Tiwal – the performance dinghy in a bag

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The Tiwal is a French designed dinghy with a difference. This is a dinghy that packs down into just two bags and can be transported in the back of a small hatchback car and stored in a closet. Measuring 3.2 metres in length and weighing around 50 kg it’s not exactly light, but given this is the all-in weight, including spars, foils and all other gear, that’s not bad.

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Photo by Olly Cully

I tested out a Tiwal in Cheung Chau Hong Kong recently. I say tested, but unfortunately there was no wind at all. Not even a measly puff. So I sat on the bow with a leg on each side and paddled towards what looked like a light breeze. I sat there admiring the design of the dinghy for about twenty minutes, got bored and then paddled home. Not exactly the test sail I had hoped for.

Having said this, the videos speak for themselves on the performance of the dinghy – she looks easy to handle, fairly fast and great fun. The Tiwal feels strong – the inflatable PVC material is the same type used on ribs, meaning she’s tough and can be heavily inflated for rigidity. The Tiwal has everything one would need for racing including a central toe strap. The standard sail is 5.2 sqm whilst there is also an option for a larger 7 sqm version.

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Photo by Olly Cully

The Tiwal 3.2 has won awards including the prestigious 2014 Red Dot Design Award and U.S. magazine. Sailing World 2014 “Best Innovation” at the “2014 Boat of the Year Awards”. And from an innovation perspective it’s not difficult to understand why. The boat has been very well designed. It labels itself as a performance dinghy but it’s also very family friendly being stable and with smooth edges all over. The basic version of the Tiwal is priced at around Euros 5,500.

Photos courtesy of Tiwal unless otherwise stated.

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It was awesome, skimming and planing across the big sea, more like a windsurfer than a sailboat…the whole experience is one of minimum fuss, minimum rigging and maximum fun

Bear Grylls: “It was awesome, skimming and planing across the big sea, more like a windsurfer than a sailboat….That’s the joy of this little craft: the V-shaped under-body means you can make it work for you, whether you want a thrill ride or a cruise around the bay; switch the sail size for lighter winds—just like that windsurfer—and off you go. The whole experience is one of minimum fuss, minimum rigging and maximum fun.” — Boat Life, Nov 2014;

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Check out the Tiwal in action below:

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