total $471.00 $199.75 $271.25

    I would not have any problem paying the extra money if this money (and I mean 100% of it) went to the class association.
    Since this is not the case and most (all?) of the $$ goes to the trademark holder, I think the class should allow identical parts w/o the Laser TM to be used in racing or alternatively renegotiate with the trademark holders.
    In practical terms I do not think anyone would ever be protested for using any of these unofficial parts in any race.
    E
     
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  10. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    Emilio - Well done. You document a 136% mark-up for the TM parts that have no measurable differnce on performance. If you added in the sails, masts, and blades it becomes closer to a 300% mark-up (or even 500% depending o the market/region). And clearly many club fleets do not consider the non-TM parts an issue and allow the use of these components including even sails. I have never ever seen a club level (where most Laser sailors are) protest over the use of these parts (which are frequent and obvious) many write SIs that allow them. When considering the sails and all its reached the point where one can save more than $1000 USD.

    While I think such a mark-up is inexcusable, I too would be OK with it IF it went into the class and was used to broadly support the sailing we love. But its not going there. I don't know if it goes to BKI, LPE, PSA but it sure goes somewhere that does not benefit us; the sailors.

    AlanD - You know I am a big fan of ILCA but I have to say at some point maybe we should be looking at allowing more flexibility here. The steadfast mantra of SMOD (and we never have been and are not really SMOD anyway) addreses something is at best maybe relevant for the Worlds or Olympic level sailor but does not matter (performance wise) for the vast majority of people that are sailing at the club level. The numbers suggest they don't seem to join the class anymore and maybe (?) its in part because we continue habits that are not aligned with their interests and pocketbooks.

    An Old Dude

     
  11. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Old Dude, the thing I'm worried about is how it impacts under the current rules. What happens in the future is a different matter and I suspect no one including yourself & Emilio have yet put anything in writing to the ILCA requesting the rules get changed. Whilst I'm no longer a measurer, one of the reasons why I got out was because of the increasing difficulty of determining if boats were actually legal. If the class is losing volunteer class officials because they don't get the support of the members or the association, the class is in far worse condition than just the issue between Kirby & LP.

    The whole reason why the class grew to be so strong was because we all sailed the same boat within a specific region, even if there were small regional differences (i.e. which sails were available in which region which was generally only the one sail). We're losing site of why the class became strong in the first place.
     
  12. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    I respectfuly disagree.

    Neither you or I can know for sure why the class became strong in the first place. Personally, I suspect it has far less to do with SMOD and much more to do with an easy to rig boat, that was reasonably affordable, did not need crew, could be transported and maintained easily, was not too hard but not too easy to sail (reasonable performance), had large fleets just about anywhere one went, and had a class association that was in it for the long haul such that the class was unlikely to die, thus ensuring good resale value for the boats. If people were really into the class primarily because we had such strict rules about what parts could and could not be used, then all these non-TM parts and the sailors using them would not be welcomed, they would be shunned. Respectfully, that is not what it is happening. Virtually every club level fleet I know of has grown or maintained in numbers the last few years and they all allow non-TM parts/components. And it's clearly not just because we can't find the TM parts. Take sails for example. It's not hard at all to find class TMed/buttoned sails. They just cost 400% to 500% of what the "generic" sails do. And every year I see more and more people using them and more and more clubs writing rules to allow them. If we are being honest, the bulk of the sailors are not rejecting this trend or clinging to some dated concept called SMOD that was never really so. They are embracing affordability, practicality, and access.

    I simply offer for consideration that on this point the class - which I love and respect - is perhaps out of step with the masses and maybe that why the masses don't join the class much anymore. We seem to have a divide. The minority that includes the high level sailors are joining, but the majority - the club level sailors are not and they are also pursuing a course that is 180 degrees at odds with the class by allowing the non-TMed parts.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2013
  13. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    You're not offering anything. If you want non TM parts, instead of replying to me. Write a letter to the ILCA, cc NALCA and your district LCA and actually put forward a proposal. Encourage others with a similar opinion to do the same. Sorry, having a discussion on a forum means f*** all. The same applies with everything else posted here about rule changes, be it Bottle Port or any to do with rigging. If you want something to be made class legal, it's up to you to approach the ILCA formally and not the ILCA to think up something random and think wouldn't that be wonderful.
     
  14. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    That's fair thoughI will say that bouncing ideas off folks be it in a forum or in the dinghy park over a beer are what leads to to those proposals...

    Did not intend to raise your blood pressure; just an exchange of views.
     
  15. deadrock

    deadrock New Member

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    To take Old Dude's point, a club cannot write rules to allow non-class-legal equipment for racing. I say this with absolute certainty because as the then UK Laser Measurer, I wrote to the RYA Rules Committee last year to get clarification.

    Some believe that, even if replica kit is out for class-racing, it is OK for Handicap racing. Sorry: even then, any boat entered as a Laser and racing with a replica sail is still subject to protest by any other competitor. Moreover, if a boat persists in sailing with replica kit, it becomes a deliberate flouting of the RRS, and that can get very messy. For many sailors club racing is their only racing, and club sailors deserve the same strict one-design racing that made the Laser so successful as a racing dinghy.

    To deal with Paul's and AlanD's points on the subject of these traveller blocks, I first saw them on the stand of a supplier of 'replacement' kit at the London Dinghy Exhibition in the spring. They are not legal in any way, and I warned the Chief Measurer to be on the lookout for them.

    Some years ago I tackled LP, asking them to start stamping all their class-legal items, not just the big-ticket items, so that sailors (and measurers) could be sure that they were using class-legal kit. When it came to these minor components I was told that it would be too expensive to implement.
     
  16. Old Dude

    Old Dude Member

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    I think you are technically correct Deadrock.

    But yet it gets done and the parts and sails are used with increasing frequency. Those using the gear are not shunned; it seems more likely that somebody protestingt the gear would be shunned at many clubs.

    Might that not tell us something about the interest and focus of club level sailors? Do we not care?

    I could easily support a view that said it all must be TM if the money (even just a decent part of it) went back to benefit the sailors (all of them). But that is not so. It apparently goes to some rich dudes who fight among themselves and put at risk and/or sue the very class association and volunteers that helped make them rich.

    Anyway, as Alan points out the venue for change is someplace other than this forum, either by voting with one's feets and pocketbook as many now do or putting a proposal to ILCA.

    Cheers.
     
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  17. Emilio Castelli

    Emilio Castelli Member

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    I think the class right now needs to wait and see what the legal outcome of the litigation is. Once the situation is clearer the class should propose changes of some of its class rules OR get a much better deal from the suppliers.
    I think the class should always look after the interest of its membership w/o waiting for the membership to complain; this is one of the reasons for our dues.
    When the time is right I will certainly bring this up in the appropraiate formal way as well (over a bottle of wine with Tracy).
    E
     
  18. Alex/Steve

    Alex/Steve Member

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    It is a quandary.

    As far as I am aware both my daughter's boat and mine are legal and we try hard to keep it so.

    But we have an old boat in the back yard which we are "doing up" to sailing condition to donate to our club for young sailors to use as they progress. It will only ever be used as a club boat. Basically we can't afford to use official parts to do it.

    So do we give up because it won't be class legal or do we continue so someone will have the opportunity to sail it?

    Steve/Alex
     
  19. deadrock

    deadrock New Member

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    Steve and Alex,

    It shouldn't be quite such a quandary as you seem to make out. It is perfectly possible to refurbish an old Laser to a reasonable standard without using the expensive post-2000 kit. A UK-based joint RYA/UKLA/LaserPerformance initiative called Activate your Laser was aimed at getting those disused Lasers sculling around at the bottom of every dinghy park back into use, especially by youngsters.

    One of the main reasons for introducing the 'new' fittings in 2000-odd was to make the Laser easier for women and youth sailors to sail. The problem (which I pointed out in the UK Class Association magazine before the proposal was voted-on) was that these enhancements inevitably cost a lot more than the standard kit. Which they did.

    'Activate' involved using ILCA-legal parts to make the Laser easy to sail without using the more expensive items from the new fittings, but getting most of the effect by adapting existing kit legally. A key part of the programme was the involvement of the UK builder, who provided packs to help sailors rescue old boats. I'm not sure about the current status of the programme in the UK, but a guy by the name of Brett Cokayne was the mastermind.

    If you want to plan a similar programme wherever you are, the information to help you do just that is at:
    http://www.laser.org.uk/base.php?SessionCRC=1458577957&PageSelect=Activate
    There is no reason why such a programme should not be started wherever you are in the world.

    If you want to see how you can improve on the original (i.e. pre-2000) fittings, go to:
    www.designcake.com . The site will show you how to rig a workable outhaul, vang and cunningham without breaking the bank.

    So far as sails are concerned, see if you can persuade the better sailors in your area to donate their old sails. They are likely to have ILCA-legal sails in their attic that are no longer competitive but are perfectly serviceable. I have, and the only stipulation I have is that the numbers are removed; I don't want to see one of my old sails passing me.
     
  20. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    I'm OK with SMOD to some degree, even if it means paying more for parts. However in the case of the class-legal sail, and I know I'm beating a dead horse here, I really feel I'm getting taken advantage of.
     

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