SAILING WORLD Best Dinghy 2015 Winner
Roto-molded boats are a dime a dozen these days, but they’re essential to the base of the sport, particularly sailing schools, so getting a new model to standout is a challenge for companies like Topper. The boat has to be remarkably stiff, strong, fun to sail, and reasonably priced. The Argo, our judges agreed, hit on all four points.
The Argo is only 14 feet, but it’s a generous 14 feet with 6 feet of beam. Its buoyancy was good, and seating, inside and on the cockpit coaming, was comfortable. With the Gnav vang up and boom up high, was easy to get across the boat.
In 10 knots and flat water the judges rotated through, disembarking with broad smiles. “The boat moves along great,” said Allen. “The hull chine works; it heels until the chine digs and then it tracks perfectly. It’s a lot stiffer than roto-molded boats we’ve sailed in the past.”
Stewart agreed: “The tiller feels good, the boat balances nicely, and it’s lively with the spinnaker. I can see younger sailors would jump in it and have a blast.”
“It’s more than a youth training boat,” said Allen. “We were hiked, kite up, weight back, and the thing just ripped along. Nice and stable. I’d say it’s more of an intermediate dinghy. It can be dumbed down for lessons, but with the bigger kite, two adults would have fun with it, especially with the traps.”
SAIL magazine BEST Small Boat 2015 Winner
“Fast, well mannered, easy to sail and good looking, this is the kind of a boat that will appeal to sailors of all ages and backgrounds.”
“Like the venerable Flying Scot, the boat is exceedingly stable for its 14ft 4in LOA, thanks to an aggressive chine and a generous 6ft of beam that also provides for plenty of sail-carrying ability. The rig has been configured for easy singlehanding, but the boat can also be raced by a crew of two, and there is plenty of room in the cockpit for three or even four sailors, making it an excellent trainer.”
“For years—since the advent of yachting, really—it’s been all too evident that just about anyone can create a high-octane sailing beast that will thrill its crew when the wind is up. Far more challenging, however, is a boat that can give its crews a thrill while not scaring the wits out of less experienced sailors. The Topaz Argo is one of those rare boats that not only does both, but does both well.” SAIL Magazine
Yachts & Yachting Verdict
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I am happy to give the Argo a top overall score for price, performance, durability, fittings and user-friendliness. But is it your kind of boat? I would recommend the Argo for two adults or teenagers up to about 75kg apiece, who may like to sail with a couple of children.”
“It would be a good boat for novice sailors who want a challenge, with the promise of rewarding and exciting sailing ahead, without things getting dangerous or nerve-wracking for crew. Equally, it could be a good choice for dinghy sailors with intermediate ability who are looking for a really easy-to-own boat that ticks almost all the boxes for occasional fun.” Yachts & Yachting