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New to sailing, which dinghy

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jrm16w View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jrm16w Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: New to sailing, which dinghy
    Posted: 17 Oct 04 at 5:59pm

I'm fairly new to sailing, and looking to buy a dinghy initially for myself, but also with  a view to encouraging my son (9 yrs)to take up the sport.  From time to time, I'll want to take other members of the family out for a spin.  I'm also looking for something car toppable, so while it will usually be used inland, I can also drop in the sea for a bit of holiday/weekend fun.  The boat that seems to fit the bill is the topaz in one of its uno guises because it fulfils all of the above and looks as though I could either upgrade the rig when the time is right or sell it on without a huge hit on depreciation.  I'm not overly interested in class sailing, but hope I could use it in the occasional handicap race here and there. Mainly interested in pleasure sailing - just done some RYA courses and had great fun, I just want to get going asap.

Anyone any experience of these boats?  Am I doing the right thing?  Where are the most extensive classified lists of boats for sale?  Is it straightforward taking these things to the sea, launching and using them?  Is there a write-up somewhere of launchable sites (other than the obvious harbours, and sailing clubs - I've seen www.boatlaunch.co.uk).

Many thanks for any help.

Julian

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sailor girl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sailor girl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 04 at 7:06pm
hiya! i had a topaz a few years ago, they are basic to sail, rig, launch etc, but im not too sure about car topable! i think a better option would be to tow it.
your best bet to finding a topaz is to look around local club notice boards, sailing magazines and on the web (but be careful on the web as there have been many scams recently.)
also maybe at the boat shows, they do good deals sometimes.
the topaz is probably a good option for what you want, as there are many rigs available. for more info try phoning topper as sometimes they have some second hand boats for sale aswel and they will advise you. also they do have a website with more details.
happy hunting!
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Phil eltringham View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil eltringham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 04 at 12:54pm
Have you thought about a dart 15? designed to be car-topped, stable (cat) simple to rig, really good uk fleet, healthy second hand market.  Topaz uno is a good boat, but the kite on the trez is dire, the chute and sock are too small and its really stiff to hoist/drop. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lucy Lee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 04 at 2:18pm

Hi Julian,

the classic car-top dinghy would be a mirror, which can be rigged for single handing with just the main, but of course can also be sailed with jib and spinnaker. A well built one will be lovely and light so you won't put your back out getting it on the roof-rack.

They are also good to row, and have been known to go great distances. If you don't believe me check out 'The Unlikely Voyage of Jack De Crow: A Mirror Odyssey from North Wales to the Black Sea' by A.J. Mackinnon !

If you get into it there is loads of racing and training, plus youth squads if your son is keen.

The best place I know to look for launching sites is 'Trailor Jack' which is a column in 'Practical Boat Owner' (sorry, rival publication ). PBO may well have a compilation of his reports.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on

Lucy

 



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Garry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Garry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 04 at 7:14pm
I think the RYA publish a book of sites - there certainly is one anyway.

You need to think about local club or where you are going to mainly sail as that influences boat choice as well.
Garry

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Andy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 04 at 7:24pm

Julian,

I think I was going through similar process to you earlier this year. There's a lot of good advice on this forum - but take a look through all the posts and make your own mind up. Whether I took any advice you can decide for yourself too - we bought an RS Feva XL, but with an S mainsail too to keep all options open!

sailor girl - did your Mum get a new boat?

Andy



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Post Options Post Options   Quote sailor girl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 04 at 5:31pm
nope! lol, she been a bit ill so she has not been sailing for a while.    (thanks for askin!!)
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Adam84 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Adam84 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 04 at 6:12pm
I agree with lucy that a mirror would be a good choice, it is easy to put on top of the car and great for kids to learn in. Also when the time came to sell it there is a good demand for second hand mirrors as they are very popular. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote redback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 04 at 6:47pm

I think the Mirror is an excellent boat too.  Quite rsponsive due to light weight, sheet loads are light - ideal for nippers, spinnaker for those who want to get complicated later, light enough for; car topping, pulling up ramps and rowing down creeks and other activities which helps kids get familiar with the boat.

Snags - wooden so needs more maintenance than most, weak floors (especially if not properly maintained).

Cheap to buy and doesn't depreciate much - if maintained.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Adam84 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 04 at 9:26pm
You can now get good FRP mirrors now made by trident I think there email adress is www.trident-uk.co.uk, they can produce boats specific to your requirements. Wooden mirrors dont need much maintenance as long as there look after, the floors are week if not enough batterns have been used, as long as there ar plenty of batterns and the wood is sealed you wont have to many problems with the floor. I find wooden boats the easyest to fix as its easyer to do yourself.  
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