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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    110

    Default 2 man dinghy which is best? Laser or Topaz

    THinking of getting a Laser 2 or Topper Topaz uno
    But which is best for amateurs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    6

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    The Laser 2 is usually sailed as a double-hander whereas the Topaz uno is really only a singlehander (however much Topper dress it up) so firstly you have to decide how often you'll be sailing with others.. and where you'll be doing your sailing??

    The Topaz is a newer boat that is used by lots of sailing schools due to its easy handling and bombproof plastic construction. It's good fun in all conditions and very east to rig and transport (can be car topped). You can upgrade it to have a jib (though two adults is definitely a squeeze) and even put a bigger rig with a spinnaker. It's limiting if you want to sail with others.

    If you're after a pure singlehanded dinghy, you'd be better off with a Laser 1 as they are a bit more responsive and better to sail - both in light airs and planing conditions.

    The Laser 2 is a solid doublehander, GRP so a bit more breakable if you plan on bumping into a few jetties as you learn and you'd struggle as an amateur sailing it on your own if you can't alwyas find crew. Raced at quite a few clubs (certainly more than the Topaz) if that's your bag. It's a bit more faff (but not much) to rig/transport but that depends where you're keeping it. Can be picked up very cheap, but I can think of better doublehanders IMHO.

    Why just these two boats - they're quite different?

    Have you been to your local club and talked to them about the boats they sail/race - joining a club is often the best way to progress with your dinghy sailing.

  3. #3
    EuanMcKenzie is offline Registered User
    Location : Stirling, Scotland
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    674

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    Dinghys are very susceptable to size and weight.

    One persons ideal boat is a tiny slug another can't bend over

    Also are you cruising or racing, hot med or cold north sea

    suggest trying any before buying and working out want you want it for first (if you haven't already)
    HR Rasmus, Cabatach - Largs
    Red Optimist in the Shed!

  4. #4
    Ruffles's Avatar
    Ruffles is offline Registered User
    Location : Boat: Portsmouth, Us: Stewkley
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    2,600

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    I sailed a Topaz last year. Very impressed. I've never been so comfy in a dinghy. Love the way the 'kicker' is a strut above the boom. How do they get polyprop to be so stiff?

    Had a look at the Topper and Laser stands at the S'ton boat show. I used to sail a Laser I. My impression is that Topper are streets ahead. I remember the old toppers which were as stiff as a sponge. Their later offerings are a different beast entirely.

    Get a Topaz and lend it to me!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    110

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    im 96 kg or 15 stone and intend on going out with my son about 40 kg? (10yr old) - to teach him sailing. Ideally he'd take it up and we end up buying two boats for a bit of racing.

    open to other ideas - don't want to spend too much
    local club suggested an RS FEva but they're much more expensive than a Topaz

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    17,463

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffles View Post
    I...... How do they get polyprop to be so stiff?

    .....!
    By making it remarkably heavy!

    Are you only looking at new boats?
    Are you concerned at depreciation?
    Budget?
    What weight and size of people?

    Do you need something that will survive a lot of abuse?

    Racing? Cruising? Pottering?

    There are plenty of good used racing dinghies from 1000 upwards good to go.
    Sky's the limit though.
    I would suggest buying something used to learn on, then progressing later if you like, when you know what you really want from a boat.
    Very often, 'improvers' mostly want to go out on nice days, so good light wind performance is more important than you might think.
    Whereas sailing schools want to send beginners out in all weathers, so they are more biased towards boats that need breeze.

    I would suggest joining a club, it's much less faff than always trailing and you will use the boat more.

  7. #7
    Ruffles's Avatar
    Ruffles is offline Registered User
    Location : Boat: Portsmouth, Us: Stewkley
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    2,600

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    If you have a particular club in mind then go with whatever they race. Much more exciting racing in a fleet compared to handicap racing.

    Just occurred to me that the 'Topaz' boats are actually a range. I was on a Topaz Omega. You were presumably considering one of the smaller ones?

    I'd always assumed that modern faster dinghies where a handful. Actually, once the boats flying and the foils are working I felt I was perfectly in control.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    110

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    Are you only looking at new boats? anything upto around 1300
    Are you concerned at depreciation? No
    Budget? 1300
    What weight and size of people? 1x96kg + 1 x 45kg

    Do you need something that will survive a lot of abuse? No

    Racing? Cruising? Pottering? Pottering as fast as possible - not necessarily racing

    I'd be into going out upto around force 3 winds

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    1,622

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    Get an old Merlin. Lovely boat and fabulous value.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    17,463

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobc View Post
    Get an old Merlin. Lovely boat and fabulous value.
    I do sometimes sail an old Merlin, it is indeed a lovely boat and good value, but it's made of wood and takes a lot of TLC.
    If the OP wanted a wooden boat, I suspect he would not even consider a rotomoulded boat.

    Going out up to force 3, with 140kg on board.
    That's 22 stone in old money?
    I would suggest going for something around 14ft minimum, smaller boats generally don't carry weight so well, you will notice it in the light stuff. With that weight differential, look for a boat where the helm can sit well forwards easily, so I would suggest avoiding some of the boats with rope bridle for the mainsheet in the middle of the boat.
    At that budget, it's perhaps down to individual boats. A good example of one design is better than a bad example of the perfect design. If you can find a reasonably smart Laser 2 for that price it would be OK IMHO. They have a trapeze and spinnaker to progress to.
    It's a traditional 'symetric' spinnaker, the more modern assymetric is easier for learners IMHO.

    I'm not that familiar with some of the newer models. I would suggest the 'Yachts and Yachting' forum might be better placed to give you advice, as there are more dinghy sailors on there, including some instructors who know most of the new boats very well.

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