Toppers should be stored with the deck facing down. This will avoid the hull distorting where it rests on the trolley.
Look after your sails to keep them in pristine condition; store them rolled on a plastic drainpipe rather than stuffed into a bag.
When you are not sailing – REMOVE THE BUNG from your Topper to avoid the hull distorting with changes in air pressure caused by heating and cooling. This is particularly important in extreme weather conditions. Remember to put the bung back in when you go afloat! Most Topper sailors carry a spare Topper bung in the pocket of their buoyancy aids or in a bits bag on the boat.
Young, lightweight sailors will find it particularly advantageous to keep water out of the mast top section so that they can right the Topper more easily after a capsize; secondary silicone in bungs can improve the reliability of push-fitted ones.
All cordage, cleats and blocks should be regularly and carefully inspected for wear and friction. They should be replaced or lubricated as required.
Tighten all screws especially on the transom plate.
Clean the hull with a bathroom cleaner and a plastic scouring pad. Deep scratches can be removed with ‘wet and dry’ glass paper.
Hose down with fresh water if sailing on the sea to slow down corrosion and maintain the performance of moving parts. ‘Old hands’ at the Nationals can often be seen with a bucket of water and a sponge if no hose pipe is available.
The rivets on the mast and boom are stainless steel or monel. Check and if necessary replace them regularly.
If water is getting into the buoyancy compartment check the following:
Self Bailer - This is best removed and re-bedded with Silaflex or silicon sealant. There is a gasket between the deck and the hull in this area that can also be replaced with Sikaflex.
Transom Plate - The captive nut on the inside plate can become detached preventing the bolts being tightened. Replacement of this nut is difficult (but not impossible) because hatches are not allowed under Class Rules.
Mast Cup - At the foot of the mast the mast cup has a bolt that pulls the hull and deck together. This cup should be replaced occasionally to prevent damage to the deck as it wears away. Behind it is a seal that may need replacing.
Bung - Should seal but may need replacing.
Seal - At the top of the plate case this seal can become weak. Sikaflex and the use of negative pressure in the hull using a vacuum cleaner will cure this.
It is rarely the deck to hull seal that leaks. A check with positive pressure and washing up liquid will show any leaks that are missed.
And lastly but not least, remember to insure your Topper – most policies cover you for loss or damage to the dinghy, its fittings and equipment.