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The Topper is an 11 foot sailing dinghy designed by Ian Proctor. The Topper is a one-design boat sailed mostly in the British Isles. It was recognised as an International class by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The boat is constructed from polypropylene, and is popular as a racing boat or for sail training.
Class history and design
The Topper was designed by Ian Proctor in 1977 as a One-Design racing boat, and although it is still widely used for racing it has also gained popularity as a boat in which to learn how to sail. The Topper was originally designed with a glass reinforced plastic (GRP) hull, however, it was later decided that the Topper should be constructed with injection moulding, using polypropylene, which makes it a relatively light but durable boat. Following this change from the GRP to plastic hull sales of the topper soared.
The topper has been continuously produced for more than 20 years, and over 50,000 models have now been sold. Although the Topper was originally rigged with an aft mainsheet, since 2004 the option to use a centre main has been allowed. The motivation for such a change being that most other dinghies, including the ones Topper sailors are likely to advance to, are rigged with centre mainsheets.
In 2005 a smaller 4.2 m² sail was approved, which can optionally be used in favour of the standard 5.3 m² sail. The smaller sail more efficient than a larger sail that is reefed.
At 11' the Topper is transportable by car, and the mast splits into two sections, allowing the spars to be stored and transported.