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Dinghy Reviews

Ever wanted to get the low down on a boat before you buy it? Ever struggled to find reviews on boats? Our reviews probably won't be detailed 6 page guides on a boat (if you want to do an indepth boat review, then Contact Us), but you might find some little nuggets of wisdom about a boat you're after in here. Simply click on a review to view that Dinghy Class and all reviews for it, use the reviews below or see the list of available reviews on the right, or if you wish to post a review, go to that Dinghy Class page, and fill in the form, you don't even have to register!

Latest Reviews

- Topper Xenon on 12/07/2010
hi, bought xenon last year, looked at vision, omega, bahia, couldn't find a vision, omega too big(sailed in one, glad didn't buy one) bahia too new, never even thought of xenon, chat to owner read the odd review, have xenon now.<br/><br/>so far, big and plastic, very little maintenance, just sail cover and forget till next time, lovely and simple to rig, not too many control lines, the gnav is brillant and a lovely high boom. metal hoop(main sheet blocks on) a solid point to grab and pull your self in plus a nice back rest, when little wind. <br/><br/>topper say its good for 4 adults, we had 2 adults and a child, think that was enough.<br/><br/><br/><br/>boat has zip on main sail to reef, really easy, could you do it on the water, ( we'll try). Read More...

- 420 on 07/07/2010
I have started sailing a 420 right after finishing my RYA level 2 and found it a fantastic boat for learning essential club racing skills - I am now sailing it with spinnaker and trapeze in local club races. While it is forgiving enough and confidence inspiring for less experienced sailors, it is also a rather fast boat once you gain more experience. . Read More...

- Topper Taz on 16/06/2010
This is a great little boat. My children are tiny 11 and 13 year olds and complete beginners. By the end of 2 days tuition they can take it out together or on their own in quite strong winds - the sail reefs if it is too windy. They can right it even after turning turtle (the dagger board fell out because they didn't have the elastic on properly but they managed to sort it out!), it self bales they climb back on and off they go. My son is only 4 stone and he can right it alone! They rig it, launch it and pull it up the hill back to its place all without help. Oh and it looks cute and seems to go pretty fast too!. Read More...

- Laser Vago on 11/06/2010
Vagos are reasonably robust single wire boat and a good intro to asymmetrics and wiring. Being plastic there is not much to do mainteinance wise and it bounces off most things with little damage.<br/><br/><br/><br/>The dacron rig and small kite is definitely for lightweights only or for very windy days when you want to play it safe. Otherwise opt for the mylar main and bigger asymmetric every time.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Rigging is quick and easy as is launch and recovery although the boat can feel heavy on a steep slipway or soft sand.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Sailing is equally straightforward but to sail it quickly and get it to point high and fast takes a bit of practice and rig tweaking.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Usual rules of keeping it flat and not dragging the transom through the water will make for much better progress especially upwind. Whenever possible get out on the wire as it seems to stiffen up the mast and you point better.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Once you turn the corner getting the kite up is simple with the single line system and with some skill you can make up for pure downwind speed by being able to sail surprisingly deep.<br/><br/><br/><br/>3 sail reaching is good fun and as long as you can communicate / empathinse with the other person in the boat then there should be no dramas on the wire.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Getting the kite down again is also easy but best done on port.<br/><br/><br/><br/>The Vago is also versatile. Early teens can sail it easily especially with the small rig. Adults and adult child combos will also have a good time but an all up crew weighing over 150kg will struggle in light airs. You can also single hand it very successfully but a longer tiller extension is required as you will be doing most everything from the wire.<br/><br/><br/><br/>PROBLEMS:<br/><br/><br/><br/>Centerboards seem weak and prone to cracking at the top.<br/><br/><br/><br/>Rudder blade is huge so learn to make very small adjustments - upside is that you have so much blade in the water you can get away with a lot.<br/><br/><br/><br/>If / when you go over they turtle very fast. Let that happen and you will spending quite some time getting upright again especially of you are retrieving a kite in the water. Masthead floats are popular with some for this reason.. Read More...

- Laser 1 on 01/06/2010
I find the boat way too complicated for return on investment. It's a one design however there are many different ways to set it up. The boat needs to be updated to modern times. Read More...

- Mirror on 12/05/2010
In summary:<br/><br/><br/><br/>Pros:<br/><br/>- Robust, stable and easy to sail. Built to go out to sea.<br/><br/>- With built in buoyancy tanks, virtually unsinkable. Dry stowage within the front buoyancy tanks.<br/><br/>- At 50kg (exc. spars & foils), easily car-toppable (2-man job), making it great for family beach picnic launching.<br/><br/>- Gunter rigged mast and spars will stow fully within hull, and allow you to get your rig and mast up in <10 mins.<br/><br/>- Wooden hull is easy to maintain (and repair). Use 2 part epoxy on keel for good wearing on the beach.<br/><br/>- A popular boat, so easy to find bits and bobs as lots of stockists and other boats around.<br/><br/>- Comes with row-locks and proper oars, though the can’t be used without dropping the sail.<br/><br/>- Sail and <br/><br/><br/><br/>Cons:<br/><br/>- Low boom can make it difficult for a tall person to get under.<br/><br/>- Non reef-able rig can make the Mirror unstable (still sailable) in F5+ wind.<br/><br/>- Inability to de/re-power sails while afloat adds extra dimension difficulty to a surf launch and anchoring.<br/><br/>- Push-up centre board can get front seat occupant where it hurts most if you hit shallows<br/><br/>- Small cockpit (but it's a 10 footer).<br/><br/>- While a robust craft, plywood hull may not take rocks as well as a GRP one.<br/><br/>- Heavy(ish), compared to similar sized GRP hulls.<br/><br/>. Read More...

- Laser 1 on 31/03/2010
I can't agree with these reviews - I loved my Laser! Ok, it's massively over-powered unless you're eighteen stone of muscle, so I spent a lot of time in the water, but it was worth it for the G-forces when things went right.. Read More...

- Laser Pico on 18/02/2010
Pico's are really good little boats - as a lightweight adult I learnt to sail in them and then bought one. The larger, battened sail makes it quite a different sailing experience than with the training sail and in really windy weather they're easy boats to reef if you need to. Pretty easy to right after a capsize too! Although they can be tricky in short choppy waves, they are surprisingly well behaved in larger waves. Enjoy!. Read More...

- RS Vision on 26/10/2009
I owned a Vision for two years and had great fun in it. At first it feels a large and long dinghy but this is soon overcome.. Read More...

- RS500 on 20/10/2009
I agree that the RS500 is a joy to sail. However, even in the Menai Straits when it is blowing, it would be nice to have hiking straps for the crew. Sometimes, even in perfect conditions for trapezing, it is nice to have a little rest!. Read More...

- Finn on 19/10/2009
Despite their reputation as needing to be sailed by heavyweight gorillas, Finns are actually quite controllable. 2nd hand boats are quite cheap and as Finns are built very solidly an old boat isn't likely to fall apart around you! . Read More...

- Laser 1 on 21/09/2009
The mainsheet getting caught on the gybe is easy to fix you can either buy these bits which make it rounded so it slides of or just pull a few lengths of mainsheet in going into the gybe then as you gybe give the mainsheet a sharp tug and this stops it getting caught . Read More...

- Miracle on 21/09/2009
Can't recommend the Miracle highly enough. Have sailed mine for 2 years now, first boat I've owned, and she's been very understanding with me, sailed with jib alone, when not wanting to scare my 10 year old girl, main alone, and singlehanded with both up. She boasts a spinnaker with chute set up, considering she was built in 1982, she's still going strong and if I have anything to do with it, for some time to come! THank you Jack Holt!. Read More...

- Cherub on 19/09/2009
The cherub is a two person sailing skiff with twin wires and an asymetric spinnaker, the boat was originaly designed by Ian Murry from New Zeland, the boat is a development class, or box rule. . Read More...

- Topper Topaz Uno on 17/09/2009
topper topaz x.........3 months out of the water.

- Laser 1 on 25/08/2009
Obsolete and poorly designed..

- Topper Topaz Uno on 18/08/2009
I bought a topaz X in 2008, sail in flat calm/rough sea single handed, boat performance lean. Read More...

- Topper Topaz Duo on 06/05/2009
I think that handicap's a bit steep! Puts it level with the Sport 16, it's more usually quoted around 1225 - the Tres seems to be 1175. Cheers, John. Read More...

- Laser Stratos on 09/04/2009
Drojan, I think you're right on some of that - where we sailed it it was more setup for cruising (it didn't have the trapeze kit), and it was the first time we sailed it. We were up against people in mostly Lasers, RS 200s and RS400s, who were pretty familiar with their boats, on a small course which didn't help. . Read More...

- Laser Stratos on 08/04/2009
You might have had a poorly set-up boat, or perhaps shot sails. This boat is a superb boat for longer sails and handicap racing. Even has a trapeze kit which gives an added dimension to the boat. . Read More...

Available Reviews

These are boats we currently have reviews for:
- 420 (3)
- Cherub (1)
- Comet Duo (2)
- Dart 16 (1)
- Enterprise (2)
- Finn (1)
- GP14 (1)
- Laser 1 (5)
- Laser Pico (2)
- Laser Radial (1)
- Laser Stratos (3)
- Laser Vago (1)
- Miracle (1)
- Mirror (1)
- Prindle 16 (1)
- RS Feva (1)
- RS Vision (1)
- RS500 (2)
- Topper (3)
- Topper Taz (1)
- Topper Topaz Duo (1)
- Topper Topaz Uno (3)
- Topper Xenon (1)
- Wayfarer (1)

Boats To Review

These are boats you can post a review for. Simply click onto the class, then leave a review on the class page:
- 12ft Skiff
- 18ft Skiff
- 29er
- 29erXX
- 405
- 420
- 470
- 49er
- 505
- 59er
- A Class
- B14
- Blaze
- Boss
- Bosun
- British Moth
- Buzz
- Byte
- Cadet
- Catapult
- Catapult Fun
- Challenger
- Challenger Tri
- Cherub
- Classic Moth
- Comet
- Comet Duo
- Comet Trio
- Comet Versa
- Comet Xtra
- Comet Zero
- Contender
- Cruz
- Dart 16
- Dart 16 singlehander
- Dart 16X
- Dart 18
- Enterprise
- Escape 12
- Escape 9
- Europe
- F18
- Finn
- Fireball
- Firefly
- Flash
- Flying 15
- Formula 14
- Formula 16
- Formula 18
- Formula 20
- Galaxy
- GP14
- Graduate
- Gull
- Heron
- Hobie 14 Classic
- Hobie 14 LE
- Hobie 14 Turbo
- Hobie 15
- Hobie 15 Club
- Hobie 16
- Hobie 16 Classic
- Hobie 16 Easy
- Hobie 16 Junior
- Hobie 16 LE
- Hobie 17 Sport
- Hobie 17SE
- Hobie 21 Sport Cruiser
- Hobie Bravo
- Hobie Catsy
- Hobie Dragoon Club
- Hobie Dragoon Race
- Hobie Dragoon Xtreme
- Hobie Fox
- Hobie FX One
- Hobie Getaway
- Hobie Miracle 20
- Hobie Pacific
- Hobie Teddy
- Hobie Tiger
- Hobie Trifoiler
- Hobie Twixy
- Hobie Wave
- Hornet
- Hurricane 5.9
- International 14
- International Canoe
- International Moth
- Javelin
- Kestrel
- Lark
- Laser 1
- Laser 2
- Laser 2000
- Laser 4.7
- Laser 4000
- Laser 5000
- Laser Bahia
- Laser EPS
- Laser Funboat
- Laser Pico
- Laser Radial
- Laser Stratos
- Laser Stratos Keel
- Laser Vago
- Leader
- Lightning
- Lymington Scow
- Magnum 21
- Magnum 21 Sport
- Mallard 12
- Manta Evolution
- Marauder
- Merlin Rocket
- Miracle
- Mirror
- Musto Skiff
- Nacra 450
- Nacra 500
- Nacra 570
- Nacra Inter 17
- Nacra Inter 18
- Nacra Inter 20
- National 12
- National 18
- Norfolk Punt
- OK
- Optimist
- Orion SRD
- Osprey
- Pacer
- Pegasus
- Phantom
- Prindle 16
- Prindle 18.2
- Prindle 19
- Prindle Escape
- Redwing
- RS Feva
- RS Tera
- RS Vareo
- RS Vision
- RS200
- RS300
- RS400
- RS500
- RS600
- RS700
- RS800
- Scorpion
- Shadow
- Shearwater
- Signet
- SL16
- Snipe
- Solo
- Solution
- Spitfire
- Splash
- Sport 14
- Sport 16
- Sprint 15
- Stealth
- Streaker
- Supernova
- Swallow
- Swordfish
- Tasar
- Top Cat 4.5
- Top Cat Chico
- Top Cat K1
- Top Cat K2
- Top Cat K3
- Topper
- Topper Magno
- Topper Omega
- Topper Spice
- Topper Taz
- Topper Topaz Duo
- Topper Topaz Tres
- Topper Topaz Uno
- Topper Topaz Uno Plus
- Topper Vibe
- Topper Xenon
- Tornado
- Unicorn
- V3000
- Vortex
- Wanderer
- Wayfarer
- Wineglass

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