This performance cruiser has Italian flair
Here’s a new model from the Solaris yard in Aquileia, Italy. The design is by Javier Soto Acebal, with design contributions from the yard’s in-house design team. In keeping with the well-established theme for current cruiser-racer production boats the quest for interior volume comes through loud and clear with this design.
The freeboard of the 44 is high and I’d guess the difference in freeboard forward to freeboard aft is only 8.92 inches. That’s just eyeballing the profile. There is about 2 inches of spring to the sheer. The result is a high-volume hull that is very blocky looking in 2-D profile. But given the low L/B of 3.19, once this boat gets heeled over it will appear to have far more sheer spring. Even a boat with no spring to the sheer will appear to have sheer spring when it’s heeled.
The D/L of the 44 is 146.2. You can pick from the standard-draft model drawing 8 feet 6 inches or the reduced draft option drawing 7 feet 11 inches. The rocker is quite flat. I don’t have any drawing of the keel or the rudder but from the one heeled rendering I have it looks like there are twin rudders. That’s a safe bet when you have max beam at the transom.
The 44 comes with a basic layout with three sleeping cabins. It appears the only interior option is you can sacrifice the nav station for a shower stall adjoining the starboard quarter cabin. Given that most navigation today is done on a laptop losing the nav station might be OK. But if you go with the nav station you also get a slightly larger galley with more counter space and room on each side of the double sinks. For my money, a bigger galley and a dedicated nav station makes the most sense. After all, there is a shower stall in the forward head.
The starboard quarter cabin shows split single berths but I suspect you can have a double berth as there is in the port quarter cabin. The forward cabin is for the owner and has a large centerline double berth and enough cabin sole that you can climb in the berth from the sides. This is a sensible layout for three cruising couples with plenty of elbow room.
There is enough volume forward for a sail stowage fo’c’sle. Keeping max beam all the way aft sure offers volume in the quarter cabins that we would not have seen 10 years ago. Same effect shows with the reverse raked stem. Accommodations extend almost all the way to the bow. Great for interior volume so long as you are willing to kiss your pretty overhangs goodbye. I can see them now just going over the horizon.
In chatting with my friends on the Perry fan club on Facebook it’s kind of funny that there are still some cruisers nervous about open transoms. I call it the “Where’s Johnny?” affect. Clearly if we were regularly losing grandkids out the open transoms they would have disappeared by now. I did my very first open transom more than 40 years ago. Instead as beam aft keeps increasing, the opening at the transom gets bigger and makes for a great swim and boarding platform.
There is just enough deck space at the transom on the 44 so that the helmsperson can perch there while driving. Twin wheels were once only seen on race boats, but are common today because they open up the cockpit and leave enough space between the wheels that you just might be able to snuggle your dink, or half of your dink, in that gap.
The mainsheet traveler is directly forward of the wheels and is very broad. I like that. Although, with the traveler eased it looks like it might interfere with working space at the leeward winches. Lines coming aft exit the cockpit coaming and fairlead to these four winches. There is an optional fifth winch on the coaming top to starboard.
Deck edge alloy extrusions have been replaced by an actual bulwark for much better security than you’d get with a low toerail. Note the broad and totally clear side decks. There is a self-tacking jib track just forward of the mast but no other jib tracks. Compare this clean side deck to the cluttered side decks of mid-1970’s IOR boats. Your toes will be safe.
The SA/D is 25.33 using the 44’s “light” displacement figure. A short sprit keeps the off-the-wind sails clear of the working jib stay, which is surprisingly far aft. If I am reading the sailplan correctly that head angle for the self-tacking jib will be very narrow. I like to see at least 20 degrees at the head of the working jib.
That’s about it for the Solaris 44. It has some novel features and should be a lot of fun to sail. As for the overall aesthetics of the design I’ll reserve judgement until I can see one in the water.
LOA 43’10”; LWL 41’9”; Beam 13’9”; Draft 8’6”; Displ. 21,826 lb.; Ballast 7,937 lb.; Sail area 1,281 sq. ft.; Fuel 58 gal.; Water 100 gal.; Auxiliary 30, 60 or 75-hp.;
SA/D 25.33; D/L 146.2; L/B 3.19