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Topaz or RS Quba

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Gotwind? View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 May 17 at 12:33am
I want to get back into sailing.  Rented a Hobie last summer and was reminded of just how much I loved to sail in my early teens.  I'd like to get a simple, monohull dinghy to putter around inshore on a large lake (Lake Michigan, Chicago) and have no desire to race. 

What follows is probably too much information, but can anyone please advise on the comparative merits -- build quality, handling and comfort -- of the Quba versus the Topaz? I'm looking at an RS Quba and a Topper Topaz Race.   I haven't demo'd either one yet, as they're both still fairly rare here in the U.S and both sellers are quite a drive from me.

(I also considered an RS Feva, but I'm not sure how comfortable it would be for single-handed sailing, and think I'd prefer an unstayed mast.)

While there are plenty of older fiberglass dinghies in my area, they're fairly heavy (200 lbs and more) and I need to be able to get the boat off the bunk, onto a dolly and into the water -- and then lift it back onto the rack.  Locally, there are also plenty of Lasers and Sunfishes; however, they don't appeal b/c I'd like to be able to take out the occasional friend and the cockpits seem ridiculously small. (There are also Barnett 1400s available with slightly roomier/deeper cockpit.)

Having said all that, thank you for any advice you care to share - it is greatly appreciated as I need to make a decision fairly soon.

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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 17 at 7:14am
The Topaz is a slightly better weight carrier being a foot longer, but is also an older design. It is heavier and tippier. I've got on with the Q'ba better, but I'm quite short. I know people who happily sail the Topaz, week in, week out.

The Topaz has had several different rigs over the years, so worth checking what you get. The best is probably the Race X, with bigger main and asymmetric spinnaker.

As a small, indestructible play boat, both fit the bill.
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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 17 at 8:42am
I've sailed a Topaz Race X with two adult blokes, in a good breeze and it was great fun. The boat is a little cramped for two average size adults but perfectly doable. There is also a Trez rig with more power a stayed mast and a Trapeze. A worthwhile upgrade for young lightweights but the trap is superfluous for adults. Solo Topaz works pretty well. I haven't sailed the Quba but have raced against the Feva which is a good boat, more modern but has much the same vital statistics as the Topaz Race. As Rupert says either/any of them would probably suit your needs. FWIW my 5' 10" 13 stone windsurfer mate taught himself to sail dinghies in a Topaz.
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Gotwind? View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gotwind? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 17 at 4:55pm
Thanks for your help.  I guess I was also wondering about talk of abuse to knees?  Without purchasing something much larger with deeper cockpit to sit in rather than on, seems like this is par for the most modern dinghies?
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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 17 at 5:50pm
Full sized people sailing small boats is inevitable a compromise but the boats that would avoid the need to kneel on the floor are older designs like (in the UK for example) the Graduate, Heron and Gull. These are all fairly heavy compared to the more modern boats so don't fit your need to move it from trolly to rack..... 
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