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The Topaz is from the Topper stable and is a fascinating evolutionary sailing boat. The basic hull remains unchanged whilst the rig evolves from a simple single-handed fun boat to a fully battened main with gennaker and a trapeze for the crew. The full evolution involves six different levels, which initially sees changes to the sail rig and trapeze. Topper make good strong boats and the Topaz plays in this strength to allow such an evolution.
The Topaz Uno is the starting point. A simple two-piece mast slots into the boat supporting a 5.6sq metre sail that means the boat will not be overpowered. The boom is nice and high and a central main sheet gives you plenty of space to operate. Ideal for beginners or just knock about fun. The main can be reefed around the mast.
The next step is the Uno Plus. The Plus is basically the addition of a jib which is a logical progression for the beginner. The Uno Race shuffles the pack again with the removal of the beginners rig and the addition of a larger and more powerful mainsail and a longer rudder. This is a fun performance single-handed experience. The Uno Race Plus is the same rig but with the addition of the jib. Again a natural evolution for the beginner crew into a more powerful type of rig.
The Topaz Duo sees a significant change to the rigging. An anodised aluminium mast with stays slots into the aluminium deck beam. A trapeze is added along with a larger fully battened rig for extra power. A more substantial jib accompanies the transformation and suddenly the Topaz has spread new wings. A fun sailing experience but still safe and easy to handle.
The last stage is the addition of the gennaker system to create the Topper Tres. A single line hoist and drop gennaker system with a retracting pole gives you the turbo boost. A fun experience.
The Topaz is not a high-performance racing machine but it is a wonderful inspiration and offers a fun and full sailing experience. It is great to have a boat with so many options and the theory is that the rig can evolve with the experience of the sailor. A true family option for everyone's enjoyment.
Portsmouth Number 1255 - 1175 (What is the PN?)