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Streaker v Solo V Lightning

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Choosing a boat
Forum Discription: Ask any questions about the sport!
Printed Date: 20 Aug 18 at 8:29pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Streaker v Solo V Lightning
Posted By: raygreen
Subject: Streaker v Solo V Lightning
Date Posted: 09 Sep 17 at 10:39pm
A question regarding single handed dinghy's.

I am 50 and new to sailing.  Just about to take my RYA Level 2.  I have been sailing a Pico on our local reservoir but find this so uncomfortable having a hip problem.  It's got to be better than that!!  I'm sure the Pico was designed by the devil?  I have always been a competitive fell runner and squash player but hip issues have put a stop to that.

I need something I can get my legs into but being a competitive person I want something I can drop my legs into and still get involved with club racing and perhaps events on the sea.  I know some people will say 'a Laser is the boat'.  Not sure that in terms of my hip I might have the same issues with a Laser as a Pico, if not quite so bad.

I have spotted the Streaker/ Solo/ Lightning which look more comfortable than a Laser but still offer good racing opportunity.

I am 5'10 and 75kg.

Any recommendations on the above, advantages and disadvantages and also how the opportunities fair to race against others in the same class.


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 10 Sep 17 at 9:32am
The Lightning and Streaker are relatively shallow compared to the Solo so you may find it harder to find a comfy position to sail in.

The Solo is probably the best bet of the 3 you have mentioned. I wouldn't recommend a Laser if you have a hip problem.

It will also depends on budget as well... I would guess pretty strong if you want to be competitive (especially in a Solo).

Maybe consider a Fusion as well to build your skills? Like a Pico but much better in terms of size and ergonomics (and fairly cheap brand new).

D-Zero GBR188
Ex Rooster 8.1 '11'
Ex Laser 167534
Ex Blaze 655

Posted By: ColPrice2002
Date Posted: 10 Sep 17 at 9:56am
Check out the local clubs, and the class association websites.

If you can find a club with any of the dinghies you shortlist, pop in and (after racing, or during lunch break) talk to the helms and ask if you could try one.

Mostly, you'll have a result.

My club has Solos and Streakers - the Streaker is lighter so easier to retrieve from the water, the Solo has a deeper hull and is more comfy - though possibly more expensive.

S/h wooden versions are less expensive than frp, but will require a bit more tlc.

Always try a s/h boat on the water, if nothing else, it confirms that all the bits are there!

Which part of the country are you?

(Edit to complete name - duh)

Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 10 Sep 17 at 10:18am
Not had much to do with the Streaker.
Solo nice boat, fairly comfortable, more technical than Lightning, assuming you mean Lightning 368.
Lightning, a lot cheaper than Solo, and less technical, more forgiving for a novice.
Have a look at Hartly rotomould range, their 12 very comfortable.

Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 10 Sep 17 at 1:10pm
Pico is a tiny think compared to a Laser or the others. Streaker is small too but a 6ft mate has just bought one and finds it comfy enough. Also consider the Supernova if you'll be sailing on a lake but my choice for sailing on big lakes or open water would be the Blaze. I've had one for just under a year now and it may just be the best boat I've ever owned (and I've had a few over the years. I'm 64, 5'7" and 76kg with 50+ years sailing/racing experience. Your height and weight combined with your fitness should make you competitive in any of the boats mentioned once you get a little experience. Is your reservoir a club or sailing centre? If it's a club what do they sail there?

Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"
Supernova 395 "dolly the sheep" (now sold but considering a second (mk3) Blaze as her replacement)

Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 10 Sep 17 at 2:42pm
Don't buy any of them, awful things, look at something more modern, Aero, D-Zero, Solution they are the three best single handers right now.

-------------" rel="nofollow - Snow Equipment Deals" rel="nofollow - New Core Kite website

Posted By: raygreen
Date Posted: 10 Sep 17 at 4:21pm
Thanks for the replies so far.  I am from Oldham and sail on Dovestones Reservoir.  Not the largest of waters and very blustery.  Quite a few Lasers in the club and the larger Flying 15's - tend to be the main boats out racing.

I also don't mind wood.  I used to be a carpenter so something about a wooden boat appeals to be (Might change my mind when it comes to owning one).  I don't want to spend a fortune at this stage.  Certainly won't be buying a new boat.

I think I would struggle on an R2Aero looking at how flat they are - look great fun though.  The thing is probably to try a few boats out.  I think we have a Streaker and a Solo at the club.  Will see if I can get a demo sail.

Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 11 Sep 17 at 7:33am
There are Lightnings at Denholme SC if you'd like to try one. Jason, our Chairman, sails there.

I chose the Lightning because of the deep cockpit, but also because an old Lightning is both cheaper and generally in much better condition than an old GRP Solo.

Wooden Solos, if well looked after, will have lasted better than the old glass boats. But check for soft areas under the mast, where water pools. I've seen masts punch through the bottom where the for has set in.

Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Topper 44496, Minisail 3131, Minisail 3446

Posted By: raygreen
Date Posted: 11 Sep 17 at 11:47pm
The Streaker and the Lightning 368 are probably more comparable than the Solo (in terms of hull weight and sail size).  I really do like the look of the Solo but my weight at 75kg might be more suited to the the two lighter boats.  The Solo also seems a lot deeper in comparison to the other two but all look ok to give ample comfort.  Rupert I would love to take up your offer with the Lightning as soon as my Level 2 is completed.  Was just cancelled this weekend unfortunately.  Waiting for a new date.

So for those familiar with the boats;

If the Solo was out of the equation how do the Streaker and the Lightning 368 stack up against each other?  Do the have a similar fleet and is there a good opportunity for racing around the country?

Anything I should be looking for in terms of upgrades with sails, boom, mast etc?

Posted By: Ardea
Date Posted: 12 Sep 17 at 9:24am
The streaker fleet is active with several circuits and well attended nationals.  New boats are being built by 2 builders and kits are available.  Class association is active and friendly.  My feeling is the lightning isn't such a large or active class.  This probably puts a slight price premium on the streaker as there is more support & events.

This is coming from my experience as a streaker sailor, I have no experience of the lightning, I'm know there are a few on here who do sail them and may chip in.  Best bet is to have a sail in both and decide if the difference is worth the cost/class activeness differences.

Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 12 Sep 17 at 12:06pm
I don't think 75kg is a problem in a Solo, particularly inland.  80-85kg is optimal at Championships.  No experience of the Streaker or Lightning.  But the Solo is very established and the post 4300 FRP boats are very sorted.  

Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth

Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 12 Sep 17 at 12:29pm
You can get a Solo with a more flexible rig - 75kg would be fine

Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 12 Sep 17 at 4:06pm
Originally posted by rich96

You can get a Solo with a more flexible rig - 75kg would be fine

What he said. There is a chap at my local club who is probably your weight or less and has a very flexible mast and the correct sail to go with it.

I borrowed his boat, I enjoyed it but was definitely needing a stiffer rig.

I was also surprised at how nice a sail it was.

D-Zero GBR188
Ex Rooster 8.1 '11'
Ex Laser 167534
Ex Blaze 655

Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 12 Sep 17 at 6:54pm
The Lightning fleet is smaller than the Streaker, but the circuit is very friendly, with plenty of fun to be had. Second-hand Giles built boats are cheap and regularly do well against the Claridge built ones. There will be a new deck layout coming out soon, too.

Usual advice to sail all of them, plus anything else you come across and can get a ride. Almost all boats are fun to have a go in, but finding a long term partner is harder, so do some speed dating first!

Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Topper 44496, Minisail 3131, Minisail 3446

Posted By: raygreen
Date Posted: 17 Sep 17 at 11:15pm
I might be trying to hang on to this post just to eek out a little more knowledge from Solo, Streaker and Lightning sailors.

Today I was able to have a look at the Solo and the Streaker and have a chat with their owners.  The Solo is the larger of the boats and would probably need me to be sailing with the more flexible mast with my 75kg weight.  The Streaker is also a lot easier to manage.  I am thinking a Streaker of a Lightning 368 would be the better of the 3 to start with.

There are a few differences between the 2.  The lightning needs no rigging and has a centreboard.  The Streaker has a larger class and probably a more competitive fleet.

For anyone who has sailed either of these boats what are the differences?  I know it is a personal thing but do either of them stand out as a better boat for any reason?


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 18 Sep 17 at 7:31am
If you enjoyed chatting to the Streaker owners at your club, the slight differences between the boats will be far outweighed by the enjoyment of sailing with/racing against those people.

Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Topper 44496, Minisail 3131, Minisail 3446

Posted By: ColPrice2002
Date Posted: 18 Sep 17 at 8:51am
Just a couple of thoughts re the Solo...
The Solo rig is quite adaptable - with the sail controls working properly, you can adjust the outhaul, cunningham, kicker and traveller. This means that you can depower upwind (more outhaul, lots of cunningham), use kicker and let the traveller out a bit and still keep offwind power.
I've not seen that with our Streaker fleet.
I've seen that a number of Streakers also have the Splash - a reduced area sail.
Ultimately, choose a dinghy that you're comfortable with, group of sailors you can get along with and enjoy the sailing.

Don't buy a new boat until you're happy with the dinghy, just makd sure that your s/h choice passes a buoyancy test. I've seen too many dinghies where the hull to deck seal has failed. It's only noticeable with theboat capsized, then it's a swine to beach and repair.


Posted By: fleaberto
Date Posted: 21 Sep 17 at 3:29pm
A Giles built Lightning (pre 401 sail number) will, generally, cost peanuts to buy and were very solidly built so will stand up to quite a bit of abuse (both physically and verbally :-) )

Great light wind boats and can be real fun in anything from a Force3.

The giles boats will generally come with a very flexible needlespar mast with carbon top that bends of amazingly in gusts to help keep you upright and they will have all controls coming to each side deck so in easy reach for quick & easy adjustment.

The pivoting centreboard is a godsend when crashing into a lee shore - as is the lifting rudder. 
Tracked mast avoids all the issues of the sleeved type sails and means you can drop the main quickly - either off or, indeed, on the water.

They do sit fairly high in the water which keeps you a little drier on those nice reaches - but can be a little trickier to get back into following a capsize.

Actually, there were a few Lightnings at Dovestone a few years ago, we used to go there as part of the circuit.

Denholme and Ulley have a few boats these days so contact anyone at those clubs (Jason Gallagher for Denholme) and have a try to see what you think.
Actually, iiiitick on here has a Lightning history so a trip over to Combs SC could be very worthwhile.

PY is very favourable at the moment too LOL

Lightning368 'All the Gear' (409), Lightning368 'Sprite' (101), RS600 'Wonky Allen'(725), Intl 420 ('Little Minx')

Posted By: Ardea
Date Posted: 25 Sep 17 at 8:58am
I think the smaller sail for the streaker is called the wave sail (" rel="nofollow - half way down that page).

Posted By: Jubilado Jim
Date Posted: 09 Oct 17 at 5:40pm
I have an older GRP Streaker. I like the boat, particularly as it is light to pull up the slipway. However, our lake has lots of shallow patches and I keep crunching the dagger board on the bottom and it can get damaged. I have been wondering about swopping it for a Lightning. So a couple of questions. Is the boom of the Lightning lower than on the Streaker? And does the Lightning invert when it capsizes or does the carbon bit on the top of the mast help keep the boat on its side? And any other comments on the difference between the two boats.

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