Please select your home edition
GJW Direct - Multi Dinghy Insurance

Re-activating Toppers: From 37 years old to like new

by Mark Jardine on 5 Apr 5 April 2017

We spoke to Roger Proctor, son of Ian Proctor who designed the Topper dinghy, about a new scheme to re-activate old Toppers and get them back out on the water. At the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show a half re-activated Topper was on display, showing just how dramatic the transformation can be.

"This Topper was my nephew's and was given to him by my father. The boat was given to him in 1980 and it's number 10,000 - we're now on 50,000 - and it has been sitting on the slipway down on the River Dart," said Roger.

"What you can see is that the boat was pretty unloved, faded, and had growth on the hull. The great thing about polypropylene is that it's really easy to bring back to life. Just with a bit of elbow grease, white spirit and a heat gun you can make an old boat look virtually brand-new again."

"There are boats all around the country in dinghy parks which are unloved and people feel they don't want to sail them because they look too old; in fact a boat that you probably couldn't even give away, with just a few hours of work, can be a boat that's worth a thousand pounds."

The boat on show had the original foils and spars, but a new sail, and the centre mainsheet system and more powerfully kicking strap were fitted, bringing the boat up to 2017 spec.

"Topper International are doing a special deal for re-activating Toppers for clubs and schools and it's just a really easy way to get those old boats back on the water," said Roger Proctor. "We launched this scheme at the Dinghy Show and it's been non-stop with people amazed that this is what can be done to an old Topper. It's fantastic!"

The transformation really is dramatic as you can see, and it's another great scheme to get more people participating in sailing and out on the water.

For more information please contact the ITCA (GBR) via email at or via their website at

Related Articles

Endeavour Trophy 2017 overall
Hat trick for Saxton and Lewis Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis today added another three wins to their already impressive haul of first places from yesterday to win the 2017 Endeavour Trophy series with a race to spare writes Sue Pelling. Posted on 15 Oct
Endeavour Trophy 2017 day 1
Red hot racing leaves reigning champs just one point ahead With three wins in the bag after today's Endeavour Trophy opening five races, Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis (reigning Endeavour champions) lead the Endeavour Trophy series by just one point from Nick Craig and Holly Scott (D-One) writes Sue Pelling. Posted on 14 Oct
Endeavour Trophy 'Full House'
30 national champions ready for battle in Burnham A total of 30 entries have signed up for the dinghy champion of champions' event – the Endeavour Trophy – this weekend (13-15 October). Posted on 13 Oct
Endeavour Trophy 2017 Runners and Riders
Champion of Champions this weekend in Burnham The Endeavour Trophy is taking place this weekend between the 13th and 15th of October and some of the best sailors in the UK will be making their way to Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham-On-Crouch for the Allen supported event. Posted on 11 Oct
Two more entertaining reports win
In Henri Lloyd Report of the Month The Henri Lloyd Report of the Month has yet again seen over one hundred reports nominated and, aptly in championship season, two National Championship reports are our August and September winners of the Land Rover BAR caps. Posted on 9 Oct
Servicing 56 winches and more in Lisbon
Harken Tech Team busy during VOR assembly period With thirteen days on the ground, the Lisbon assembly period was not only one of the longest service stops our team will face, it is also the start of a year-long, round-the-world service project. Posted on 8 Oct
Superb season for the team at P&B
Championship wins across a range of classes It has been a superb summer for the team at P&B, with top results in a variety of classes, culminating in a win at the 505 World Championship in Annapolis. We caught up with Dave Wade to find out more... Posted on 2 Oct
Maritime Heroes
Old Pulteney search for the UK's unsung sailing legends Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky has partnered with record-breaking sailing and expedition icons, Olly Hicks and Brian Thompson, to launch the annual Maritime Heroes Awards. Posted on 28 Sep
More than just Dinghy Rope
We speak to Andrew Dowley about his growing company We spoke to Andrew Dowley at Dinghy Rope to find out more about this growing company and his 2017 season so far Posted on 26 Sep
Diary and thoughts of a youth boat
Competing at the Fireball Europeans in Lyme Regis The Fireball class continues to thrive and attracts sailors of all ages. Despite strong competition from 'youth' classes, the proportion of the Fireball fleet represented by younger people is increasing. Posted on 24 Sep