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Guest Kevin H

Opinions on Topaz/Magno?

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Guest Kevin H

I'm on a fleet planning comittee for a university sailing club. The sailing team is separate from the sailing club, so we are NOT restricted to using collegiate class racing boats like the FJ and 420.

My assignment for the week is to research Topper's rotomolded boats, specifically the Topaz and Magno.

 

My initial impression is they they have respectable performance, and should be lower maintenance than our existing fleet of FJs and Laser2s. Does this sound about right?

 

How are these thing for durability/repairability?

 

The US distributor (http://www.splashdance.com/) doesn't list the Magnos on their website. Would they still be able to get us the bigger boats?

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Don't know about the Topaz, but I've sailed E Scows with a couple brothers named Magno, Paul & Dave, and their performance was very respectable. Dave won the Nationals a few years back.

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I'm on a fleet planning comittee for a university sailing club. The sailing team is separate from the sailing club, so we are NOT restricted to using collegiate class racing boats like the FJ and 420.

My assignment for the week is to research Topper's rotomolded boats, specifically the Topaz and Magno.

 

My initial impression is they they have respectable performance, and should be lower maintenance than our existing fleet of FJs and Laser2s. Does this sound about right?

 

How are these thing for durability/repairability?

 

The US distributor (http://www.splashdance.com/) doesn't list the Magnos on their website. Would they still be able to get us the bigger boats?

 

Rotomoulded boats are not maintenance free if that is what you are asking. They are very difficult to repair if split. Nothing, well only the proverbial, sticks to polypropylene (almost).

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Rotomoulded boats are not maintenance free if that is what you are asking. They are very difficult to repair if split. Nothing, well only the proverbial, sticks to polypropylene (almost).

 

Near enough though. The things have a kind of core now too. I'm not familiar enoughwith those particular ones to comment. Get on the forums on www.yachtsandyachting.com to get more on these.

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I've never used the Magno (though I've heard some good comments about it), but the original Topaz is a boat of pure, condensed evil. It manages to be tippy AND underpowered. It isn't comfortable to sit in in any wind conditions for ANYONE. They are vastly inferior to the RS Feva and Laser Pico (closest competing classes in the UK at least). Anyway, they're a kids boat. AVOID! AVOID! AVOID!

Go for something bigger- the Xenon (also in the Topaz range) is the current boat of choice for the UK champion-of-champions regatta. Staying in the same range, the omega would give you something nice and roomy- ideal if you're after a teaching boat. I don't know how easy it would be to get these in the US- would import cripple you? On other UK stuff, I've yet to have a go, but the Laser vago received good press, and has been snapped up by almost all the sailing holiday companies operating on the Mediterannean as a low maintanence performace boat (think the full rig PY is under 1000).

 

If you're determined to get a boat the size of the Topaz, try and get the RS Feva. It's a much nicer boat. But it is small enough that I can cheerfully handle all threee sails in a f4, and the sinnaker goes up in two grabs of the halyard (no pumps).

 

Other than that, being a brit, I've no idea what your choices are (my university, where the team does dominate the club, has just bought Fireflies, our standard team racing boat, from the utterly incompetant Rondar Sailboats).

 

Anyway, just a few thoughts. Hope it's helpful. And don't buy Topazs!

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I agree, topaz's suck. I sailed one for kicks in Antigua this past winter in about 20-30 knot winds and I couldn't stand the thing. It was not only a bitch to hold down u/w but it also wasn't even reasonably fast downwind.

 

For singls handers, I'd VERY VERY highly recommend the RS Feva. It was an absolute blast to reach around in with the a-sym up single handed in 20-30.There was one problem, the retieval rings would catch on the crossbar in the bow on some douses, but other than that it was an extremely stable, fast boat.

 

Double handers, I'd say the RS Omega or Vision if you're teaching. They're awesome boats for first timers, stable and (realetivley) forgiving. If they already know how to sail somewhat I'd say the Laser Vago. It is pretty quick (it'llwalk all over the Omega and Vision and for a point of reference, a V15 doesn't stand a chance) especially downwind. Upwind the bow catches a few waves and it is kinda wet but still decent. The Xenon is somewhere between the two... it has a massive kite though...

 

I hope I did you some good

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The Topaz is a kid's boat although they do make it with a selection of rigs for larger and more people you can see the whole Topper range at http://www.toppersailboats.com including boat reviews. There is also a Topaz review at http://www.ybw.com/sp/features/index.html.

 

As for doing repairs no doubt youask the Topper people how to do them (I've seen how to do it but i don't remember details). In any case if you hit a thermoplastic boat hard enough to crack it you'd have completely fucked up a fiberglass one.

 

If you're not intimidated by bringing a boat from England you might also check out http://www.ldcracingsailboats.co.uk makers of the RS line.

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If you are in the US, Vanguard builds the Laser Pico, designed by Jo Richards and used by sailing camps throughout Europe. Can be sailed mainsail only, or with an optional jib. Also can be reefed for days with high winds or if the crews are very light or inexperienced.

 

Vanguard also sells the RS Feva, which can also be sailed with just the mainsail, or with a jib and kite.

The RS Feva is nice little boat designed by Paul Handley.

Both boats fit nicely in the gap between an Optimist and a 420. The Feva has more bells and whistles.

 

Repairing Rotomolded boats is very possible, but one needs to learn how to weld plastic. This is much like filling the bottoms of skis and isn't that hard to learn. How good the repair looks depends on the skill of the operator.

SHC

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the Pico's main limitation is that at most it's a two sail boat- it was designed as a one-sail craft. The Feva was actually designed to take a three sail rig, and the Topaz* was vomited up likewise.

 

But you do need to be looking at the bigger versions- the RS Vision, the Topaz Magno/Xenon/Omega, the Laser Vago. The Feva/Pico/Evil Beast are too small.

 

 

*I really, really despise the basic Topaz.

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Check out the RS website, they make some awesome boats.... the problem is importing them from the UK. I lloked at it and to import an RS800 is about 2500-3k. Not including the boat of course.

 

The Vision, Omega, and Xenon are all made by the RS people (not sure of the complany name) and are great boats.

 

I am trying to think of a good single sail boat that is built in the US and is reasonably fast.... I can't think of a single one. The RS 300 looks like a blast, but I've never sailed one. Again, you'd have to import it from England.

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They are not big enough for young adults.

 

Completely bomb proof boats in my experience teaching in them but for folk under 5'4''- and very good for sailing schools- aåpart from the launch trolleys which have a habit of catching your thumbs...

 

Do they have laser 2s where you are? or tasars?

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