Day-sailer conversion of Soling or Etchells?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Adam Persson, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Adam Persson
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: Sverige

    Adam Persson Junior Member


    I am in the planning/design stage of a classic styled daysailer conversion based on either a Soling or an Etchells, but I am having a hard time deciding which boat to build on!

    In my mind they are extremely similar designs, sharing the same proportions, the same appendage configuration and very similar design concepts. After all, they were both designed for the same purpose.

    The Solings are much easier to come by in my region, and also a bit smaller, making them my first choice for this project.

    What are your opinions regarding this?
    Is any of them a superior choice?

    I can however not find a lines plan of the Soling! Does anyone here have them, or know where I can find one?

    The Etchells lines plan is available on the class association website, so I would like to model both hulls in DelftShip, and compare their properties and what effect the added topside weight would have on waterlines and stability etc side by side, in order to get a boat which retains its original properties.

    The project would be rather simple, and incorporate the following:
    1) Filling, fairing and painting hull, deck and keel

    2)Cleaning up cockpit layout, fixing shroud attachments, and fitting with a new rig

    3)Adding wooden accents, such as toe rail, cockpit rail, and a thin, glued teak deck (6mm thick ribbons).

    4) New hardware and sails.

    What do you think about such a project?
    Which boat dou you think is the ideal object?

    Best regards,
    Adam Persson
  2. Chuck Losness
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    Location: Central CA

    Chuck Losness Senior Member

    My first sailboat was a soling that I used mostly for afternoon beer can races out of Dana Point, CA. It made a great day sailor. Because of the typical light air in Dana Point I fitted it with a 150% jib. To get the 150% jib to sheet properly I had to move the lower shrouds inboard about 9 inches and ran the jib sheet between the upper and lower shrouds.
    I believe that Skenes has a picture of the lines drawing of the soling. You should also be able to get a lines drawing from the class association.
    The only thing about the boat that I didn't care for was that it did not have a self bailing cockpit. Otherwise I thought it was a great boat for day sailing.
  3. keith66
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: Essex UK

    keith66 Senior Member

    An old Etchells 22 was modified at Maldon some years ago, they cut out the transom cut darts in the hull & extended it into a long counter, the bow was also split & extended if i remember, she was rigged as a gaff cutter & was extremely fast winning a lot of races. The Old Gaffers association would know more.
  4. Silver Raven
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    Location: Far North Queensland, Australia

    Silver Raven Senior Member

    Goodat Adam. What is the 'project' ??? What is the main goal with this desire of yours ??? do you want to take your family sailing - or do overnight trips with a bit of comfort ???

    Why would you want to add 50 kgs plus to the deck weight - for no advantage in the sailing properties of either a Soling or an 'eggshell' - both of which are great boats.

    I notice that you want to change the sails &/or sail plan - why ??? You think you know something that those two designers didn't know. Not ever going to be a very wise expenditure of money.

    If I wanted a monohull - which I don't - - & I've sailed & raced on both Solings & 'eggshells' I might go for the longer water-line as my personal choice - however if the Soling was much cheaper & there were a lot more to choose from - then - like you - I'd choose the Soling.

    What is a "classic styled daysailer" ???

    Why do you want to "fill, fair & paint" the hull & keel ??? I just don't get what you are trying to do ??? Please explain. Your wanting a boat to go sailing in or a project to play with on paper to have fun playing with computer programs ???

    So you want to "clean-up the cockpit" & design a "new rig" - your statement. Do really think that you can 'fix-up' - two of the best & most competitive - 3 man sailing boats ever designed (to be an Olympic class - which is how the two designs came to be in the first place) to become a better sailing boat ???

    Whoa up - ther for a bit - - take a real close look at the qualifications of the designers & then take a long - close look in the mirror. Go to design school for 20 years then go sailing for 30 years - then go back & take another long look in the mirror again & then just maybe - you might stand a 'snow-balls chance in hell' of making any improvement to either design. I doubt it ! ! !

    Suggest - you go buy either - go sailing - enjoy your summer - think about your proposal over winter & then go sailing next summer. I'm sure you & your friend(s) will get much more out of that enjoyment & spend a lot less money & have a lot more fun - than what you are proposing. Ciao, james
  5. Adam Persson
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Adam Persson Junior Member


    The plan is to restore & adapt an old, fast, racing boat to be more suitable for day-long leasure sailing trips. I don not plan to add a superstructure, nor do I plan to redesign the rig, but just modify the boat slightly, in order to simplify the handling, and add some nice aesthetic highlights!

    As you probably know, the Solings are equipped with "shroud tracks", which make a big difference on the race course, but are completely unnecessary if one plans to use the boat for other purposes. In my mind, considering the planned usage of the boat, they clutter up the deck layout, and complicate the handling of the boat.

    So, the project is to buy an old Soling, which is beyond its useful racing life, and adapt it to day-cruising use, as well as improve the technical and aesthetic condition of the boat.
    Alot of these boats have hulls and decks scarred from previous impact damage, massive amounts of repaired holes in the deck from deck layout changes etc. That is the reason why one would want to fair and paint the hull and the decks, simply to bring the boat back to showroom condition.

    The teak deck and wooden coamings will shurely add a little bit of weight, but since the boat will not be used for racing, this is of less importance. A teak deck and a few mahogany details adds so much to a boats feeling, and looks.

    Well, what classically styled means depends on who you ask. I aim to recreate the old, now gone, engineless knockabout sloop, based on a fast, stable and sleek hull, but with the look and the feel of a classic yacht.

  6. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member


    There is an Etchells daysailor for sale on Sailing Texas.
    I believe it is in the PNW area.

    You might get some information about the boat. The description is fairly large.

    There was one converted to a trimaran in Europe also.

  7. Andrewg6678
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Location: Adelaide Australia

    Andrewg6678 New Member

    Converted Soling

    I am in Adelaide South Australia and I own a converted Soling. I bought it from a guy in Port Lincoln, South Australia about 4 years ago. The conversion from a true racing Soling to a cruiser/racer was done about 15-20 yrs ago on mine and was done by a professional boatbuilder in Pt Lincoln… I have actually spoken to him.

    Mine is probably typical of most other conversions of this ilk that I've seen or at least viewed online. Although, I have been told by several people that mine is the best conversion they know of! In Australia it looks to me like all the conversions have been done by prof. boat builders. It also looks like a production boat… and by that I mean it doesn't look wrong… or like someone has banged a racing car in to a caravan and the caravan won.

    My boat had the topsides raised about 5-6" (for us modern folk thats about 120-150mm). It then had a cabin and sliding hatch installed and a well for the outboard. Although there isn't standing headroom below unless you are 12 years old or younger, it really does have a surprising amount of space. There is a fwd V berth and then bunks each side aft of midship and then two more each side beneath the cockpit. It has an 8HP Long shaft 2 stroke motor that drops down in to the well… this is a pretty suitable motor for this boat. I treat the motor as something to get me in and out of the marina tidily. I would not rely on it for my main source of power through the water.
    I really think the conversion has made this a nifty 28 ft yacht. Solings are only 27' but when they added the freeboard it extended the transom and bow.

    I wouldn't do any serious offshore in it, but is a very good local waters sailing boat with some nice speed and excellent responsive feel and a few creature comforts thrown in. If anyone is interested hearing a bit more about this I am happy to upload some pics and info.
  8. Makfischerz
    Joined: Feb 2014
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    Location: Athens, Greece

    Makfischerz New Member

    Soling conversion

    Hello Andrew,
    I have read your description of your converted Soling with interest. I got myself a Soling '88 built and want to restore it (it is in rather poor state) to a day sailor, which I ultimately also would like to sail single handed. ( I am thinking of water ballast and introducing reefs in the mainsail, the former owner had already a furling jib installed). Also some limited creature comforts would be great, to sail with the kids to the neighboring islands (Cyclades )in camping style.
    Can you send me some pictures of your Soling for inspiration?

    Thanks a lot

    Michael, Greece
  9. Alexander UA
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    Location: Ukraine

    Alexander UA Junior Member

    My friend has an old Soling. No sails. Where in the U.S. can buy used sails? Mainsail, genoa, spinnaker.

  10. osteo999
    Joined: Jul 2017
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    Location: london UK

    osteo999 New Member

    I appreciate this is an old thread but if you still have the boat I would appreciate some pictures/info as I am about o purchase a Soling 27 myself
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