Passage Maker - - Rest - BY JONATHAN COOPER

Ed­i­tor-in-Chief (and die-hard Fran­cophile) Jonathan Cooper un­earths a cool new in­flat­able sail­ing dinghy from across the pond. In­tro­duc­ing the TIWAL—the def­i­ni­tion of Fun, with a mast.

De­spite its pe­cu­liar name, the TIWAL sail­ing dinghy could be just the thing for you to re-en­act your win­ning child­hood sail­ing re­gat­tas. Let’s face it: Sail­ing dinghies—the El Toros, Lasers, and Sun­fishes of our past—all played a ma­jor role in our in­stant en­chant­ment with wa­ter sports. There is noth­ing quite like the thrill of sit­ting mere inches from the wa­ter, with noth­ing but the breeze pro­pel­ling you around buoys while you scream for star­board tack right-of-way. But sail­ing dinghies are far from prac­ti­cal on cruis­ing boats.

The French de­signed-and-built TIWAL 3.2 in­flat­able sail­ing craft (we’re re­fus­ing to call this a dinghy) is for those among you who are un­will­ing to let go of that thrill, and for those with a lit­tle ex­tra space in the lazarette. The in­flat­able’s ease-of-setup, rel­a­tive light weight, and quasi-porta­bil­ity should make it a must for any power cruiser who, once an­chored, de­sires above all else to step the mast and set sail. At a smidge over 10 feet long and 111 to­tal pounds, the TIWAL comes in two not ex­actly pint-size carry bags—the bag with the hull weighs 57 pounds and the bag car­ry­ing the rig­ging and sail weighs 61. With prac­tice, you can as­sem­ble her from start to fin­ish in 20 min­utes (there is even video sup­port­ing the claim). The hull it­self is made from sim­i­lar PVC ma­te­ri­als to her in­flat­able power­boat cousins, and ac­cord­ing to the man­u­fac­turer, the V-shaped hull bot­tom will get up on plane in 10-16 knot breezes, depend­ing on how much weight you have on deck. To­tal load is 418 pounds, so choose your crew wisely.

$5,200 (888) 683-5880

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