Sign in to follow this  
Jethrow

Comparison of club race Etchells Vs Soling Vs 5.5 Vs Star

Recommended Posts

Hi all

 

Hopefully close enough to dinghy sailing that some might have experience and besides, it doesn't really fit anywhere else.

 

I'm after the relative time around the track of Etchells, Soling, 5.5 and Star in a club race setting (no hobbles). Probably will be wet sailed but if the comparison is between dry sail boats I don't think it'll make much difference. Our club holds sprint races as well as longer (1 - 2 hour) races for OD classes and I'm looking at a budget entry into these races. These races will be held inshore and on the ocean but I don't think I'll bring the ocean part into the equation.

 

I should add that these classes were chosen as they are available in my area but not all currently sail together.

 

Thanks all

Jethrow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are other factors to consider. Forget the Star because it is a complex boat, you need hobbles and it's too easy to drop the rig. Of the others, the Etchells is the only one that you can compete well without Hobbles (nobody uses them) and it is the fastest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are other factors to consider. Forget the Star because it is a complex boat, you need hobbles and it's too easy to drop the rig. Of the others, the Etchells is the only one that you can compete well without Hobbles (nobody uses them) and it is the fastest.

 

I agree about the Star not being a good boat for what the OP wants. Complex and physical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I included the Star as we have a bit of a fleet for comparison but as my wife will be sailing as well it counts them out.

 

Cement, thanks for the PN's. I'd been looking for something like that but Google had been unable to find it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hobbles are an ancient form of water torture where sailors are attached to a boat by their ankles and periodically dunked in the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Solings are a delight to sail, but are practically impossible to keep flat in a breeze without hiking straps or hobbles. Makes me wish I had gone for using a trapeze when that came up in a class vote. (1973, I think.) Hobbles are more comfortable than hiking straps, but hobbles are dangerous. I've been at events where Solings sank, and they go down fast. In wind over 8-10 knots you need to start hiking, and the cockpit coaming and deck of the Soling can make this quite uncomfortable for the crew. When the breeze picks up they end up having to sit on the topsides with their shins on the deck, their ankles strapped into the hobbles or under the straps and wedged against the cockpit coaming. If there are waves, it is shower time for everybody on board. When you tack, college students who are in good shape are generally able to get back in and over to the other side in a timely fashion. Others may find it...difficult. Because of their self-tacking jibs, Solings can tack faster than a 420. It is a blast to be able to practically turn around in your own length, beat 30º into the wind, and plane downwind when it's blowing hard. In light-air venues, they can be a joy, (we had 16 in our fleet on Long Island Sound) but there's a price in heavier conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a similar search and found the International 210 Class to be a perfect fit. Interesting, classic keelboat but with excellent performance. Shallow draft (3', 10") for a keelboat and quite light for a 30' boat (2700#). Used boats were available and we have slowly upgraded over 10 years to newer ones. Molds are still available and the Class is investigating a new builder. New, around $30,000 USD for the boat and a bit more for trailer and sails. Not many 30 keelboats available for that price. Excellent used boats available for $10-15K. Good for 2 or 3 crew and don't use the genoa - it ruins the boat. Stick with the blade.

The other good choice is the Sonar. Another excellent boat for your purposes is the RS Elite.

post-9897-0-52958800-1451397685_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hobbles are an ancient form of water torture where sailors are attached to a boat by their ankles and periodically dunked in the water.

Never could get used to those things in Solings. Not allowed in Stars, I think they were banned in the 70's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jeff

 

We do have Flying Fifteens in Oz but I thought their slower speed wouldn't mesh into the current boats being sailed. Too much chance of missing out with time limits if you're the back marker all the time.

 

Three people onboard is a bit more social as well :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the number of Etchells in Pittwater, why look elsewhere. There are cheap "starters" available and you will have a steady supply of second hand sails. If you decide to get more serious, you can always have a go at OD as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Etchells are definitely on my list Colin but the wife's not so keen on them due to the loads. I did try and explain that we can alter the systems to make it easier on her. $5000 for a beater Etchells compared to $1500 for a Soling is a compelling argument as it's our second boat and just for club racing. The availability of second hand sails shifts into the Etchells favour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the Fifteen will get around most courses somewhere around a dragon. Much easer for a husband and wife team then an etchell.

 

I think there are some older boats around there that could be had cheep. (Ant the last time I raced one, a Soling was in the fleet and couldnt get near us. Flat water)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The etchells is a nice boat to sail, probably a little more "seaworthy" than the others on the list, and the loads aren't that high unless it's blowing (depends how the boat is set up, the one I race has fine everything which makes it all very easy to adjust). Availability should be a priority if you're going second-hand as spare parts and knowledge of how to fix broken bits is worth its weight in gold when things go sideways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there's much reaching, flying 15 can be faster than etchells, but if you get one, make sure its a newish one that has tanks and not bags for safety, seen a few of them (with airbags) sink or be mostly underwater whilst towed in when I sailed them at mornington!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stars are hard to compare to any other boats. Sailed them here against Etchells. In anything from 0 to 8 knots we would kick their asses, anything above 8 knots they beat us easily.

Previous poster is right, no hobbles in the Star, just hiking straps. A doubled one for the crew in the front.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never thought of an Etchells as a husband - wife boat, big, relatively stringy. If your wife can drive the Star would be a good choice, the hiking vest is nice once you get used to it. Best upwind experience ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never thought of an Etchells as a husband - wife boat, big, relatively stringy. If your wife can drive the Star would be a good choice, the hiking vest is nice once you get used to it. Best upwind experience ever.

Best upwind for the skipper. For crew, not so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Never thought of an Etchells as a husband - wife boat, big, relatively stringy. If your wife can drive the Star would be a good choice, the hiking vest is nice once you get used to it. Best upwind experience ever.

 

Best upwind for the skipper. For crew, not so much.

It depends on the wave state. Some races the crew could enter into their scuba logs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are plenty of Solings racing the evening races in Wash. in the San Juan Islands. Generally lighter winds during the summer. I don't think most of them are using hobbles. When I sailed there it was never over 10, and so not really needed. Dragons would be a great husband wife boat with or without another crew. When I was racing them one crew member didn't show up one day, so I had my wife drive and I did everything else. I was busy, but we actually did better than when we had three. I think probably because I was too busy to tell my wife where to go and what to do....hence why we are divorced now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Never thought of an Etchells as a husband - wife boat, big, relatively stringy. If your wife can drive the Star would be a good choice, the hiking vest is nice once you get used to it. Best upwind experience ever.

Best upwind for the skipper. For crew, not so much.

It depends on the wave state. Some races the crew could enter into their scuba logs.

 

I was always crew. Only ever droop hiked once and yes in waves and salt water I can see it being a pain. Generally straight leg hiked. The side decks were comfortable. I'm not being facetious about the upwind experience. As I recall the sheet loads weren't high, the jib's a blade so it tacks easily, the fore-aft & in-out tracks let you weak the jib to the nth degree and the vang's powerful and useful. The thing I didn't like was the cockpit pedestal that made getting under the boom a pain. The boat's tweaky but all the tweaks do something. And then downwind you made the rig look fugly and relaxed. Interesting thing was that at my club the Star and Ultimate 20, which I sailed more often, had similar ratings and they typically got around the course in the same amount of time but the crewing experience was very different. I liked the U20 as well but the fun there was downwind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you saying you will sail this boat with ONLY yourself and your wife? I have sailed Stars many times with my wife as crew, and a healthy, fairly athletic small crew can work, but if she doesn't want to hike then you are just out for a daysail. E22's and 5.5's are too much boat. The Soling, with the self-tacking jib and all that is probably a nice boat for such usage, but I don't know if you want to use the kite or not.

 

I have a couple of Dragons, a 210, and a 21' gaff-rigged boat we sail here locally. I guess in anything like 5-6 knots you can get by with a short-handed crew, though you certainly won't approach the PY numbers that you want.

 

From everything I have read, I would look for an old Flying Fifteen. That makes the most sense.

 

RD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I have sailed my older E22 in 20-25, no problem at all. We didn't fly the kite but have a whisker pole for the jib and use the kite sheets as reaching/downwind sheets on the jib which works well.

 

The jib has the 12:1 fine tune on the sheet and with the main sheet fine tune too it's no hassle with any of the loads.

 

i have even sailed mine single handed in 18-20 and although tacking is a bit slower (takes a bit of practice and long jib sheets) I wasn't that much slower than normal.

 

In reality the only pain sailing an E22 short handed is rolling up the main after the race!! I have made my main loose footed which makes the process alot easier.

 

Oh and I wet sail mine and can sail on and off the mooring single handed easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The F15 never really made the cut in Pittwater as the seastate is either too choppy or there is too much swell, F15 became an upper harbour beast of the 1970s the odd one or two seen at mixed fleets around the place.

That would be the old ones without much bouncy. I used to race one on port phillip where the old boats occasionally came back semi submerged but the newer ones didn't. Some of the guys also sailed them down at Apollo Bay where the courses were laid out into bass strait so to say they can't handle waves/swells is not true.

I can say downwind or reaching in big waves over 2m we easily kept up with etchells, whose fleet incl. Ex national champions and was great fun! Upwind obviously we couldn't keep with them,but in decent waves it was a very wet boat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this