Buying a Topper
The good news is: if you buy at the right price you will usually be able to sell your Topper for a similar amount in a couple of year’s time.
The Topper is one of the most popular second hand buys in the dinghy market. Race quality boats are sought after items.
To find details of Toppers for sale, you could try:
- the back pages of Yachts and Yachting.
- The facebook group Dinghies and dinghy bits for sale
- The facebook group ITCA(GBR) - Toppers in the UK
- Sailing club notice-boards, especially when there is a Topper event on.
Word of mouth is a valuable route to finding a good boat too. Or try your local Topper dealer.
The Topper dinghy is one of the simplest performance dinghies available and there is not much that can go wrong.
If you plan to race it you need to check that you have a hull that has not been distorted: it should have been stored correctly with the deck facing down.
An air tight hull should hiss when you remove the bung after sailing.
Look at the mast foot cup: if it has gone, the mast can go through the deck moulding.
Check out the state of the transom plate: if this comes adrift it is quite difficult to get at the bolts inside. Hatches are not allowed under Class Rules.
As Jeremy Evans says in Yachts and Yachting "In most other respects, the Topper is near bullet proof."
Scratching of the Topper hull does occur. Deep scratches can be removed with ‘wet and dry’ glass paper. More minor damage can be rectified by cleaning with a bathroom cleaner and a plastic scouring pad.
The decks do fade with time and some colours are more prone to this than others. Yellow is probably the worst. Old grey boats can become ‘chalky’. It is possible to re-melt the surface of the plastic by heating with a hot air gun. This will cure all but the worst fading but requires great care!
Purple and dark pink decks show white ‘bruises’ when bashed and some of these will also come out with careful use of heat, as will any deformation of the hull caused by poor storage.
Most problems can be resolved in a straight forward manner – even welding the hulls and decks is no problem for an expert. Contact your local Topper dealer. Further related guidance can be found under ‘Upkeep'. A little time spent maintaining your boat will bring a lot of rewards.
Buying a New Topper
There are certain advantages to buying a new Topper when you join the Topper Class. Obviously you will want to examine these advantages, the cost and the methods of buying a new Topper before making a buying decision.
Along with a brand new smooth hull, one of the key advantages (especially for racing) is the fact that new boats include all the latest gear. For example, a new HARKEN rigged Topper includes:
- New mainsail design with webbing strop head fixing.
- New centre main sheet system from HARKEN including the highest quality blocks, cleats and ropes.
- New foam block hull design to maintain hull profile.
- New improved mastgate area of the deck mould
- New lower mast and boom design with new webbing kicker strap.
- New upper mast design with flat top cap to attach to sail.
- New carbon tiller extension (975mm).
- Buying a new Topper also obviates the need to buy a new sail for an older boat.
You can buy a new Topper directly from Topper International. They often have special offers on a new Topper which are well worth looking into.
If you are interested in purchasing a new Topper please call Rick Reading on 01233 629186 or e-mail [email protected]