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Topaz 16 vs RS Cat 16  Bottom

  • I'm in the market for a new cat and have been looking at both the Topaz vs RS Cat 16 but none seem to be in the US market. I'm aware that EastCoastSailing used to sell both but currently it only seems to offer the Topaz. They mentioned that the RS was a little heavier than the Topaz and therefore a little more sludgier.

    Just wanted to know if anyone has ever sailed any of these? I got a local RS dealer (about 5hr away) versus the Topaz (16 hr away). Of course for the same price there's also the Hobie 16 but feel more confident in the rotomolded and newer hull designs.

    Any input?
  • So I'm a bit biased as I also work with RS Sailing. But I would encourage you to do some research on hull shapes. The RS Cats have way more volume and are a much more modern like design, compare the AC45 hulls to the RS Cat, very similar. The Topper cats were designed by Yves Loday who designed the old Formula 40s which are an outdated design, and they look quite similar. I don't know about the weights of the two, but the RS Cat would likely be heavier due to the more volume (more carrying capacity and pitchpole resistance), also the hull has a lot more design features which make it a great boat such as a handle built into the hull making it easier to handle which is great as plastic boats are hard to lift, this also gives stiffness and splashing resistance. The transom is also really reinforced and well thought out.
    They are both great boats and both have their strengths. I've not sailed the Topper, but from looks the Topper would be a little bit faster in the low range due to higher performance orientated parts. The RS Cat is built for durability and user friendliness such as durable aluminum rudders, much more durable but not as fine as glass rudders. I would also think the RS Cat would much more forgiving and be able to be pushed much harder in bigger breeze, that volume around the front beam is what all modern boats like the F18 are chasing for this reason.
    We also take great pride at RS that we have many dealers to support our boats and parts in inventory.
    Not knowing Topper's sales, there are probably about 20-40 of each of the RS/Topper Cat models in the US, but they are all being sailed recreationally.
    Happy to help answer any questions if you want to give me a shout todd@rssailing.com
  • I'm considering the same two boats... The Topaz is about 30 lbs lighter and has about 24 sqft larger mainsail area. The other sails are also larger. Everything I'm reading though pegs the Topaz as much easier to pitchpole, probably because of the lower volume in the bows.

    To me, the Topaz sounds like a more fun/sporty boat, but unlike you I have a local RS dealer within 20 miles while the Topaz dealer is 500 miles or so away. This alone might be the deciding vote.

    I used to own a Taipan (rigged as a Formula 16.) I gave it up because at only 150 lbs, I was unable to right it. I've also sailed a Hobie Wave quite a bit. It's a very simple rig, not nearly as fun...

    Edited by danielt1263 on Apr 19, 2022 - 09:13 PM.
  • I was discussing with Hardy from East Coast Sailboats and was told that the RS is a little slower vs the Topaz. They used to have both the RS as the Topaz but lately I don't find the RS Cat anymore on their website.
    I have seen some videos of the Topaz 16 on UTube that were sailing in Le Havre France with some pretty heavy wave action. While it capsized a few times it came up very fast and never saw it pitchpoling. On the other hand I really haven't seen good sailing videos from the RS cat under the same circumstances.

    I have sailed an older P18 for a few years and loved the sturdiness but soft spots came about. My Hobie has pitchpoled many times so have experience going forward and even backwards.

    The problem is the dealer distance as well. Yes I can order a Topaz and have it delivered but I really would like to see what I buy before dropping down that much cash. It would be different if I would have one seen sailing locally but neither cats are popular in the States yet. Even knowing an existing sailor would be nice to get their opinion.

    200 miles vs 900 miles to a dealer might just be the deciding factor, unless the Topaz really changes my mind because of abilities.
  • Here's some interesting numbers for you...

    Topaz 14 CX - SA (main) 111 sqft, weight: 243 lbs
    Wave - SA (main) 95.0 sqft, weight: 245 lbs
    RS Cat 14 XL - SA (main) 87.2 sqft, weight: 275 lbs

    That's unexpected to say the least...

    Edited by danielt1263 on Apr 21, 2022 - 09:35 PM.
  • Well, what about the "16" sized boats?
    RS Cat 16 - SA (main) 107 sqft, (jib) 25 sqft, (132 total) - 308 lbs (???off 2 random sites - hull weight is listed at 200#) - 2.33 #/sqft
    Topaz 16 - SA (main) 125 sqft, (jib) 28 sqft (153 total) - 308 lbs (???) - 2.01 #/sqft
    Hobie Getaway - not really fair, because it's a lot bigger, even if only 1 foot longer (17') - SA (main) 132 sqft (jib) 48 (180 total) 388 pounds - 2.16 #/sqft

    Looks like the topper range has it, by the numbers, though of all of them, I like the lines of the RS stuff. I'd have a hard time going to a plastic boat now, though... Might need 2 boats. At least, just to be safe.

    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
  • The problem with the 16 footers is that I'm too light to right one and I mostly sail single-handed. Hence the reason I'm looking at the 14s.
  • The Wave isn't in my list. It's beam isn't that wide and doesn't come with jib.
    I was looking at the 14s as well due to the righting. Really wants a boat that can handle a crew of 2 adults at times while still sailing solo most of the time.

    With my Prindle 18 weights 330lbs, I was able to right it with practice and water bag. I'm about 175lbs.

    Never had a rotomolded boats but read that they are almost indestructible, though fiberglass can be fixed if needed.

    All the things to consider especially when you can pick up and older Hobie for almost nothing.
  • Danielt1263, why don't you look at the Hobie Dragoon that's on sale here? That's a better option than the Wave made for faster sailing.
  • I'll have to second that - 126 sqft (without spinnaker), 251# and made out of fiberglass. And, more technical. That one looks brand new. I believe primarily a Hobie Euro boat, but uses a lot of common hardware I assume. Neat ride - sort of like a Hobie and a Nacra decided to have a child...

    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
  • I'm not looking to buy a Wave. I can sail one of those any time I want down at our local sailing club (and do.) I just found it interesting that the Wave has a bigger mainsail than the RS14 and weighs less.

    Yes, the Dragoon is a good looking boat. They don't seem to be sold new in the USA at all. I'll have to talk to the seller if he still has the boat when I'm ready to buy.

    I used to own a Taipan rigged as an F-16. I couldn't right that boat at all. I've been sailing Waves for a while now and would like to move to something better, but the Taipan was just too much boat for me. That's why I'm looking for something in-between and the 14' performance boats seem to fit the bill.

    Edited by danielt1263 on Apr 22, 2022 - 08:03 PM.
  • What about a Nacra 15? That's a light weight and fast boat for solo or occasional crew.
  • I'm sorry! I must have mis-read. You were asking about the 16 foot boats and I jumped in talking about the 14s... The RS Cat 16 XL and Topaz 16 CX are enough alike that I think either would be a fine choice. They are basically the same weight. The Topaz has a bigger mainsail and jib, but the RS has a bigger spinnaker which apparently figures more prominently in SCHRS ratings...

    I haven't checked out the Nacra 15 for myself, but I did look at the Nacra 460. It's a little too hot I think.

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