Skandia Team GBR

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ugly Bug-ger?


What the hell is that??

Laser (or Laser Performance as they are becoming) have just launched the Bug!

It's meant to be a versatile (2 kids or 1 adult), performant little boat.

Laser say:

"...The Bug is designed for 1 adult or up to 2 children. With a hull weight of only 46kgs, the Bug is a unique combination of performance and style. It has outstanding upwind capabilities and ultimate off wind sailing, it is a blast to sail..."

I bloody say:

"...Do we need another freakin' class... I fell foul of buying the Laser.EPS a while ago and that class never got above 10 boats... why do we need another dinghy class..?"

My view is what we should be doing is reviewing and overhauling the existing classes, following the success of Moths, Int.14's and lots of other classes that develop forwards, with some pace and control and keep attracting new sailors...


What the Bug should have been is a re-designed Optimist (in my day in the 80's laser did have some moderate success with a laser built Optimist) with a more upto date rig and hull but essentially just a new take on the old Oppy, driven by the class association, members and builders... adding another class to the mix is bad..

Innovation is good, but lets target it at the dinghy classes we have got and make the great sport better...

What do you think?

Innovation in new classes and drive people away from existing fleets and dilute the sport?
Innovation in old classes and drive people into existing fleets and intensify the sport?


Tillerman said...

It's a tough one for a manufacturer. Old classes don't last for ever. A company needs to judge when the market is ready for the next big thing.

The Optimist is old and clunky and not cool. Sooner or later an Optimist killer will come along. It might be the O'Pen Bic. it might be this Bug.

If you're LaserPerformance you want to be the one introducing the next mega class for kids so you can then wean them on to your other classes. And they don't have a product in this end of the market right now so I can see why it makes sense to them.

Anonymous said...

There was a good comment I saw recently, that paraphrasing said:
"Based on the amount of time and effort it has taken Rooster Sailing to help improve existing classes, it is no wonder that RS toook the route of introducing new classes".

What would the Entrerprise class do, if someone came along and suggested close sheeting jibs, centre main, mylar sails, and a double bottom to enable self draining?

Ant said...

Good comment ChrisJ, that does make sense.

What would the Enterprise class do, well I certainly think they should make some moves at modernising the boat, but the FRP one that I sailed a good few seasons in was VERY good... centre-main is being discussed, self draining would take a lot of design-changes and manufacturer buy-in, can't see that being imminent...

So, I guess I see your point BUT I would love it for classes to spend more time, focus and effort in modernising themselves rather than having a delugue of new classes....

Theres a happy medium, but at the moment I don't think the sport is there yet, unfortunately..

Fuff said...

Not very errr, pretty issit?

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?