Above: Cath and Mark Thompson taking delivery of their new Topaz OMEGA in August 2008
Top: Sailing in their OMEGA.
Photo taken April 2009
Cath & Mark Thompson: New OMEGA Owners“Not having sailed a plastic hull before I was expecting to feel some hull flex, there was none!” We had 15knts gusting 25 so it wasn’t optimal sailing but the boat was a pleasure and easily controllable in the gusts. I just had the main up and Cath set the jib for the down wind legs and furled it back up for the reaches… We were being a bit patsy really, it seemed really easy to control when the gusts hit and there was no way we were going to tip ‘er over. I had the stays set a bit far back so I need to drop the mast and set them forward a bit, but I think I had the rake of the mast just perfect. I'm really impressed so far, Cath loved it and we both can’t wait to get the boat wet again… and it will be awesome to get that gennaker flying! Update 08/06/10 We have been sailing our backsides off and still really loving the Omega… really couldn’t have chosen a better boat for our purposes. We fly the gennaker and get out on the trapeze every chance we get these days. Due to plenty of brilliant weather this summer we spent a lot of time just capsizing for the sake of a swim and the shear fun of it.
UK sailing Centres - Over 200 OMEGAs - Scottish National SC, Royal Yorkshire YC, Pembroke WS, Carsington S&L, Oxford & DS, Derwent Res, Master Sun, Mark Warner, Medina Valley, Surrey Docks WS, Trafford WS, Southend MA, Royal Victoria Docks, Felixstowe Ferry, Enfield Scouts, Doe Park WAC, Nottingham SC, Neptune YS, Walsall OP, Grangewater OEC, Wirral SC, Grangewater OEC, etc etc.
ASK YOURSELF THIS: Why spend close on double the price for old outdated, high maintenance GRP designs, when TRILAM has so many advantages over it?
The Beachlands Boating Club, Auckland.
With funding, they have now received their new Topaz Omega Sport. This is for the use of their club members and to enable the younger members to gain new skills along with the thrill and experience of sailing a large, advanced dinghy.
Bob Curtis of Beachlands Boat Club:
The Topaz Omega Sport has been a huge success at the Club and has generated a lot of interest. Our notice board now has many photos of the Omega below the wording “Pride of the Fleet”. As regards to the Navy’s statement "A fantastic boat, we cannot find fault with one thing about it" I am in total agreement.
Article from the Pohutukawa Coast Times: "Beachlands Boating Club ready to set sail again"
Pride of the fleet is a new 4.7 metre Topper Topaz Omega thermo-plastic family sailing dinghy. The boat can carry four young sailors and an instructor, is easy to rig and sail and is an ideal training boat as it comes with headsail and gennaker.
"We looked at lots of options from a safety point of view, and decided this was a very safe boat with terrific buoyancy," says Bob..... The club is grateful for the funding support it has received from the Lion Foundation, NZ Charitable Trust and Four Winds Foundation.
Very experienced NZ Dinghy sailor:
While sailing the fantastic Topaz Omega Sport in Tauranga with everything up and an experienced female crew on the wire we noticed a Javelin behind us in the same mode, having a waterproof camera with me I decided to take a photo as they went by, they didn't !
Comments on a sea trial with the NZ Navy
"A fantastic boat, we cannot find fault with one thing about it".
Very experienced NZ Dinghy sailor Andy "Lightning" Phillips:
I have sailed this boat in almost all conditions up to about 30 knots. Overall I have been extremely impressed with the versatility of the boat with its ability to easily instruct in and its responsiveness under gennaker in windy conditions.
The boat's high volume bow means it doesn’t tend to ‘drive down the mine’ or bury itself at the bottom of waves making it very forgiving and great fun at high speeds! In lighter winds you can carry the gennaker at quite tight angles allowing the boat to plane in anything over about 8 knots.
Upwind, the boat performs well especially two-up with one on the trapeze. Plenty of mast-rake allows the boat to point high whilst still having a lot of power and not giving up too much downwind.
The rig and sails are well designed with a potentially powerful mainsail made from durable materials whilst having the ability to reef if needed. Having a roller furling headsail is also fantastic for launching and retrieving, downwind sailing and in terms of making the whole usability of the boat superior to anything I’ve sailed before.
Having a tapered alloy rig with spreaders ensures longevity for the product as well as low cost. Having the continuous hoist/retrieval line on the gennaker adds to the versatility of the boat allowing it to be sailed single handed easily as well as keeping the cockpit tidy and tangle-free.
"Overall I thoroughly recommend this boat as both a racing yacht and purely recreational boat."
Feedback from an Australian client, that brought his Omega through our dealer there:
We launched the OMEGA for the first time this weekend at Paynesville and you are right- we love it. It hits the spot exactly and she proved both easy to sail and lively yet easily controlled in some of the heavy gusts we got.
FEEDBACK FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
Sunsail - Over 30 Omegas to Greece, Turkey, and Antigua after extensive trials pre season. "The Topaz Omega is now the definitive RYA teaching boat and the ultimate all rounder. The Omega is also my choice of boat for sailing at my local club" Simon Letten SUNSAIL.
Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club - 30 Omegas to Sweden's premier sailing club. "We have had all the boats on the water with our instructors now. Everyone loves the Omega."
Spanish Sailing Federation's of Galicia, Andalucia and Murcia - 40 Omegas "The combination of stability and performance is perfect for newcomers and more seasoned sailors alike and the carrying capacity is fantastic."
Qatar Sailing Federation UAE - "The boats are a great success with loads of young people taking to the water. Had the maiden voyage in gusty conditions and it was much more fun than with our previous classes."
WHAT THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS SAY:
"So can a polyethylene boat compete against its GRP sisters? YOU BET IT CAN, IT IS JUST AS GOOD TO SAIL, AND MUCH CHEAPER. For the holiday companies and sailing schools which will be major buyers, its price and its longevity should be a big advantage. For them the Topaz Omega's ability to carry a four man crew comfortably will be another big plus for teaching, while its good performance, its gennaker, and its trapeze option will allow pupils at sailing schools to use it for more advanced classes, as well as just for starting to sail." YACHTING LIFE
"The boat is big enough to replace a Wayfarer, and its value for money will ensure that it often will. For private buyers its flexibility is impressive, and while it could cruise and motor comfortably under outboard, I would happily race it too, something I didn't expect. The Topaz Omega is a resounding hit in my book. If you are thinking about a family boat, or a boat to buy for your club or sailing school the Omega should be well up the list." YACHTING LIFE
"The Omega is quite capable of replacing the current learning boats like the Wayfarer and the Stratos. The polyethylene construction gives the Omega a big price advantage against its longer established competitors, and the knock-proof nature the material means much less maintenance than on GRP boats" YACHTING LIFE
"The Topaz Omega is a boat which pretty much all ages could enjoy - one up, two up, three up, four up or more up. Topper should do very nicely with this one. The Topaz Omega is a superb boat with loads of room, good performance, good looks, excellent systems and fittings at a very good price." YACHTS and YACHTING
"With a lower purchase price and less maintenance, it already sounds heaven sent for sailing schools and holiday companies. And Topper have got it right first time no question. It sails perfectly and comes ready to go with all the right kit." DINGHY MAGAZINE
"The OMEGA hits the multi purpose teaching, cruising and racing market on the nail." DINGHY MAGAZINE
Update from Mark & Cath Thompson:
We have been sailing our Omega for four years now and love it even more than when we first bought it… really couldn’t have chosen a better boat for our purposes. We bought the boat with the intention of doing a little bit of racing and a lot of adventure sailing. After looking at both the Xenon and the Omega we found that the boats are quite evenly matched and the Omega has the additional option of an outboard engine bracket. We decided that the Omega was going to be a more versatile boat for adventure sailing due to the higher freeboard and high volume bow which blocks a lot of splash and prevents the boat burying itself into larger waves. We fly the gennaker and get out on the trapeze every chance we get. The single line in and out system makes it so easy and it really is a blast flying such a big sail.The Omega has surpassed all expectations, it is fast, extremely responsive and controllable, and it is very easy to right once capsized. My car doesn’t even notice towing the boat and the purpose built beach trailer means the road trailer never needs to get dunked in the tide. After four years of sailing the Omega I highly recommend it and can honestly not fault a single thing about the boat. It has been truly maintenance free and looks like it will be for many years to come. Whenever the boat is on dry land we just can’t wait to get it back in the water.
Update: We were at Manly a couple of weeks ago and I dropped Cath off on the beach and took it for a spin by myself with the main and the jib up… there were a couple of Laser sailors out there and they both seemed quite disappointed that they couldn’t keep up with the large boat with the obviously under weight crew J… I seemed to be able to point much higher than they could too. When I came back to shore several people approached me straight away to tell me just how good the boat looked out on the water and commented on its apparent speed and responsiveness (I had been throwing it around quite a lotJ). Back on the beach we left the boat at the waters edge while we had a picnic lunch up on the grass and it kept drawing quite a crowd. There were up to 3 or 4 groups of people old and young looking intently over it at any one time discussing every detail, obviously very impressed. No sooner than one group would walk off another would walk up and join the conversation… it was being quite a show stopper.
“In the months since owning the Omega, our family hasn’t even touched our 65ft motor yacht; the Omega has been
that great to sail”. St Heliers, Auckland, Client