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GRP Foils Archy Posted - 30/08/2010

The following Press Release was published on the Yachts & Yachting website on 4th August 2010:

LaserPerformance to launch new GRP Foils
By Sarah Schaill, LaserPerformance

“Beginning in July, LaserPerformance will deliver their new GRP foils (centreboard and rudder) as standard equipment on their boats. These new foils will first appear on Lasers and then be spread across the rest of the product lines including the Sunfish, Bahia, Vago, and Laser 2000, among others.

These new foils are made in LaserPerformance’s dedicated new manufacturing facility using their proprietary infused foils technology. The result is foils that are strong and very durable. In addition, the tolerances are tighter and more consistent.

'We’re really looking forward to getting these out on the market. Our facility was given a tight deadline. They have been able to ramp up very quickly with a product our customers will really appreciate', said Bill Crane, Director LaserPerformance.

At the core of each foil is a high quality polyurethane foam. The foam is skinned with high quality “E” glass fibre. A number of layers are applied to ensure durability, strength. Unidirectional fibre is positioned between each layer to provide precise stiffness. On the surface, an epoxy based vinyl ester gelcoat is used for maximum surface hardness and finish.

State of the art temperature controlled steel moulds are used in production. These moulds are designed to ensure controlled pressure and vacuum conditions – all critical elements of LaserPerformance’s unique manufacturing process. In addition, the foils are made in one piece which reduces material fatigue and provides excellent consistency and performance.

Finally, all foils are fitted with G10 plate inserts made from solid E grade glass fibre. These plates help ensure the foil is not damaged when drilling and securing fittings.”

We have subsequently received the following information from LaserPerformance, qualifying the introduction of the new foils to the Laser 2000:

1) Will the new foils have the same geometric and dynamic characteristics as the originals, i.e. be the same shape, section, weight, stiffness, surface finish, trailing edge, etc.?

"GRP foils will be to the same specification – weight and stiffness – and work to the same tolerances. Obvious changes will be the materials, which include a gel coat skin, glass fibre casing and foam injected core. This should mean that boards should have better longevity, are easier to repair and will not chip and damage in the way the foam core ones did.

A lot of effort has been put in at the testing end to ensure the GRP foils have the same characteristics as the existing foils. Weight and shape should be the same as the previous design of foils. Finish will obviously be different as the surface material will have a finish similar to gel coat. Trailing edge should be more constant because boards cannot warp and tolerances of any slight bend are massively reduced due to the way the boards are manufactured. This is because the PPL board could bend slightly when they leave the mould to cool but the way these boards are manufactured should vastly reduce this problem to ensure a straighter board and truer trailing edge."

2) When will the new foils be available as standard fit for new Laser 2000s?

"The new GRP foils will be available on the next batch of boats, due to be with us at the end of September. They will now be fitted as standard."

3) When will the new foils be available as spares?

"Spares will be available once we have production at a high enough level to cover and surpass new boat needs. This should be within about 4 weeks."

4) We also note that on the Laser forum there are also references to 'Standard' and 'Elite' versions. What is the strategy for Laser 2000s in this respect?

"Standard foils will be the GRP range, we were looking at the possibility of releasing “XTM” foils as a superior blade but this is unlikely to happen for the next few years if at all."
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