Laforge, it has a fractional rig and these often make use of running backstays
. Getting rid of running backstays
would require a completely different rig and a great deal of cost.
Understand that due to the relatively short waterline length of the Suncat 30, I'd be surprised if she could exceed 7 knots and, in all likelihood, she may even do less if equipped for cruising. However, she seems to have much better bridgedeck clearance, a much more modern underbody shape and I anticipate she would point much higher and be more comfortable to windward.
I have not personally sailed a Solaris 42, but have heard from a couple of owners of them (with ketch rigs) that they not only do not point well, but they can require the use of an engine
in order to tack in light air. In addition, as already mentioned, they will pound a great deal going to windward in any kind of chop. Personally, I could not live with a boat with those attributes.
Please understand that I cannot say that this is a generic condition for the 42 as: 1. I have not personally sailed a Solaris 42. 2. I have no idea of the condition/shape of the sails
on the boats where this criticism was made, let alone 3. the competence of the sailors. This is where a sea trial is critical.
When I speak about your own priorties and the need to assess where you are on the performance/accomodation scale, let me tell you aboiut my boat. Prior to purchasing
my Solaris Sunstream 40 I had read reports of the problems associated with the Solaris 42 and was initially worried that she would exhibit the same traits. Fortunately, she is a completely different design and tacks readily; fortunately she not only has more bridgedeck clearance (albiet still not as much as I would like) and an excellent shape to the bridgedeck - a very gradual slope down from the leading edge of the bridgedeck and back up a bit at the trailing edge, all without shelves or intrusions into the tunnel (in fact, the curve is so gradual that the forward end of the bridgedeck saloon
floor is on a slope)! Due to this shape and the comparatively narrow tunnel width (some modern cats are as much as 50 % wider in this area) she pounds much less than a number of other cats that I have sailed (and even some with significantly more bridgedeck clearance).
Again, she is a completely different boat than the 42. Rather than a ketch rig, she has a cutter
rig with a furling genoa
and a furling
with dedicated winches and tracks for proper sheeting angles in all conditions. As already mentioned, she has mcuh higher bridgedeck clearance and a better underwater and under bridgedeck profile than the 42 (which has a central protrusion that is virtually in contact with the water). She has narrower hulls, a higher prismatic coefficent, a lower displacement
and a relatively fine entry with with twin knuckles above the waterline to increase bouyancy in extremis but also improve performance. In spite of all of these advantages, for me the boat is still on the low end of what I would consider to be acceptable performance - even for a boat intended to be used primarily for sailing with the trade
winds. As the wind
picks up, she will reach at just about 1/2 wind speed (7 knots in 15, 9 knots in 20) and she will tack through 100 degrees. Considering the solidness of her construction, her offshore
rig and cockpit
and a terrific offshore layout below, I can live with this less than stellar peformance. Personally, hoever, I could not live with what I understand to be the performance of the Solaris 42. Really, IMO she should be considered a motorsailor that will pound going to windward. If that is acceptable to you in exchange for the interior
accomodation/comfort, then she may be the right boat for you.
The issue, of course, is directly related to your intended use and your budget
. And please beware - no matter what boat you decide to purchase
, you must allow a realistic amount for the inevitable refit
(I say inevitable because of the age of boats that you are considering). I am just finishing a complete refit
on my boat and, equipped for offshore sailing and extended liveabaord, she will end up costing me close to $150 K ($97,500.00 for the boat and another $50K or so for the refit).
I gather that you are budgeting about $50K for the boat and then, perhaps another $25K for upgrades and a refit? Simply put, you will have to expect even greater compromises than I was prepared to make.
You should also understand that the British cats of that era (and even my Sunstream 40 which was built in 1994) made extensive use of glued on vinyl headliners and carpeted surfaces. I can virtually guarantee that these are going to need replacement, if they have not already been replaced. In my boat, I am virtually finished removing all carpeting and glued on vinyl and replacing them with textured FRP panels
. This required an incredible amount of effort: the glue had to be mechanically removed, templates had to be made for about 150 separate pieces, wooden screw strips had be cut and epoxied on in many locations (where there are compound curves), then the panels
cut and attached with either screws (where they need to removed in order to access deck
hardward or wiring), or adhesive
. The panels were then trimmed with custom teak
moldings. Yes, you could have an automotive or marine
upholster tear out the old vinyl and replace it, but it will not be a permanent fix (nor as attractive). If I did not possess the skills to do that work my self, it would not have been cost-effective to hire someone to do it. Understand as well that my refit costs, as high as they may seem, do not include much for electronics
- my boat came equipped with an underdeck hydraulic autopilot
, modern wind/depth/speed/log intruments and a below deck
repeater, a 160 gallon a day watermaker
, a modern inverter charger
and a 1050 amp hour house battery
bank, solar panels
(which I have upgraded), a wind generator
, a SSB radio
with electronic tuner, recent radar
, recent chartplotters, good ground tackle wtih dual windlasses, only 2700 and 3200 hours on the Yanmar
3 Gm30's, etc., etc. etc. My costs, exclusive of my own labour, are for: replacing the headsail, storm jib
with new offshore dacron sails
(nothing high-tech); new running rigging
including new main fiddle and swivel blocks, new lead blocks for the jib
and all new halyards, sheets
, furling lines and reefing lines; new portlights
throughout; new deck hatches throughout; new batteries; new lifelines
; head rebuild
kits, new flex-tanks for water
and waste; new hoses for the heads; repair of one spongy area in the aft deck; some new faucets and a new exterior shower
; diesel injectors serviced and additoinal fuel
filters installed, new VHF radio
; new stereo/speakers; new control unit for one keel-cooled refrigeration
unit; new pressure water
pump; recovered cushions
throughout; new gaskets/seals for saildrives; new stainless steel
chainplates for a series drogue
; new solid dodger/bimini; 240 watts of additional solar panels
and controller/regulator for the same; new lazy jacks/stack pack for the main, etc., etc.
Trust me, the costs will add up quickly, even on a relatively well maintained and equipped boat.
Am I telling you that you should up your budget
? Absolutely not. I am just suggesting that you have to be realistic about your intended use for the boat, your own level of skill at repairs/upgrades, what needs (or will soon need) to be upgraded - AS WELL AS - what performance and accomodation you can live with.
Good luck in finding the boat that works for you!