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Old 08-18-2003
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Soling vs Colgate 26

Thinking about a Soling or Colgate 26 -- at least two of each are available locally -- for use primarily as a daysailer in Long Island Sound. Haven''t sailed either ... any opinions out there?

Looking for a 20-something keel boat, stable but responsive, fairly dry. Will keep it in a marina slip, use it for afternoon sails with wife and 2 toddler-age kids. I''m a fairly experienced sailor, mostly big boats offshore (not recently). Wife is a novice.

Looking for something fun to sail but still appropriate for an afternoon sail with novices. Probably will end up single-handing some afternoons, too.

Thanks in advance for all input.
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Old 08-18-2003
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Soling vs Colgate 26

I would go with the Colgate hands down. The Soling is a race boat and really requires some skill and some beef on the rail when things get dicey. The Colgate is made for just what you want to do. Another similar option is to try to find a Sonar which is somewhere between the two.

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Old 08-18-2003
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Soling vs Colgate 26

A Sonar would be a good selection on LIS. Kirby designed it to specs provided by Noroton YC, so it has ample sail area for the Sound''s usual light air, but enough ballast to stand up to a strong breeze as well. Various fleets would allow for some racing fun, while the cuddy provides some shelter when weather heads South if you''re daysailing. (There''s probably even room for a porta-potti!) The Colgate is similar, but not as prevalent on LIS, so racing outlets might be limited, and therefore resale value. Soling fleets on the Sound have been reduced to about zero, (we had more than a dozen at our club - but that was about 30 years ago!) so their resale value is also pretty low. That said, we used our Soling for daysailing w/infants, children & friends for many years,(as well as racing) and certainly got our mouney''s worth out of it. The lack of seats made it less comfortable than a Sonar. Seats are great if you hae kids because they provide a stage they can climb to and see from without immediate danger of falling overboard. On a Soling, they''re on the cockpit floor, bored, or on deck, about to fall in. The generally light wind on LIS keeps hiking he Soling to a minimum, but if you need to hike, it is WET and really hard on the Abs and legs. (The coaming around the cockpit or the gunwale cuts into the back of your legs, depending upon whether you''re using regualr hiking straps or sitting out on the topsides.) The Soling should out-perform either of the others, (up to 30 degrees apparent upwind, and will turn a 360 in its own length), and they''re a blast to sail. (
We planed for 7 miles once, up at C.O.R.K., but that''s another story.) Solings are lighter and offer fewer amenities for family outings than the other two might. If the price is right, of course, any boat is better than no boat, but with your background & experience, a Sonar might offer the best options for you.
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Old 08-19-2003
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Soling vs Colgate 26

Thanks everyone for the helpful comments.

FYI, my interest in the Soling and Colgate wasn''t really the result of any careful research. It''s just that there happen to be 2 Solings and at least 2 Colgates for sale at Brewers in Westbrook CT, and they looked like they might fit my needs.

The Sonar sounds interesting, and I will be investigating further. Thanks again.

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