Sunday, August 12, 2007

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag

Laser sailors treasure their bags. No Adam, not a giblet bag, though I must say I too, like Captain Giblet Bag, cut a fine manly figure in a Speedo. No Joe, there will be no pictures.

Where was I? Where am I? Oh yes. Bags.

Not long after Bruce Kirby launched the first Laser, way back in the early 70s, some bright spark invented the Laser foil bag. You see when you pack up your Laser after sailing you want to take home with you your daggerboard, your tiller, your rudder, your sail, your battens etc. etc. You don't want to leave them on the boat for the boards to warp in the summer heat or for some jerk to "borrow" your pristine new sail and your finely polished rudder. So you need a bag to carry all those unwieldy parts. Hence the Laser foil bag.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century and the technology of foil bags has advanced somewhat. As the Laser is a strict one-design we can't do much to improve the boat, but, hey, we can have a cooler, snazzier, better designed foil bag than the kid next to us in the boat park. It's all about psychology dude. Impress that kid with your equipment (no not the giblet bag) before sailing and the battle is half won before the race starts.

So it was with considerable excitement that I unpacked the parcel that arrived a few days ago from Intensity Sails with some new Laser gizmos including a bright red, high-tech-looking Intensity Sails Foil Bag. I packed all my gear into the bag before the Buzzards Bay Regatta last weekend and gave my new toy a trial.

Man this is one amazing feat of modern fabric engineering. The compartment for the daggerboard itself is well padded to protect the vulnerable edges and corners and has a vent of mesh down one side. I like that. As someone who is too lazy to dry my foils before I pack them away it's good to know that the board will dry out in the bag, and it's also supposed to protect against overheating. (Don't want a warped edge dude. Nothing worse than a warped edge.) The daggerboard compartment is closed with a sturdy looking zipper -- an "oversize 3 sided coil self healing zipper" according to the website. I've no idea what that means but it sounds good and could be a useful put-down line at some point. "How many sides does your coil have, dude?"

The rudder goes into a compartment closed with a hefty Velcro flap. Wait, there's another compartment under the flap, just the right size for a folded sail. Cool.

Wait. What's this. Another compartment on the outside of the bag with another zipper. Just right for storing battens, and maybe some lines. A place for everything and everything in its place. And then over on the other side, placed diagonally so as to maximize its length, is a long pocket for the tiller and those extra-long tiller extensions that all us Laser guys prefer. Size does matter baby.

The one feature that I found a little strange and that is different from all other foil bags I have seen is that this one is designed to carry the daggerboard trailing edge down. It always made sense to me to have it the other way up so the board rests on its thick leading edge, and the relatively fragile trailing edge is protected from accidental knocks when some klutz like me drops his bag on the floor too hard, for example. I asked Jim Myers of Intensity Sails about this aspect of the design. His reply was, "We looked at this and found with the seam, seam taping and padding that there was enough support for the trailing edge for normal use. I have used mine for over a year with no trailing edge issues." Sounds good. But I still put the bag upside down when I put it in the back of my car.

The Intensity Sails Laser Foil Bag looks sturdy and well-constructed and as if it should last many, many years. There is a bold "Sail with Intensity" logo on one side. Maybe it will remind me to do just that if I look at it often enough? The other side has white spaces to write my sail number and name so that some other envious Laserite can't "accidentally" make off with it. There is a carrying handle and a shoulder strap. Every feature you could imagine wanting. Superb product.

But wait, there's more. Here's why you should rush off now to the Intensity Sails website and order a foil bag. The price. The regular price is $99.99 and they are currently on sail for $69.99. What? Is that a mistake? Has Jim lost his mind? One of my other favorite vendors of Laser goodies is charging over twice that price for their foil bag. So buy one now before Jim recovers his sanity. Even better buy two, one for you and one for your best friend, wife, husband, father, son, whatever as their next birthday present.

What's that, you don't know any other Laser sailors? You will. There are 190,000 of us. Buy two bags anyway.

What? You don't sail a Laser? You mean, you don't sail a Laser yet. You will. It's addictive. In any case buy, two or three foil bags so you can give them to your current and future Laser sailing friends. There's no better value and there's no better present for a Laser sailor.

OK. Got to put my Intensity Sails Foil Bag back in the car and go sailing. See ya!

Come here sister.....Papa's in the swing
He ain't too hip...about that new breed babe
He ain't no drag
Papa's got a brand new bag

Come here mama....and dig this crazy scene
He's not too fancy....but his line is pretty clean
He ain't no drag.
Papa's got a brand new bag


PeconicPuffin said...

That is a fine sounding (and looking) bag. Excellence in off-water accessories surely has a halo effect which improves our performance on the water. I have high hopes that my handmade mast base extension rack will increase my top speed.

Anonymous said...

You guys are too fast for me. I was impressed by a cruising friend who put thick bubble wrap over the top of his cooler as a simple added insulation and to make it easier to slip your hand in a fetch out a beer without letting the cool out.

Anonymous said...

after that endorsement, I hope you got it for free!

Anonymous said...

Come and join us at the IYAC, we are home to the Newport Laser Frostbite Fleet. and

Pat said...

Now that I bought two more Sunfish, maybe I could use them as wampum in case anyone had a Laser that needed a new home. Sunfish fleet will now be up to seven, though we have some missing parts to buy or make.

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