2013 JTA Paper Tasar II

JTA Paper Tasar II

The idea of a Tasar II mentioned in the paper touches upon an issue not limited to tasar but one that all classes (especially one-design classes) will inevitably face sooner or later.


The sailing performance of the yacht is one of the crucial elements that influence one's decision making in choosing a class. The performance would lose its luster or require alterations over the years.


  If a class comes to a point where it can no longer maintain itself, and if the only option for the class members is to move to another class, they will have to abandon the fleet they've built over the years.


The idea of creating a "Tasar II" can be perceived as a means to maintain the existing fleets and its raison d'être, by providing a successor class. In this aspect, the idea of creating a new class is not inconceivable in itself.


However, JTA believes that the current tasar class still remains attractive to many sailors. We don't think it's worth making such an experimental move of creating a successor class ahead of other classes, to maintain and develop the existing Tasar class.  As noted in the Opinion #2 below, we would only be facing the same fate unless we get to the heart of the matter; namely, the lack of sufficient promotional activities to popularize tasar sailing so far, and the degree of likelihood for successfully popularizing a new tasar.


We feel the three options proposed in the paper are not quite appropriate to discuss these issues and somewhat misleading.


Above all, we don't think the paper correctly analyzes the core issue: the reason why the popularization and spread of tasar has not been successful.





Opinion #1


Under the one-design principle, to "continue evolving by introducing the carbon fiber mast" is not an option. Nor do I perceive the introduction of mylar sail and carbon fiber mast as "an evolution to continue evolving." The decline in sailing population is not confined to the tasar class. Creating a Tasar II would not amount to an increase in the number of people competing in the Tasar class. It's highly unlikely that we can even maintain the current class size, because not all existing tasar sailors would migrate over to the new class.


The paper states that "the commercial realities will ultimately dictate the continued viability of the existing tasar class and the development of a new high performance dinghy." If that's the case, I (as an existing tasar sailor) would have to choose the "Do nothing" option.


In regard to the introduction of the carbon fiber mast, I have a feeling that it would lead to a decline in the number of tasar sailors, due to the cost of transition.


The introduction of the carbon mast was decided based on the prospects that it would be "compatible with the existing sails" and "less costly", but I get the impression from the designer's report that these prospects have been overturned more or less.


As for Tasar II, it's hard to evaluate without conducting a market survey to assess the merits of introduction, and compare its attractiveness with the existing tasar.


The whole discussion seems rather abrupt and far-fetched to me, which is why I thought it would be better to make a comment than stick my head in the sand.






Opinion #2


I agree with the option of "Continue to Evolve." I think the main challenges the Tasar class is facing are declining boat sales and class members, and relatively high costs. We need to continue our efforts to explore measures for improving the tasar sailing experience and performance, or for cutting the costs, even if it amounts to additional costs for the existing sailors. The additional costs would be limited, as we can continue using the existing foils and hulls. Therefore, "Do nothing" is not an option.


As for "a successor to the Tasar", we need to consider whether the new boat is appealing enough to make the existing tasar sailors to replace their current yacht. We also need to see how much cheaper it would be in concrete terms. There are already yachts in the market that are cheaper than tasar and with high performance, so a new tasar would need to offer benefits and values these existing boats don't. To conclude that we need a successor to the tasar would be equivalent to saying that tasar is not capable of solving the challenges previously mentioned, "as-is".


A new tasar will likely face the same fate, unless we validate whether the existing promotional activities---such as attracting sailors from other classes, raising awareness of tasar among beginners, and putting out the information about top sailors---have been sufficient so far.






Opinion #3


According to a website on the Icon class (http://www.cirrusrace.com/icon), its specifications are quite similar to the features being considered for a new tasar, which could the reason why it keeps popping up in the discussion about Tasar II.


An Icon yacht is:


・an evolutionary model of NS14


・No transom


・No rotation mast


・No spinnaker


・a super light and the fastest hiker etc.


While an improvement of sailing performance is always welcome, we do not need to go out of our way to do so if it means replacing the majority of the existing boats.