New Posts New Posts RSS Feed: Why does the Laser exist?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Why does the Laser exist?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1234 7>
Author
sarg boland View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 16 Dec 19
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2
Post Options Post Options   Quote sarg boland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 5:24pm
Great boat at the time but even now best boat for a windy day off a shingle beach.

Performance was a different type of company (not dinghy enthusiasts marketing their new designs) selling a leisure, fun boat for all, a beach boat.  I was interviewed for a summer university job - they would give me a trailer and I would sell boats off the beach.  I was asked if I felt the Laser was suitable to beginners.  As an RYA instructor I could not fully endorse the idea of novices sailing Lasers off the beach with no structure or safety cover - so I did not get the job.

Still got so much to offer.
Fair winds
Back to Top
A2Z View Drop Down
Far too distracted from work
Far too distracted from work


Joined: 10 Oct 16
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 347
Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 5:25pm
It had an unrivalled blend of:

Cost, availability, looks, simplicity, ease of use, standardisation, quality, size, performance, transportability and robustness.

It was one of the first boats that considered the whole marketing mix, not just the product.
Back to Top
423zero View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more


Joined: 08 Jan 15
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1866
Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 6:21pm
Problem with Aero is it's so lightly built to make it faster than Laser, old Aeros will be a rarity.
Robert
Back to Top
davidyacht View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more


Joined: 29 Mar 05
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 985
Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 6:35pm
You need to consider what the competition looked like back then, not now, the Solo was wooden, complicated and relatively heavy, the OK wood, with wooden spars.  

The Laser was lighter, simpler, cheaper and available off the shelf through a network of dealers.  It was (and probably thill is) great fun to sail, if not wetter.

There was also a ready market in the UK of 1000ís of sailors looking to progress from Mirrors.


Happily living in the past
Back to Top
tink View Drop Down
Far too distracted from work
Far too distracted from work


Joined: 23 Jan 16
Location: North East
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 434
Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 9:41pm
the blend of simplicity with performance was a game changer. Back in 70s I feel double handed boats were the norm and so in comparison the minimalist Laser was very different. The relatively dry capsize, closeness to the water all added to the fun.

The Streaker is actually 5 years younger which I think speaks volumes. 
Tink
https://tinkboats.wordpress.com/

http://proasail.blogspot.com
Back to Top
CT249 View Drop Down
Far too distracted from work
Far too distracted from work


Joined: 08 Jul 06
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 306
Post Options Post Options   Quote CT249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:21pm
Originally posted by H2

I was thinking something similar a few weekends ago after getting back to the beach after a few hours racing in a force 6. I was thinking that 25 years ago I was out racing my Laser and in those conditions I would have been totally battered and broken and here I was as a middle age man with a smile on my face and I thought to myself "Why does a Laser even exist?" :-)

Because many of us love it, and because we don't get broken up sailing on in F6.

Other interesting questions are why does anyone buy a new design like the H2, which weighs as much as a 1960s design?


Edited by CT249 - 16 Dec 19 at 10:29pm
Back to Top
Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more


Joined: 07 Mar 12
Location: Manchester UK
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2572
Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:39pm
Possibly 'cos the H2 is sophisticated, tweakable, ergonomically well thought out, comfortable, and just nice to sail?
Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Back to Top
CT249 View Drop Down
Far too distracted from work
Far too distracted from work


Joined: 08 Jul 06
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 306
Post Options Post Options   Quote CT249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:49pm
Originally posted by Mark Aged 42

Don't get me wrong, I love mine, but while sitting around at the weekend waiting for the wind to drop, I got to wondering about the birth of the Laser.
At its inception, by my reckoning, available single handers included:
Finn
Solo
Europe
OK
Moth
Contender
Canoe
Streaker
Sunfish
Minisail

Surely there was something for everybody in that list.
So how did the Laser muscle in so successfully?


As its creators told me, partly it was smart marketing and the right boat with the right production; partly the right time; and partly something no one can work out.

On the physical side, it arguably had a newer style of hull than any of the listed designs bar the Contender, and it had an advantage over the Contender because it was much lighter as well as being more of a mass-market boat. The use of foam sandwich in the deck was also pretty novel at the time. It was also a boat created by an industrial designer as a bit of an exercise in minimalism, and Kirby understood that aim right from the first doodle over the phone.

One thing that interests me is that the boat is a long one for its sail area, freeboard, weight and length. Adding length is one of the best ways to make a boat perform well.  Long, light boats with comparatively rigs tend to be good allrounders, and IMHO one of the Laser's strengths is that it performs well across a wide range of conditions.  

It was at the right time, because it was around when dinghy sailing was still huge and around the start of the big swing to singlehanded sailing. And while it had a small marketing budget, it was very well directed. The boat also got very positive independent reviews for its simplicity, modern appearance and speed even from its first showing at the America's Tea Cup Regatta, when it was still a speculative project known as TGIF.

The other thing, of course, was that it kicked off in North America where it had less competition in terms of good rival designs, and (as Ian Bruce told me) it wasn't in competition with the Finn etc because it was initially seen as a top sailors like Peter Barrett as their "other" boat; their strict OD fun boat for when they were not sailing their Finn etc. 

What may be a significant factor is that around that time, the Moth had recently changed from the wingless scow/Europe style of boat into a more fragile and exotic racing machine. That seems to have been particularly critical in the USA (where the old wingless and short-winged Europe-style Moths had been enormously popular on the east coast) and Australia (where the wingless scow had been the #1 singlehanded class).  The newer Moths were less friendly to the typical club racer and that left a gap for the Laser.

I still remember the first time I saw a Laser. I was about 10 and a former sailing journo had the Australian rights. He brought about half a dozen of them to my club and lent them out for racing on a course about 30 metres long, inside the marina, on a sailing day.  A bunch of top sailors went out on these super simple boats, which were faster than a Moth because of their length and design and as fast as a Contender in light airs, and bashed them around and had a great time. As I recall, one of them - a Moth national champ who had developed the hard chine scow - came straight ashore and bought one. It was great marketing that emphasised simple fun on a tough, one design boat that performed well.


Edited by CT249 - 16 Dec 19 at 10:53pm
Back to Top
zeon View Drop Down
Posting king
Posting king


Joined: 20 Aug 16
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 191
Post Options Post Options   Quote zeon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:49pm
Everybody is broken up by sailing a laser in F6 unless you are an Olympic/ National winning level sailor .
I am not dissing the laser in anyway, I have owned two and spent most of my 25 sailing years in them.  But is undeniable a very physical boat to sail when the wind is at that level.
Back to Top
CT249 View Drop Down
Far too distracted from work
Far too distracted from work


Joined: 08 Jul 06
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 306
Post Options Post Options   Quote CT249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 19 at 10:55pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Possibly 'cos the H2 is sophisticated, tweakable, ergonomically well thought out, comfortable, and just nice to sail?

Yes, but if people want to be negative about someone else's class then one can point out that the H2 is heavy and dog slow for a 201X boat.

Personally I don't like being negative about other classes, but I don't see any reason to sit back when the sniping starts.  Obviously no boat is perfect, but implying that a class should not exist at all is being rather extreme.  


Edited by CT249 - 16 Dec 19 at 11:00pm
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1234 7>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.665y
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz
Change your personal settings, or read our privacy policy