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RS Tera vs. Topper?

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AlwaysOnshore View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AlwaysOnshore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: RS Tera vs. Topper?
    Posted: 18 Aug 07 at 8:46pm

Hi - we are trying to decide whether to buy a 2nd hand topper or a new RS Tera for our 10 and 7 yr olds to learn to sail in (they have already done RYA 1,2).  Plus parents (one beginner, one improver!), would like to have a go single handed.

We think we'll have to pay up to 1000 for a reasonable Topper that we can sail without restoring it first but on a trip to the local boat place saw the the RS Tera new at 995.  We could choose 3.7 or 4.8 rig.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried a Tera, for child or adult either on it's own or how it compares to a Topper or any experience at all!.  Is it robust?  Is it as much fun as a topper for children.  Does it have more room in the cockpit for an adult.  I haven't seen the two together but my impression is that the centre main is attached to the boom further forward so it's not only a bit wider but a bit more space aft.  I could be wrong on this and probably getting the technical terms wrong.

Common sense says a Topper will be better quality as almost twice the price new and I know they keep their value but suspect the Tera might be a better all round buy.

Any thoughts welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 07 at 12:13pm
Far better training/coaching available for the Toppermakes it a very easy decision to me... I can quite uderstand parents wanting to steer clear of the Oppie culture (If I had kids I wouldn't them in Oppies), but by the time they get to Toppers the kids are old enough to be able to tell Dad/Mum to stop embarassing them nd its a bit saner...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HannahJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 07 at 3:17pm
Toppers I'd say probably have more room than a tera, the mainsheet is attached right at the back of the boat so doesn't get in the way.  There's also a centre main option which restricts how far you can get forward (sort of) but that's the same in most centre mainboats.  I also think the topper is rather bigger, but I may be corrected.  There's also a very well established class association and racing/training circuit, so I'd go for a topper. Decent ones, albeit not racing boats go for a lot les than 1000, and you could then upgrade if the kids wanted to take it serioisly.

-edit- yes the tera is 2.87m and the topper 3.8m.


Edited by HannahJ
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AlwaysOnshore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 07 at 8:11pm

Thanks Jim and Hannah

Agreed Topper does make sense  if it's mainly for the children.  The 7 yr old is maybe a bit small but ideal for the other.  We were hoping to have a quick go too if we don't feel like getting our family boat out.   Not sure about racing etc yet, we are just beginners and it all looks terrifying!  10 year old is probably the most likely to try it first, he was out today in the wind and rain in a club topper and loved it.  This is our first season so really we're just thinking about having fun and pottering about out of the way of the racers!

Only reservation is finding a decent Topper in our budget.  There seem to be lots of ancient ones about and plenty of nearly new racing models but not much in between.

Re. the comparative sizes, thanks for measurements, yes Topper is longer but cockpit looks shorter and narrower than Tera.  Would love to hear from someone that has tried a Tera.  It looks like a few clubs are buying them for junior training but I'm not sure whether they're to replace Optimists or Toppers or whether any adults have squeezed in?

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote mike ellis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 07 at 11:22am
you wont squeeze an adult in a tera with a kid. tera may have the wide open cocpit but there is much more space in a topper. alternatively buy the kids an RS feva and if one of the kids cant sail you can jump in with them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HannahJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 07 at 12:07pm
Or buy a Mirror for similar reasons
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Mopps View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mopps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 07 at 11:33pm
i have to say that i back the tera as i was teaching with them a week or so ago
and they were great
and all this kids could jump in and out of them happily as most of the kids weren't heavy enough for toppers but they do turtle easily
but if they have the weight go for the topper

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Handley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 07 at 9:21pm

Hi - re your questions about the Tera dinghy

Is it robust?  Yes, rotomoulded polyethylene is very tough hence popular with sailing schools

As much fun as a Topper for children?  I guess thats for the individual child to decide, but I can say that I designed the Tera primarily for children - it is light, stable and has a small rig so kids generally find it easy to control and go fast when the wind comes up, hence have fun.  Certainly the feedback from kids has all been very positive.

Does it have room in the cockpit for an adult?  Yes, when Jeremy Evans tested the Tera for Yachts and Yachting he said 'the cockpit is quite comfortable and roomy, even if you are adult sized'.  The mainsheet is well forward to keep the cockpit clear.   He enjoyed sailing the Tera too and found that although he weighed over 70kg he could get the Tera planing quite easily, which matches my experience (I'm also just over 70kg).

On training, coaching and racing opportunities, the Tera Owners Club www.terasailing.com and RS are building this and have already run several successful training/racing events this year, with a lot more planned for next year.  Most clubs buying Teras for junior training and racing already have Oppies and Toppers but find that the still Tera fits in well, with most juniors finding it easy but fast and fun.

I suggest you take a loook at the Tera newsletters on the Owners club website for more info and perhaps try to arrange a test sail sometime.  If you do go ahead its probably best to start with the standard 3.7m Sport rig as this is better for 7 to 11 year olds and OK for adult pottering, plus you can always add the bigger sail when they are ready for it. 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 07 at 11:18pm

It must all come down to what the children can handle.

The Topper probably demands more crew weight (though it can be reefed or you can buy a smaller sail), but it is quicker, and if your children could manage one but get a Tera, they are not going to be happy bunnies if their friends sail away from them in Toppers...

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Post Options Post Options   Quote NickA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 07 at 8:49pm

there are quite a few good kids boats now .. but the RYA keep on supporting the topper and only the topper in the 10 - 15 single hander range. Though the laser 4.7 is also included now for the older / larger end of the range.

If you want the kids to race, get into Zone Squads and compete for places in the Olympic team come 2016, go topper.....  

...... otherwise, try several and buy what they like best. 

NB:  Topper Race 2000,  Laser Pico Sport 2500.  RS Terra Pro 1500.   (How are you doing that Paul?  Amazed a boat can be more cheaply built than a topper is!). 

There again, 2nd hand topper = 800.



Edited by NickA
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