The Solo is a boat with a relatively simple rig. Once you are on the
water there is little adjustment possible. It is essential therefore
that you get the right rig settings before launching. When setting up a
new boat you need to establish the following:
Mast foot position
You should have 2 mast foot positions, essentially a light/medium
setting and a medium/heavy setting. This measurement is from the front
of the mast heel to the outside of the centre of the transom.
Please note different builders and different mast fittings may not allow
this exact measurement but as close to these as possible is preferred:
Flat water (inland conditions)
0-16 knots – 3052mm
16 knots + - 3065mm
Choppy/rough (sea conditions)
0-12 knots – 3052mm
12 knots + - 3065mm
More rake is now used where possible, the same principle applies to forestay tension on either mast foot position you use. NB. This is measured without the sail up.
When the back of the mast touches the mast gate the forestay should just be in tension.
Preferably you have a mast with the track cut out, you can then use much
more rake, in this case the forestay should be just in tension when the
mast (where the track is cut out) is 5mm from the back of the gate.
The same principle is used for either mast foot position. When the
shrouds are just in tension the mast should be 5mm from the front of the
gate. If you sail on flat water or are over 85kgs you can sail with
tighter shrouds to limit sideways bend, in this case the shrouds can be
in tension when the mast is 10mm from the front of the gate.
Turn the boat on it’s side and fully lower the board so that the
handle is touching the thwart. In this position the board should have
25mm of forward rake, now lift the board and mark the handle when the
leading edge is vertical (LV), relative to the bottom of the case. Lift
the board further until the trailing edge is vertical (TV) and mark the
handle. The board needs to be just tight enough in the case so that it
stays where you set it, but you can easily adjust it with your foot when
Use 1 x 10mm chock to be used as per the tuning matrix below.
|Centreboard||Leading edge vertical||Trailing edge vertical||40mm up from TV mark||40-100mm up from TV mark|
|Chock||Chock behind mast||Chock in front||Chock in front||Chock in front|
|Kicker||Slack||Slack||Tension to control leech||Max. kicker|
|Outhaul||50mm depth in foot||100mm depth in foot||50-100mm depth in foot until overpowered then tension progressively||Max. outhaul with crease along foot|
|Inhaul ||15mm from back of mast||10mm from back of mast||5mm from back of mast||0-5mm from back of mast|
|Traveller||0-50mm from centreline||50 - 150mm from centreline||150-50mm from centreline||0-50mm from centreline|
|Cunningham||Slack||Slack||Tension progressively to depower||Tension to depower|
|Boom Position||End above inside edge of tank||End halfway between tank||End over outside edge of tank to 100mm outside ||50mm-250mm outside |
Because Solo’s are relatively easy to sail a boatspeed advantage is
hard to find. The settings that have been used for this tuning guide are
based around a Solo sailor weighing 84-86kg using a Selden D+ mast and
North sail. However these settings still apply providing you use the
correct mast and sail combination for your weight.
The settings are dependent on sea state, weight, mast, sail and
fitness. So in a force 3 a 90kg helm would be on full power settings
whereas a 75kg helm with the same rig would be on overpowered settings.
The overlap between settings can be achieved with a combination of rig,
sail and centreboard adjustment. There are different ways to achieve the
same result. If for example you are caught out with light/medium
settings in strong breeze raise the centreboard further, use more
kicker tension (to bend the mast) cunningham and outhaul tension.
Use a combination of mainsheet tension, kicker tension and traveller
position to find the best speed upwind. As a general rule start in light
winds with the traveller on the centreline and little mainsheet tension
so that all the leech tell tails are flying. As the wind increases use
more mainsheet tension and ease the traveller to stop the boom getting
too close to the centreline. Kicker tension in light winds should be set
just slack so that it controls leech twist out of tacks. As the breeze
increases and you have to ease the mainsheet to keep the boat flat use
kicker to control the leech profile, and adjust the traveller (usually
move inboard) to keep the boom roughly over the outside edge of the
quarter. Once fully overpowered use kicker upwind to increase low down
mast bend and flatten the mainsail.
In a Solo body position is extremely important. In very light airs your
body weight should be centred on the thwart, but do not move forward of
this point however light it is. Once you are sat on the side deck move
back so that your front leg is pressed against the thwart. As you become
fully hiked move back to 150mm from thwart, and then up to 300mm as the
Use only enough centreboard so that the rudder is neutral when the boat is flat with the following sail settings:
Leave the outhaul on it’s upwind setting. The inhaul (if adjustable)
should be released so its slack. The kicker should be slack or just in
tension to stop the leech opening too much in gusts.
Ease outhaul so that lens foot is fully eased (you should have a knot
in the control which hits the bottom of the boom when lens is fully
eased). Ease the inhaul until slack. Set the kicker so that the top
batten flies approximately 90 degrees to the boat, this allows the leech
to open and maximise speed. If planing is a possibility keep the boat
as flat as possible and take the mainsheet 2:1 from the boom.
Only ease the outhaul on reaches if you can use more power. Ease
Inhaul until slack. Once on the run ease outhaul to allow a little depth
in the foot. Set the kicker as for medium airs or ease to depower on
the reaches. This is also very quick on the run but can be very tippy!
By spending time on the water preferably with a tuning partner you will
be able to establish the right settings for all conditions. This will
allow you to concentrate more of your energies on finding the quickest
way round the course.
Good luck on the water!
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