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Am I crazy? Or can a Tomaz 16 check these boxes?  Bottom

  • Hi Everyone,

    Long-time lurker, but wanted to sign up to get some feedback from the pros here.

    I grew up dingy racing as a kid, spent 6 years as a sailing instructor, and moved into sailing a Tornado. The Tornado was a blast and was some of the most fun I had on the water, but had to give it up as I couldn’t afford to run it. I moved into windsurfing to fulfill my need for speed, and then had kids and basically stopped cold-turkey as my time and money suddenly evaporated.

    Things are more comfortable now. My kids are now 6 and 9, and I have them signed up for sailing lessons this summer. If all goes well, I’m hoping to buy a boat to try to recreate some of the magical summers that I had as a kid.

    I’m looking at boats that I could take both kids out with me and possibly my wife (wishful thinking!). Ideally I could also take it out myself on the odd evening. For now I expect to be on the boat every time that the kids want out, but would want something that they could take out without me when they are a bit older and experienced (e.g. 12+?).

    One added complication is the club I’m a member of only offers moorings (in sheltered water) or basically indoor kayak storage. There is no dolly storage/launching. So either something that can stay at a mooring, or something small enough to fit inside in a space for canoes/kayaks. Locally there are no better options without paying $3k a year for dingy access, which I’m not keen on.

    Given all this, I’m wondering if a Tomaz 16 would fit the bill? It sounds to be robust, fun, but not too overwhelming for new sailors.

    I hate the thought of mooring it, but understand the plastic hull may be naturally growth-repellent, and combined with a regular scrub-down may not get too gross or cause damage. I at one point had my Tornado on a mooring, and after rigging up a bridal system for the mooring, and tensioning the rig when it was left, actually worked out fine. I could potentially buy PWC floats to keep it moored but out of the water, though that becomes one more thing to remove and store for the winter, and would add ~$5k in cost.

    In terms of sailing, am I dreaming to think that they may be able to handle it in their early teens? Or is a 16 too big for youth?

    I was also looking at the RS CAT 16, though the Tomaz dealer is here once a year for the local boat show – though both are based 1000km away. Cats are rare in my area (Atlantic Canada), and I’m guessing there isn’t one of either boats here, so there is no opportunity to sail or see either in advance that I know of.

    In terms of sailing conditions, the area I live has a sheltered cove about 5km long and 250m wide where most of the learn to sail training happens (and where I'd keep it), which leads to a large harbour that opens onto the Atlantic Ocean. Typical summer winds are 10-15 knots in the sheltered area, and up to 20-25 knots in the open harbour.

    Any thoughts or feedback would be much appreciated!
  • There was an RS16 in Bridgeport CT at a shop called The Boat Locker a few weeks ago. Not sure how close that is to you.


    Nacra 5.0
    • Personally, I like the shape of the hulls on the RS Cat 16 better than the Topaz 16. I get the impression it would be easier to tack the boat 1-up.
    • The SCHRS numbers say the Topaz 16 is a shade faster because it has larger sails all around.
    • I haven't sailed either.
  • In full disclosure I manage RS Sailing North America, but I also race F18s and have been sailing catamarans for 30 years. I believe the RS Cat 16 hulls are a way better design. If you want to compare, look up the RS Cat 16 hulls side profile compared to a SailGP or America's Cup Catamaran. Then look up the Extreme 40, a boat known for crashing and burning and compare to the side profile of the Topaz 16m, they look similar because it's the same designer.
    SCHRS are going to be tricky as these boats really aren't raced much. The RS Cat 16 packs a lot of power for the rig size, it really surprised me the first time I sailed it. But at the same time the smaller rig makes it easy to right and handle.
    I also have a great 1 year old demo RS Cat 16 XL in Bristol, RI I'd be happy to make a great deal on. Give me a shout at Todd@rssailing.com if you have any questions.

    Edited by wildtsail on Apr 18, 2024 - 01:02 PM.
  • Hmmm ... using an Extreme 40 to conflate performance to a 16 foot catamaran? I am not sure those aren't apples and oranges.


    Blade F-16
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25 (Sold)
    Hobie Tiger (Sold)
    Hobie Tiger (Sold)
    TomCat 6.2 (Sold)
  • dssaakHmmm ... using an Extreme 40 to conflate performance to a 16 foot catamaran? I am not sure those aren't apples and oranges.

    Not at all, hull design is hull design whether it's a 16' boat or 40' boat. For the most part it is proportional.
    If everything is proportionate (crew weight ballast is likely more in favor on the bigger boat) then the same will be true on both boats. Sure waterline helps some aspects but still similar attributes.
    We've seen the exact same thing with design in the F18 class, certain designs and actually the same designer in the Extreme 40, Topaz 14 and the Hobie Wildcat, where the Wildcat has a ton of issues with performance.
    Not to dismiss designs for this designer, but if you look they are all boats with some interesting and challenging attributes, Hobie Wildcat, SL16, Shadow, Extreme 40, Dart 16, Laser Cat, Spite Fire, and Dart Hawk. From what I've heard, Hobie nixed the original daggerboard placement which probably would have helped the boat somewhat.
    I raced the Wildcat for a year and a half, really struggled with buoyancy in the bows upwind and downwind. Say what you want, but there is a reason that every F18 team left the Wildcat in the matter of a couple of years and the value of the boat plummeted, several here in the US that won't even sell for 5K. In flat water it was fun, but it was depressing in waves. After the Wildcat I switched to the C2 and instantly had better results, since then I've not been outside that top 10 (podiumed 4 times I think) at North American events, top 10 at a Worlds, and 8 top 10s at the Catacup.
    My experience translates to performance for a recreational sailor as better designs are easier and more fun to sail. Bias aside for the RS Cats, the hull design is just more modern, has more volume and more forgiving.
  • I'm not too keen on the K3X. It doesn't feel like the hull volume is enough at the bows. Personally, I would rather either the K2 or the K4 (I have a K4X Touring so there is some bias there.) That said, I think the shape of the hulls on the K3 is better suited to single handing. Also, I'm only 70 kg at best (and only 1.73 meters tall) so the K4 suits me better for single handing.

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