Part of an Email from a young prospective owner: I have just finished a weeks sailing with Yachting NZ at school. It looks like I”ll have to work all my holidays to afford one. They were so great to sail. All my friends really enjoyed our week sailing and learnt heaps. Thanks Laura (12yrs).

NZ Owner: "I love it, a fantastic boat that can be sailed in pretty much all conditions either one up or two. I always recommend it and you to people who see me sailing and it normally draws a small crowd when on the beach as it looks so modern. It is very fast to rig and with the mylar sails I have the vision through the clear main gives you (where I live) an amazing vista of Rangitoto and makes for safer sailing."

Another NZ Owner: "Makes every other sailing dinghy on the water including the Laser look old fashioned."

"When I was sailing a Taz with YNZ Have A Go Sailing Program in light airs the Opti's were barely moving, while I was out there having great fun shooting past them" (young pupil), plus if you are racing at club level you can always reef the main so as to slow the Taz down to other boats speeds.

A top professional instructor of a large sailing organization was so impressed that after his test sail of the Taz he was heard to have said: "If they don't buy the Taz's I will resign" Now that is about as good a quote as you can get! For his sake I will not mention his or the organization's name here.

Greg Burns: Commodore of Point Chevalier Sailing Club in Auckland: I noticed that the TAZ was a bit smaller and livelier than the Uno when I tested it a fortnight ago. This is similar to larger people on those moulded kayaks, where the amount of displacement causes more of a roll-over effect. There would be quite a bit of difference with smaller children. I am over 100Kgs and found it a bit tippy (however you can buy a lead encapsulated daggerboard, weighing 12 kgs! for the timid first timer) but had to force it over to test capsize and recovery. Getting back on board was the easiest boat I have ever had to recover from. During the capsize, I could easily have ‘dry rolled’ it as the capsize was not that quick and there is time to make a choice to go over with the boat or mount the windward rail and roll it back.

After a major sea trial of the Topaz Taz by YNZ for their Have A Go sailing program with both experienced and beginner sailors, the end conclusion was " We were very impressed by the Taz and will be ordering nine for our program. The only issue we had was with the built in buoyancy on the head of the sail (which can be removed) as in heavy winds the boat would be blown to leeward while in the capsized position, but we found that this only happened for a short initial distance and on balance we thought it a good idea".

ASK YOURSELF THIS: Is there a better boat of this quality out there ANYWHERE NEAR THIS PRICE?