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Which Solo?

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Jamesr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jamesr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Which Solo?
    Posted: 02 Sep 16 at 6:42pm
Hello 

After a lot of research I think Im going to buy a Solo with an FRP hull.

I see that these are made by several boat builders - Boon, Winder, Ovington & Boatyard at Beer.

Is there much difference between these different boat builders?

Boat will be used on an inland lake by an 85kg inexperienced single sailor.  

Thanks
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NickM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NickM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 16 at 10:10pm
You don't say if you are looking to buy new or second hand.

Boon have stopped making Solos and have passed their tooling on to Ovington though second hand Boons are still around. Speed and P&B also sell Solos, the latter market the John Poulson design though I forget who moulds them - I think Rondar may be making hulls for somebody.

TBH all the manufacturers claim their version of the hull shape is very competitive but if you are inexperienced as you say the very marginal difference in hull shapes will make little difference to you. I think the is probably little to chose in current build quality. Some just look more slickly fitted out.

If you are going second hand, Winder boats hold their value well. They also have two hull shapes, the Mk1 and Mk2. The Mk2 has more rocker and therefore carries heavier helms (85+Kgs) better and is better suited to restricted waters as it roll-tacks quicker.

More important than the hull is the rig you use. At 85Kgs you will need a Selden D+ or Cumulus mast (or equivalent) with a sail to match.

The Solo website is good for background info but won't recommend one manufacturer above another.
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ColPrice2002 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ColPrice2002 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 16 at 8:31am
If you're starting sailing with Solos, don't rule out the later wooden hulls!
If they have been epoxied, they don't require as much maintenance as you think (2 years in, and I'm only touching in scratches).
The cost is significantly less and you'll get a feel of the boat before you upgrade.

Colin
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Jamesr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jamesr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 16 at 2:29pm

Thanks for the advice.

I was certainly going to get a used boat but they seem to depreciate so slowly that new is almost tempting. 

Winder advertise a complete new Solo for 6700. I know I will need to add for a trolley, covers etc but that seems like a great deal when a 5 year old boat could cost 5k

I might try to get a better deal in the autumn.

The wood boats do look great and Im sure that they don't need much work but I think I just want an easy life.  

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turnturtle View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 16 at 11:21am
Very few solo sailors seem willing to comment on such threads as there's an unofficial code of silence about preferring certain kit over others .... not sure why, but good job you asked here and not on their forum or you might get your knuckles wrapped.  LOL

As someone who owned a Winder Mk2 5000+ number, I would have zero hesitation in buying another one.  The boat was exceptionally well built, the service from Dave and his team excellent and generally it was a very positive ownership experience- one of the few dinghies I\d happily just go sailing in for a muck around.  I found I was too heavy at 100kg to race it even at club level.  85 should be OK, but there are some seriously skinny old dudes who can ghost you offwind, seemingly whilst half asleep.  Perhaps they're concentrating or something.  

I'd echo the advice on the mast, I tried both a cumulus and a D+.  I preferred the D+ - it felt more responsive and less scaffold pole like, but both were good sticks.  

I would also hands-down recommend an HD sail for a Solo.  It remains the best cut performance sail across lots of dinghies and windsurf boards I have ever had the privilege of owning.  It's the only Solo sail I tried, maybe they're all amazing, I doubt it though.... but put it this way, even I couldn't fail to get it to set nicely and I was really sh*te at that side of the sport.  
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davidyacht View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 16 at 11:31am
Yes the Solo site is a bit hesitant about making recommendations, probably because most of the product is good, therefore nobody wants to leave anyone out.

At 85kg you are pretty much spot on weight for any of the de-rigeur "shapes".

Dave Winder is probably building more boats than anyone else, his boats are well constructed and the detailing has been refined over the years and the boats are delivered ready to go.  The Mk1 seems to plane very slightly earlier and with less rocker helps lighter weights upwind ... at 83kg I have had five Mk 1's!  I have never had the courage to give up the planing speed.  The Mk2 is the old Speed shape and has more rocker, therefore carries weight and turns corners better, though the Mk 1a now has a Speed style deck which keeps the boat drier when roll tacking.  

It is worth considering that Phil Milanes who developed the Mk 2/Speed shape is at the lighter end of the scale.

Don't write off the Ovington, that is from the old Boon moulds which have a good pedigree, I believe that these also have more rocker than the Mk1.  Also Boatyard at Beer build a nice product, optimised my Morrison and Richards, though yet to make the market penetration of Winder,

The Selden D+ is the deriggeur mast of the moment.  The front welded Cumulus is gaining fans amongst the heavier sailors.  And Superspar are pushing their product.

Ref. Sails ... Choice is between North, HD and P&B, each have their fans, and all are in the mix.  Edge sails are also active in the class, less mainstream but have their fans in the Midlands.

This may all sound very complicated but for all of this the differences are very small, it is mainly about optimising the package to suit your prefered style of sailing.  My advice ... at your weight definitely go for the D+.  Go for any of the hulls or sailmakers ... it will make very little difference ... it really is the nut on the tiller that counts.  

There are loads of tuning guides, so it is easy to set up the boat to acheive good speed and all of the sailmakers freely give advice.  Even better the class and sailmakers provide training days which are definitely worth the effort.

Sticking with the reconized builders and sailmakers will ensure a decent residual value.

Hope that this helps.
Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth
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