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Topper Colours

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Dinghy development
Forum Discription: The latest moves in the dinghy market
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13651
Printed Date: 29 Nov 20 at 11:20am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Topper Colours
Posted By: A2Z
Subject: Topper Colours
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 8:34am
Does anyone know why you can only buy red Toppers and red/white/blue sails these days? To reduce costs maybe? Seems such a shame.



Replies:
Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 9:20am
Not enough being built to justify the cost of different batches, I guess. Or squaddies all wanting to blend in?

Agree, a shame, especially sails, which could still be different.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: NicolaJayne
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 12:00pm
Originally posted by Rupert

Not enough being built to justify the cost of different batches, I guess. Or squaddies all wanting to blend in?

Agree, a shame, especially sails, which could still be different.


bit of both i suspect  -how many toppers are they selling  new these days ?  (ironically their durability may actually count against them ) 

 , much the same as  the  very light grey  laser had  in the 90s  , and once plain  radial sails  were available  


Posted By: epicfail
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 4:52pm
I had a yellow one back in the 80's, I suspect 15141 has been consigned to the abandoned corner of  boat park somewhere. 


Posted By: Riv
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 5:48pm
Colourfull is out these days. Everything seems so corporate, dull Grey's, blacks, gone are the days of florescent pink kit.

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Mistral Div II prototype board, Original Windsurfer, Hornet built'74.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 7:18pm
I would gladly pay (a bit) more to get some colour into a new Topper, or even just the sail.  


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 7:28pm
Purging two 1000 ton injection moulding machines will not be cheap plus  purchasing and inventory management everyone wins with a standard colour. 

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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 7:40pm
Yet they used to manage - and they used to sell more.  At the very least, a different colour sail would cost less than £50 more, being very generous, to make in different colours.  

1000 tons?!  Not the weight of the machines surely? 


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 8:07pm
1000 tones is the clamping pressure of the injection moulding machine. I have designed a plastic parts requiring a few £M of tooling so come with a little knowledge (my ex boss in the team that developed the Topper tooling) . Perhaps if you had two colours you would get cost increase of somewhere north of £50. Increase the number of colours and the increase will skyrocket. 

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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 8:26pm
I have heard stories of very odd patterned decks from when they used to change colours. Whether true or apocryphal I have no idea.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 09 Aug 20 at 8:34pm
Originally posted by tink

1000 tones is the clamping pressure of the injection moulding machine. I have designed a plastic parts requiring a few £M of tooling so come with a little knowledge (my ex boss in the team that developed the Topper tooling) . Perhaps if you had two colours you would get cost increase of somewhere north of £50. Increase the number of colours and the increase will skyrocket. 
Makes you wonder how anyone affords a Hobie sail ;)


Posted By: L192444
Date Posted: 10 Aug 20 at 2:31pm
I had a yellow one and a couple of blue ones ... they also used to do limited editions in odd colours like tope and grey ... so it can't be that big a deal changing colours.

Also - it used to be class rules that the 3 middle panels on the sail had to be coloured; now they are all white ... 

Shame to turn it into a one colour only class.



Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 10 Aug 20 at 4:02pm
I liked the stripy sails, just a nod to it now.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 10 Aug 20 at 4:50pm
As a counter poise, the Tera Pro is styled to look like an adult dinghy. If youíre going to increase the cost of the Topper there are probably more appropriate and appealing ways than striped sails. 

Also roto moulded dinghies are generally the same colour and it costs nothing to change the colour of them compared to an injection moulding (not sure many people here understand what an injection moulding machine is)


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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 10 Aug 20 at 4:57pm
Still a couple of pink boats at my club, one recently sold.

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Robert


Posted By: L192444
Date Posted: 10 Aug 20 at 8:20pm
Originally posted by tink

As a counter poise, the Tera Pro is styled to look like an adult dinghy. If youíre going to increase the cost of the Topper there are probably more appropriate and appealing ways than striped sails. 

Also roto moulded dinghies are generally the same colour and it costs nothing to change the colour of them compared to an injection moulding (not sure many people here understand what an injection moulding machine is)

I understand what an IJ machine is; the Topper was the largest ever injection molded panel at the time ... very innovative. The mold cost a fortune.

The used to change colours frequently so why not now?


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 10 Aug 20 at 8:26pm
Originally posted by tink

As a counter poise, the Tera Pro is styled to look like an adult dinghy. If youíre going to increase the cost of the Topper there are probably more appropriate and appealing ways than striped sails.†
Also roto moulded dinghies are generally the same colour and it costs nothing to change the colour of them compared to an injection moulding (not sure many people here understand what an injection moulding machine is)


Plenty of adult dinghies had stripy sails when the Topper did. In fact, theTopper was as much adult dinghy as kids' boat.

As the fun went out of beach boats as they became racing machines, so the colours became a bit boring - or grown up - or less uncool - depending upon viewpoint.

Note less uncool. Windsurfing was cool, kite fooling, cool. Uncool will still be there when cool has moved on.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 10 Aug 20 at 9:18pm
Not many white windsurfer sails.


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 11 Aug 20 at 5:35am
Most of the new Toppers sold will be at the more serious end of the fleet and I doubt one single new purchase has been lost due to hull colour choice. So rather than add cost for no benefit for their customers the actual racing kit has been upgraded and a Topper offers a highly competitive package in a decreasing and competitive market.

The change of colour is not quick and easy, lost production, multiple part need producing to purge the old colour (these can be recycled but not easily back into Toppers but a lower grade product) inventory control of the plastic, I doubt they master batch so a silo for each colour, storage of the different colour hulls which is uncontrollable do to customer demands - the list of hassle goes on and on. Standardisation brings benefits for everyone. 




-------------
Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 11 Aug 20 at 9:24am
Hmmm, seems arrogant to suggest that there is no customer benefit to offering them choice.  The cost of different coloured sails is trivial and could be a costed option.  Hulls, granted, may be more hassle than itís worth but it used to happen and theyíve always been cheap.  
If the majority of buyers are top end racers then that would explain a big drop off in sails.  The topper is the ideal holiday/training/family boat - there will never be more more than 100 or so serious racers but there are countless more below that level for whom £3k is an affordable toy.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 11 Aug 20 at 10:07am
93 boats u the Topper Nationals 5.3 Gold fleet, plus another 120 in the silver, bronze and 4.2 fleets, thats 223 sailors serious enough to travel to Largs for the event.

Changing colour would involve purging the system in an injection moulding machine as the plastic has to be molten before it's injected so there is an additional cost in material and time which does not occur when producing several of the same colour. In a roto-moulding machine the granules are placed directly into the mould so two different colours could follow with no more than a clean (which I assume happens each time anyway).


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: polc1410
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 6:50am
At the "top end" (where most of the people are buying new) -

Do you want to be the only yellow hull or only blue hull in a fleet that is 90+% red?

Protest room;

"How sure are you it was sail number 123456 that was on port and not 153426?"

"He has a yellow hull"

Committee boat: "did you catch the sail number of the OCS boat to BFD?"

"It was the blue hull ending 789"



Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 7:15am
I hear that argument all the time and I find it bonkers.  Maybe in the Olympics, possibly.  Though with so few boats and so many cameras even thatís highly doubtful.  

But in a Topper, really? Itís a fun boat in what is meant to be a fun hobby. 100-200 race at national level and about 20-30 race ďseriouslyĒ.  And what kind of lesson is that to kids - ďstay anonymous and you may get away with thingsĒ?  


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 7:41am
Toppers have a 3 digit champ number on the sail so no one is hiding. A considerable number of kids get a lot of fun by sailing competitively

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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 7:44am
Completely agree A2Z

I like racing but certainly not the attitude shown by some. 






Posted By: polc1410
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 8:01am
I hear that argument all the time and I find it bonkers.  Maybe in the Olympics, possibly.  Though with so few boats and so many cameras even thatís highly doubtful.
I'd agree - much harder at the olympics to not be recognisable. Tons of Jury boats, TV, etc.


But in a Topper, really?
You've never been to a Topper Nationals Protest Hearing then!  Some of these guys will be future Olympic hopefuls. They are being trained at age ~12 to compete like olympians.

Itís a fun boat in what is meant to be a fun hobby.
Ah. You are considering sailing a hobby rather than a sport.

100-200 race at national level and about 20-30 race ďseriouslyĒ.
There are 20-30 who might stand a chance of a win.  If thats the definition of seriously.  Further down the fleet there will remain 'serious' races.  Coming 50th might still mean getting a regional squad place.  Or it might simply mean beating your arch rival.

And what kind of lesson is that to kids - ďstay anonymous and you may get away with thingsĒ? 
The trouble is... if all the others are staying anonymous - you might need to too.  Obviously the rules should be followed.   The Black Flag is probably the best time to not be identifiable; that may or may not mean cheating.  Lets say 10 boats are over on BF with 200 boat start.  If the OD can identify all 10, you are BFD. If he can't identify them all he will have to Gen Recall.  If he identifies some they will be BFD.  Not being identified isn't cheating, its the reality of a race.  

But lets be realistic.  Its those top 20 who are buying a brand new race topper.  Those then sell to the rest of the fleet over time.  So those 20 set the spec.

Also £50 extra for a sail and £50 extra for hull top sides.   So £100.  Those racers would rather spend that on something that makes the boat sail faster or protects the boat better.  Some of those guys will be buying new sails every year or two.  Those £50 extras add up.

Coloured sails fade quicker.  The beach clubs likely said not to do it.  The beach clubs wouldn't pay more for coloured hulls.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 8:10am
Originally posted by tink

Toppers have a 3 digit champ number on the sail so no one is hiding. A considerable number of kids get a lot of fun by sailing competitively
At the clew, so unlikely to be seen on a crowded line...
Of course kids enjoy competing, some may also enjoy the chance to personalise the boat - pride of ownership etc.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 8:34am
Originally posted by polc1410

You've never been to a Topper Nationals Protest Hearing then!  Some of these guys will be future Olympic hopefuls. They are being trained at age ~12 to compete like olympians.
No, but I have sat on a Topper Open Meeting protest committee where a protest was heard after a parent listening in (via radio) to race office comms decided to protest based on what they overheard...
Ah. You are considering sailing a hobby rather than a sport.
The sport of sailing is a hobby for the vast, vast majority (anyone not trying to make a living from it).  I was a Topper squaddie in the 90ís, there were dark blue, light blue, raspberry, red, grey and purple boats at the front of the fleet. Yellow ones always seemed slow...

 And even more sail colour combos - I always liked the blue, gold & red myself, or the pink, yellow & grey.


But lets be realistic.  Its those top 20 who are buying a brand new race topper.  Those then sell to the rest of the fleet over time.  So those 20 set the spec.


That might be the business model for a Finn or a 49er, but wasnít, shouldnít be and hopefully still isnít the case for the Topper.  If only top end racers buy new Toppers the class is in trouble - there are many more potential buyers at the bottom of the pyramid or with no intention of racing at all.  In this I agree with GRF - it is shortsighted to think that elite money is somehow more valuable. 

 And if you have an older raspberry or pale blue hull the red/white/blue sail clashes horribly!  Iíd happily pay £50 more to avoid that ;)


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 10:52am
Originally posted by A2Z

I hear that argument all the time and I find it bonkers.

And to my mind it's also highly morally dubious.

"I selected a boat the same as everyone else in the hopes that I could get away with 'accidentally' cheating at the start"


"A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play"


If I'm over the line I deserve to get called by the RC. I'm not going to do anything to make their task more difficult.


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 9:17pm
I think we're seeing varying interpretations of sport.
Jim's and anything within the rules or you get away with.
I believe amateur sport is more healthy if it falls under that of Jim and professional sport isn't really sport at all, actually a money making front. 


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 9:41pm
What is the point of winning if you know you cheated (either deliberate or inadvertently)? I do get the idea that if you graze a mark and nobody sees you you might not do your penalty turn simply 'cos nobody else bothers but I've always don the turns if I know I'm in the wrong and still do.

If it's not clear cut then go with your conscience and, if the post race discussion says you were in the wrong, then retire.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: polc1410
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 6:49am
I completely agree with all your points.

If I'm OCS I deserve to be called out for it. Mind you, I will be annoyed if someone else is and doesn't get called out.

H2's observation about yellow being slower is interesting! We know that's almost certainly not the case. But it doesn't take much to get the message out that yellow are slower, or blue or whatever.

And now probably anything other than red is slower... Because it's not new...

Same for sails.

People start to think one specific version is quicker, more new boats in that version bought. New boats will be quick...

I doubt that many new Toppers are being bought by club sailors...


Posted By: polc1410
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 6:50am
Parents and their lawyers...


Posted By: andy h
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 7:41am
I always liked the N12s because in that fleet if you had a plain pale grey hull you'd stick out like a sore thumb.  "Which boat was over, RO?"  "Oh, it was that boring grey one sandwiched between the lime green one and that pink one with the purple spots".  BTW: that whole thing about parents listening on the VHF at Topper opens does happen.  I was amazed when I witnessed it first hand.

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NS14 2015
National 12 3344, Europe 397 and Mirror 53962 all gone with regret


Posted By: polc1410
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 7:56am
Absolutely happens all the time. "Line clear" calls usually made on private channel (not hard to find an listen in if you are keen!) Or mobile phone.

I gather if you get in a national squad some private schools give substantial discount on your fees... Which means there is £££ at play. All rather sad.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 11:22am
Does the Topper have a National squad under the new RYA system?

Anyway, the answer to Topper hull colours appears to be manufacturing costs, and the sails sheer boringness of how people want sails to look these days.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 11:30am


Luckily some classes are still firmly believers in stripes!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: tink
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 12:46pm
Originally posted by polc1410

Absolutely happens all the time. "Line clear" calls usually made on private channel (not hard to find an listen in if you are keen!) Or mobile phone.

I gather if you get in a national squad some private schools give substantial discount on your fees... Which means there is £££ at play. All rather sad.

Love know where your evidence is. Most sports scholarships are a small fraction of the fees, usually sub £100. 


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Tink
https://tinkboats.com

http://proasail.blogspot.com


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 1:15pm
Some colours appear to chip more easily, red Toppers have less damage.
Sales bound to be affected by the refurbs, they look like new boats.

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Robert


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 1:57pm
Red is the worst colour for fading due to UV and oxidisation. This pretty much applies to any form of red pigment.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 4:26pm
They still come back to bright red, when they have been heat treated, not sure if they fade by the same rate.

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Robert


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 7:59pm
The yellow ones that faded to grey were the worst for UV. Visage even wrote a song about it.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 8:45pm
Originally posted by polc1410

Absolutely happens all the time. "Line clear" calls usually made on private channel (not hard to find an listen in if you are keen!) Or mobile phone.

I gather if you get in a national squad some private schools give substantial discount on your fees... Which means there is £££ at play. All rather sad.


Or rather wonderful that there are schools prepared to give scholarships to sailing athletes!


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 8:51pm
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by A2Z

I hear that argument all the time and I find it bonkers.

And to my mind it's also highly morally dubious.

"I selected a boat the same as everyone else in the hopes that I could get away with 'accidentally' cheating at the start"


"A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play"


If I'm over the line I deserve to get called by the RC. I'm not going to do anything to make their task more difficult.


Sorry to single your post out Jim, but itís the easiest to illustrate that wanting to be anonymous is not about cheating.

Not all ROs will General Recall every start where they couldnít see all the numbers. So not standing out in a yellow boat is about not being the boat that is remembered, among many that are not.

Back in the day I had a Fuscia Laser. There were two boats of that colour. We both picked up a black flag....but I got lobbed when he was over, and vice versa.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 16 Aug 20 at 9:29pm
Originally posted by sargesail

Sorry to single your post out Jim, but itís the easiest to illustrate that wanting to be anonymous is not about cheating.


We shall have to agree to disagree. Although I didn't say cheating, I said morally dubious.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 17 Aug 20 at 6:08am
Seems unfair to penalise a boat on its colour and not being able to see the number, talking about a couple of boats of the same colour not one.

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Robert


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 17 Aug 20 at 7:58am
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by sargesail

Sorry to single your post out Jim, but itís the easiest to illustrate that wanting to be anonymous is not about cheating.


We shall have to agree to disagree. Although I didn't say cheating, I said morally dubious.


You quoted cheating!

Personally I can not see that it is morally dubious to minimise the chance of being singled out from a group of miscreants by not choosing to have a different hull colour.


Posted By: salmon80
Date Posted: 18 Aug 20 at 1:58am
I have always had boats which blend in on the startline to avoid being called out as over the line




Posted By: Pierre
Date Posted: 19 Aug 20 at 9:31am
I think that some of the responses here demonstrate that a win at all costs attitude is alive and well at all levels of the dinghy sailing community. So much for sportsmanship LOL



Posted By: polc1410
Date Posted: 19 Aug 20 at 9:59am
No. I don't think that's what's going on. It's not people wanting an invisibility cloak so they can cheat.

It's that people, rightly or wrongly, think a more noticeable boat may be singled out.

20 boats on a start line. 5 are OCS. If all are identical and the PRO can't identify them he either ignores it or gen recalls. A gen recall is not unfair / unsportsmanlike. (If he ignores it, that's unfair on the 15, but isn't the 5 sailors fault)

If there is a blue a yellow and a pink with a funny sail he can identify those. If the other two are reds and ahead of them he presumably will gen recall. On a black flag the yellow, blue etc may get punished. They may not even have been over on "go" but get punished. The two reds might get away with it. **That** is unfair.

If the two reds were behind them, i.e. barely over the line, wouldn't be the first time a PRO has decided to ignore them. Still unfair. And only possible because the three "different" boats were identifiable.

There is no circumstance on the start line where being identifiable is helpful.

Being yellow may be helpful or unhelpful in a protest. If you say "123456" hit a mark and didn't do turns. If you think 123456 is red but is yellow, your case is dismissed. It may be more likely that a witness will remember seeing the yellow boat do his turns. If there are only two yellow boats and the other guy says he never did turns, your witness is sound. But, there may be more chance of being protested because when they get ashore someone can work out which boat infringed because it was yellow...

Once the top end guys decide to (a) buy red to blend in (b) buy red if it's cheaper (c) invest that money in performance - red gets a reputation for speed. Coloured boats become older, more knackered, sailed by less able sailors... Perpetuating the story.

It's not people trying to cheat, it's people trying to be treated equally...



Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 19 Aug 20 at 10:50am
TY polc - youíve set that out well.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 19 Aug 20 at 12:16pm
Anyone who picks the colour of their Topper based on reducing the chances of being found OCS is sad indeed.

Pick red because you like it, pick red because itís all thatís available, pick red because it complements your hair, but donít pick red to be a sheep.

Besides, itís not like Topper ever offered an infinite range of colours - if they offered three sail colours itís reasonable to assume that each would sell enough to allow identification through sail colour alone to be unreliable.



Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 19 Aug 20 at 12:21pm
Topper website saying it is best selling sailboat in the world, I thought they had died off.

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Robert


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 19 Aug 20 at 2:38pm
Still big, big fleets. But it might say more about how well boats are selling in general. Or the up to dateness of the website.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 19 Aug 20 at 2:42pm
They sold a huge number into China a couple of years ago. Not just the worlds fleet but lots of big Centres


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 19 Aug 20 at 3:00pm
Originally posted by sargesail

They sold a huge number into China a couple of years ago. Not just the worlds fleet but lots of big Centres


That's why all the boats are red!

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446



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