2010 Best Boats Dinghy: Topaz

We were impressed by the potential of the 12 foot Topaz dinghy as well as by its existing features. The boat has developed quickly into an active racing class in Europe and it could do the same here, given proper organization and promotion. The Topaz is a generation beyond fiberglass in construction. The hull is rotomolded of polyethylene, a process that's expensive to set up initially but
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Topaz

We were impressed by the potential of the 12 foot Topaz dinghy as well as by its existing features. The boat has developed quickly into an active racing class in Europe and it could do the same here, given proper organization and promotion.

The Topaz is a generation beyond fiberglass in construction. The hull is rotomolded of polyethylene, a process that's expensive to set up initially but cheap to run, with the cost dropping rapidly as more boats are sold. Uniquely, the hull is double-molded, with a bonded layer of foam between the two layers. This adds rigidity and flotation all at once, while keeping the weight down. At 132 pounds, this will be an easy hull to move, store or cartop.

There are four variants of the Topaz. The Uno is a simple entry-level catboat with 60 square feet of sail on an unstayed mast, suitable for casual daysailing. Add a jib and you have the Uno Plus with 79 square feet. That's just right for a couple of kids or one average adult. In a breeze, the boat will plane if you don't overload it. For more power, the Topaz Race version has a larger sloop rig (93 square feet) and epoxy laminate rudder blade. If you're strong enough to handle it, the Race X version has a stayed mast, Mylar full-battened sail and asymmetric spinnaker which will up the area to 180 square feet downwind. That's a pretty hot boat.

Want more? The Topaz Tres carries a single-spreader rig, a reefing main, a furling jib and a spinnaker on a sprit. To hold all this upright, there's a trapeze for the crew. If this doesn't get your hormones pumping, you need some sort of medical infusion. For more information, visit topazsailing.com

SPECS

LOA: 12ft 6in
Beam: 4ft 9in
Draft: n/a
Displacement: 132 lbs.
Sail area: 180 sq. ft.

Related

Prop-Coat-Barnacle-Barrier-Quart-No-Background

Gear: Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier

Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier 1792 is now available in a quart-size can and, as always, can be used on all underwater metals, including saildrives, shafts, strainers and folding and non-folding props. Two or three coats are recommended, after which the coating will purportedly ...read more

DY_171021_6877

Boat Review: Seawind 1600

Seawind Catamarans introduced its 52ft 1600 model in Europe last year, where the boat promptly started winning awards. The more jaded among us may look askance at such things, especially when it comes to a bluewater-rated catamaran billed as a providing a combination of ...read more

01-LEAD-Sailing-upwind.-300-dpi

Cruising: Australia’s Rugged Southern Coast

After a hard 33-day crossing in the Roaring Forties from Cape Town, South Africa, Jeannie, my wife and shipmate of over four decades, and I arrived to kiss the dock in Albany, a small but well-serviced Victorian town on Australia’s southwestern coast. We were glad the trip was ...read more

ETNZ_14_5687-2048x2048

BREAKING: A Kiwi Spy in the America’s Cup?

Emirates Team New Zealand announced this morning that security breaches have resulted in leaked information and defamatory accusations against their 2021 America's Cup campaign. The campaign has suspected a leak for six months, sweeping their base for bugs and testing firewalls ...read more