2011 Best Boats: Topaz TAZ

Best Dinghy
Author:
Updated:
Original:
taz.int

Although it can be easily singlehanded, the 9ft 8in TAZ, from Topper International, can handle an adult and child, making it ideal for training or parent/offspring daysails.

Better still, this is a boat with a Bermudian rig that both prepares beginners for the rigs they will be handling as adolescents and adapts to their needs as they develop as sailors. Specifically, the basic rig flies a 48ft2 main, while a higher-performance “race” version includes an 11ft2 headsail. Combine the race rig with the TAZ’s slippery hull form (with a true “pointy bow instead of a square one” as one young sailor described it to us), and flared topsides that cry out for aggressive hiking, and you have a boat that will keep kids excited for years.

The TAZ weighs just 88 pounds and features Topper’s Trilam construction, in which a foam core is incorporated during the rotomolding process to create a hull that is stiff, light and durable. The TAZ is so buoyant that the cockpit stays well out of the water when the boat is capsized, making it a piece of cake to get it back on its feet again.

For decades, designers and boatbuilders have been striving to create a dinghy to challenge or at least join the ubiquitous Optimist as the trainer of choice. With the creation of the TAZ, Topper International may have done it. For more information, visit topazsailing.com

SPECS

LOA: 9ft 8in
LWL: 9ft 8in
BEAM: 15ft 11in
DRAFT: 3ft 11in
WEIGHT: 88lb
SAIL AREA: 47ft

[brightcove videoid="3989528006001" playerid="4343385270001" height="315" width="560"]

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The back door Satisfied with your headsails? So was I, until one day I took a long, hard look up the luff of my genoa, making sure I inspected the leeward side as well. The sail had plenty of life ...read more

02-Lydia12-01

Losing Sight of Shore

I arrived on the docks of Beaufort, North Carolina, in late April with two backpacks filled with new gear—everything I’d need for my first offshore passage. Though I’d been sailing for 16 years, graduating from dinghies to keelboats to a J/122, I’d spent my time racing and, in ...read more

Squall

The Face of a Squall

They are the worst of times, they are the best of times There’s a fabulous line from an old Paul Simon song that I often sing to myself while sailing: I can gather all the news I need from the weather report. It is part of the magic of sailing, this ancient process by which we ...read more

ntcktshtrstk

Cruising Southern New England Waters

One of the most wonderful childhood vacations I can remember was back in 1971 when my best friend invited me to his family’s summer home on Nantucket Island. For a 10-year-old kid, this was a thrilling trip for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact it was also my ...read more

IMG_8287GR16Mykonos

Cultural Charters: Mykonos

In last month’s column, I covered the amazing mix of cultures that have called the Dalmatian Coast home over the centuries. Croatia cruising is like a smorgasbord of intertwined centuries, and the islands are a movie set. A little farther south, though, you’ve also got Greece, ...read more

cookinglead

Cruising: No Oven? No Worries

Many cruising boats, especially smaller ones, don’t have a conventional oven. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all the baked foods you want, from bread to brownies to breakfast rolls to casseroles and even a roast chicken. All it takes is the right bit of gear and a ...read more

ZK-Seaboot-900

Gear: Zhik’s Seaboot 900

A Better Sea Boot Following up on its successful ZK Seaboot 800, Zhik’s Seaboot 900 was created in partnership with team AkzoNobel and Dongfeng Race Team, the latter the overall winner of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Designed for serious, long-distance offshore racers and ...read more

01-LEAD-FP-Astrea-42-Gilles-martin-rajet---Navigation

Switching to Solar Offshore

No sensible bluewater sailor would consider setting off on a long cruise these days without some means of generating power other than by burning fossil fuels. The good news is that solar energy is becoming less expensive by the day, making it an obvious answer for providing the ...read more