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Thread: Solaris 42 in refit

  1. #1

    Default Solaris 42 in refit

    hi friends,
    i have a solaris 42 in complete refit, are there any other one rebuilding one at the moment?
    anyone knows any specialitys about that boat?
    her name now is "double trouble", before it was solitaere and before peptide.
    saludos from Mallorca- Heiko

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Welcome to the forum.
    Please keep us posted on your refit as we all like to learn from others on how they do things. Pic's are always appreciated.
    Hope your work goes smoothly.

    John
    "The floggings will continue until morale improves"!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Quote Originally Posted by jkd View Post
    Welcome to the forum.
    Please keep us posted on your refit as we all like to learn from others on how they do things. Pic's are always appreciated.
    Hope your work goes smoothly.

    John
    Yes very Welcome and DITTO, DITTO.

    Souther Star has a Solaris Sunstream 40 ??

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Welcome Heiko. I have a Sunstream 40, which is a completely different design. Apart from the tedious job of replacing the original sagging vinyl headliner and carpeted bulkheads (typical of cats of that vintage) with frp panels, I can't think of much else negative to say about the original construction.

    I am also replacing the hatches/portlights and have found that, especially as regards the hatches, Lewmars are vastly superior to the original 'moonlight' hatches (which require annual replacement of the o-rings). No, they are not an exact fit; having said that, neither are the new moonlight hatches which, although of the same basic dimensions, require some additional cutting as the extrusions have changed.

    Brad

  5. #5

    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Dear Brad,
    thank you for that information. if anyone wants to see tons of pictures of the refit, just become my "friend" in the facebook, my name there is
    Sahaj Heiko Noack, and when you ask for the facebook-"friendship" please tell me you want to see the boat!
    best regards Heiko
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6

    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Hi Hieko,

    Have just finished(almost, is it ever compelted?) a sister ship to yours. A Solaris 42 built in 1977. A very sturdy boat. Would be interested in exchanging photos and info but I do not do face book.

    Kiekkakola

  7. #7

    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Yes, I would be very very interested! pleas send me your emial adress. where are you based? have you changed the rig? I am struggeling what to do, my (old)mast is completly corrodet and I am checking out at the moment, if I need to go back to ketch-rig, or a bigger boom and longer mast......or???? what have you done with yours?
    my email adress is noackheiko@gmx.de
    looking forward to hear from you! best regards Heiko

    ps- facebook is easy to get in, and I really have tons of pics from the boat there and update them weekly! ;-))

  8. #8

    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiekkakola View Post
    Hi Hieko,

    Have just finished(almost, is it ever compelted?) a sister ship to yours. A Solaris 42 built in 1977. A very sturdy boat. Would be interested in exchanging photos and info but I do not do face book.

    Kiekkakola
    Hi Kiekkakola - I am about to embark on a complete restauration of a sistership of yours and Heiko's! :-)
    I yesterday got intouch with Heiko and I can tell you the pictures on his facebook page are amazing. I am deeply impressed ... basically his (ex) "Double Trouble" now is a new boat!
    Mine is a 1979 model (or so it says in the contract) and consequently I also would be very interested in exchanging information and staying in touch!
    You can PM or email me for first contact via this forum!
    Looking forward to be hearing from you!
    Amibon

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Glad to hear that so many 'vintage' Solaris cats are being rebuilt and, judging from the comments about Heiko's boat, at least one to a very high standard indeed! They may be dated but, as we all know, they were very solidly constructed in the first place and, due to the simple construction techniques and non-exotic materials, are well-suited to a DIY refit.

    Please keep us posted on your progress!

    Brad

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    My wife and I have completely overhauled our 1975 Solaris 42 over the last decade
    We bought it from the original German couple who commissioned her with a sitz bath. We were approached in great excitement at Gothenberg, Sweden marina (next to the opera house). They asked if this was the one with Princess Grace’s bath!. Apparently Princess Grace had bought a Solaris 42 for Caroline’s wedding. She had seen ours being built and insisted on having the sitz bath in her wedding present too.
    We had two roof vents on each bow connected to plastic pipes fibreglassed under the deck in the bow lockers and through to each fore cabin as an air vent. The starboard on had a double connection fibreglassed through the bulkhead not only to the vent above the bath but to a rectangular plastic cableway. This came out behind the fridge in the galley where the grey cableway had 1” holes in it. I think it was meant to take warm air to the bow from the gas/elec fridge originally installed.
    In breaking seas these vents flood both hulls. I believe they are a major design flaw. Those two bow lockers should be completely watertight at the aft bulkhead.
    I could not understand why the 3/0 AWG anchor windlass cables were led on the top of the cableway rather than in it. I have since completely sealed the bulkheads.
    Early in our nearly 20-year ownership I was not happy that those large-volume lockers relied on one ¾ inch drain at the bottom. I fitted a non-return valve in the deck drain 1 ½” hose with a grid drain in the bottom of the locker. I also installed an additional 1 ½” through-hull and non return valve in the bottom of the aft locker.
    When I lost a locker cover in heavy seas these valves rapidly drained water from the lockers as the built-in bow buoyancy lifted the bows.
    I mention these improvements since I think they are of vital importance to anyone who has these bow vents. Is it just my boat that has them? Or are they common?
    We have sand-blasted, epoxied and CopperCoated the bottom, completely renewed the rigging with StaLok fittings, rewired with tinned red & black DC wire. Originally both DC and AC were wired in blue/brown UK AC lamp cord which corrodes with a black coating over time. That is apart from the problem of never knowing if one is dealing with AC (240V in our case) or DC. I had a few shocks before rewiring. The AC is rewired with earth leakage detector, revere polarity and BlueSeas circuit breakers and correct UK 3-wire brown/black/green-yellow wires. The original ETA 2-5200-H circuit breakers and still available and we used them to make a 12V circuit board.
    We have also replaced the oversized Mercedes twin engines and Borg Warner gearboxes, because of the difficulty of getting parts for the 72hp marinised truck engines installed by the previous owner.
    We chose Yanmar 4JH4E engines with the SD50 saildrives. We have Vetus plastic transparent water filters at the top of each engine so we can see water flow at a glance. And J lock and water lock exhaust sytem.
    Unfortunately our boat had 24V for both house and engine batteries. The Yanmar came only with 12V wiring and instruments. To overcome this we changed to Balmar 60 series 24V 70Amp alternators which fit the small space of the original 12V alternators.
    Steve Gamman at Balmar, Seattle, helped arrange wiring of the 24V alternators to work on the 12V ignition system. Basically the charge is delivered to the 24V split charge diodes then to each 24V battery bank. A BEP Voltage Sensitive Relay closes at 27.2V and delivers current to a 30Amp 24v to 12V inverter/charger which charges each 12V engine battery through split charge diodes.
    The alternator is switched on by the Yanmar ignition wire through a relay that switches 24V to the alternator sensor wire. Because B+ alternator is connected through a split charge diode it does not sense 24V. So the ignition 24V sensor is connected via an inline 5A diode and 10Amp fuse directly to the 24V battery bank.
    It turned out to be quite a chore getting it working but it has worked well for 5 years now. I subsequently found that Yanmar USA will supply a 24V ignition system as standard. Dealing with Yanmar UK was a complete nightmare and we ended doing the work ourselves with some very competent fibreglass and engine experts.
    I find the Yanmars are lighter and much more economical than the Mercedes engines. It is a dream to be able to see the drive-leg seal in the bottom of our white engine room floor. There are no leaks. Otherwise the triple leak alarm sounds on the dash. This is a great improvement in getting to the propeller shaft under the gearbox that we formerly had to endure.
    We have also completely stripped the liner and replaced it with separate white foam and vinyl liner. The original black foam of the 1970s crumbles to a horrible mess and the liner sags as found on many boats of the period. My wife has become very adept at impact adhesive fitting of foam and liner. Some large roof panels have been halved for ease of installation.
    We also removed wires that ran through the central nacelle and relocated them above the saloon ceiling. I was able to remove 30ft of wire from the saloon lighting since it went under the floor up and down the mast in the saloon and thence to the saloon side and forward cabin lights.
    I chose ELECSOL UK-made batteries for their patented carbon fibre-cast-in-lead flooded sealed construction and 5-year guarantee. The unique construction of these 220Ah 12V batteries means that the carbon fibre gives them a large surface are for large starter current while providing thick plates for drawdown. So they can withstand a huge number of complete discharge cycles without complaint while at the same time proving large starting current. When I worked out the price of 5 years it was the best option.
    Battery charging has been through AirX 24V and newly installed 68w 12V solar panel. Mains charging is by the ProMariner 2420i 24V and 1210i 12V. These come with switches for flooded, AGM etc. batteries and variable absorption times and work on 100-240V DC 50 or 60cycle power. They are the best specified we have seen and come with a 2 year warranty from Portsmouth NH.
    We monitor charging with Adverc DCM digital circuit monitor. This monitors up to four charging banks vie 3 200Amp shunts and a single dashmount dial with two switches; 1 for the 4 systems being monitored and the other to choose volts or amps. It’s great to have the facility to monitor all circuits Wind, Solar, battery or alternator charging, 12V or 24v, right from the bridge. I have seen nothing else like it. It comes from Walsall in the English midlands. This another piece of good kit still made in England.
    I have seen a lot of adverse comment about the AirX wind chargers. I like the idea that the control of the system is at the top of the mast. It stops for a microsecond or two and checks the static voltage on the battery wire. It then automatically applies the correct voltage to deliver a charging current to the batteries. The number of times it stops to check depends on battery state. It is too short to know it is happening. We used 8AWG wire which is well up to carrying the load. But the advantage of this switching system is that it takes into account the resistance of the wire between battery and charger.
    I complained to Southwest Windpower because my Adverc DCM never showed a charging voltage of expected 28V or so but only the battery voltage of 25+v. But it clearly showed currents peaking at over 17Amps. So clearly a voltage was getting power into the battery because the current showed it. Clearly the AirX is a very sophisticated piece of gear. It dutifully switches off when I switch on engines or shore power.
    I have spoken to other boaters with AirX who where very happy with them till they sent them back to a UK dealer for a minor problem. After that the AirX never worked right. I think I would send mine back to the States if I ever need a fix. Its only drawback is its well-known slight whistling sound. There are some European-made silent blades for AirX but these are rather expensive replacements for the original carbon fibre ones.
    On windows, we have replaced the 10 and 12mm blue tinted original windows several times over the years. Our version from 1975 had 10ft side windows. These covered three separate smaller windows and were very difficult to handle and seal. We split them into three and re-fired the firbrglass.
    For sealers we tried, on several occasions, Sikaflex – black and requiring separate primers for Perspex, fibreglass or stainless. Never did we get a permanent seal. The Sika dealer even provided us with free replacements with primers after we showed him the microscopic creep between Perspex and sealer as evidenced by the rainbow pattern and moss growth.
    Our latest sealer is ArboMast BR a butyl rubber non-setting compound that apparently is used by the Royal Lifeboat Institution for sealing windows and deck fittings. Oh there’s another UK Midlands product.
    We found the original windows were fixed by countersunk holes and screws at 4” intervals. These lead inevitable to cracks and strain because there is no room for movement. We now use 5mm bolts washers and nuts through 5.5mm holes. This allows for inevitable movement in a seaway while the butyl rubber maintains the seal.
    The saloon windows were a particular problem since they curve in two planes – ie a twist. We heated the 10mm Perspex before installed and screwed them up while warm to create the required shape. Then we did it again this time with sealant. But after a few years the crack and stress marks made them unsightly.
    So this time we split each window into two with central small ridge support in line with the break in the deck Treadmaster and parallel to the central top hull support. This required building up opposite edges of the two planes to correct the angles so that each pane remained flat. We did not replace the original aluminium surround but continued the deck paint to the window edge before removing the protective coat. This should have the advantage of protecting the butyl rubber from UV. I phoned the makers for this advice that it was paintable for any exposed parts.
    The professional boat window specialist (and RNLI supplier) said it never pays to try to bend Perspex (Plexiglass) and strongly recommended the splitting of our saloon windows.
    Our clear bridge windows also became scratched over time. We had special reinforced glass windows made to the template of the old ones including the holes for our Wynn (Kent) 10” rotating wipers.
    These are just some of the points picked up from our extensive and perpetually ongoing refit.
    These are some of the main points we pass on from our experience. We have sailed our Solaris 42 in northern Europe as our children grew up from age of 4 so it holds a lot of happy memories of many countries and summers.
    Hope our experience are useful to others.
    PS W do not do Facebook though we have many photos. We’re not really into computers and internet.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    dear friends,
    thank you sooo much for your letter about your refit!! I would love to send you fotos about the refit of my boat, as well a 42 from 1975, no. 32.
    I would be very happy if you could send me fotos of your boat!!
    noackheiko@gmx.de
    hope to hear from you soon!
    Heiko

    ps- the 2 bendet salonwindows we made in 5mm perspex- easy and good.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Thanks for this - it certainly sounds as if what flaws the boat had have been dealt with effectively by you and your wife. Thankfully, my 1994 Sunstream 40 does not have a similar vent arrangement, nor curved portlights; it does (or I should say did) have the dreaded saggy and moldy vinyl headliner, however. I have replaced mine (only one small area left to do) with textured FRP panels and teak trim. A huge undertaking in that compound curves had to be eliminated by installing wood screw strips with epoxy. As you have correctly noted, however, saggy vinyl was a common problem with cats of that vintage and my expectation is that my new headliner will be a permanent solution. Frankly, I found that the removal of the old adhesive to be the worst part of the job - certainly one that I would not want to have to repeat.

    You are, of course, correct that with older boats, the refit process is never-ending. Reading between the lines, however, leads me to believe that after all of these years, you are still happy with your boat and that may be the ultimate testimonial anyone can make about any vessel.

    Cheers!

    Brad

  13. #13

    Exclamation Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Saggy, foam-backed headliner affects old monohulls too. I seem to recall that old Westerly's had/have a bad reputation in that regard. It's perhaps worth pointing out that when the foam-backing turns to dust as it disintegrates, it becomes carcinogenic if inhaled. So wear a mask when removing it.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Thanks Heiko for the offer. I'll contact you by email. Our boat was hull 35.
    I look forward to seeing photos of your 5mm windows and Hull 32.
    Southern Star and ColdFusion We too found removal of the old black foam the worst chore. We ended up with a gallon of adhesive remover but still had lots of mess to deal with it.
    The panels sound like a great solution. Dealing with the compound curves in the forecabins is a real problem. We have added extra supports to be able to screw stainless wood screws into for roof panels. We used plastic caps in fawn and white to match the backgrounds. We even got hold of stainless staples to fix the vinyl to the roof panels.
    We have several monohulls, or half-boats as we call them, in our boatyard with the old vinyl problem. It was our local repairman who told us about Hawkehouse Marine and the separate foam and vinyl method for doing a permanent job. It is twice the work since the foam and vinyl are glued separately. But we are told the foam does not decay. We hope so. It certainly provides good insulation in both hot and cold weather.
    Yes we are very happy with our comfortable floating home-away-from-home.
    We have read reports of people finding problems with the Solaris 42 eg rusting chainplates etc. I think if one just attends to any problems straight away the issues can be avoided.
    We had a chainplate leaking from the forward main shroud into the forward starboard cabin aft wall. We put in a 2x2in mahogany post down to the curve of the hull in the aft corner. This was fibreglassed in. Then we screwed a 2" by 1/4" stainless strap the length of this up to the chainplate angle. Then we put the stainless steel bolts through all this and epoxied the chainplate back in place. It is now leak-proof and gives us peace of mind in knowing the shroud is not just tied to the roof moulding but to the hull mouldings as well.
    In looking through the ads from 1991 from Patrick Boyd Multihulls I notice there were a couple of Solaris 42 Sport catamarans advertised. Pat said these were a lighter weight fast version of the classic Solaris 42. Has anyone else heard of these? Maybe their lighter construction led to problems.
    Thanks for all the interesting comments and helpful tips

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Interesting - I was not aware that any 'sport' models were produced and this may provide a partial explanation of the problems suffered by a couple of boats. Regardless, maintenance is key in any boat and one must ensure that the caulking on chainplates is kept in good condition. Lets face it, water that enters at the chainplates tends to be trapped and the result will be corrosion. In view of the age of a number of these boats, it is really not surprising that some have developed problems with chainplate corrosion.

    Brad

  16. #16

    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    On many pics of the solaris 42 it looks as if she has a very low bridgedeck clearance. I think some guys even antifoul the middle prt because its in the water all the time? Does a solaris 42 slam a lot on anchor ad while sailing? I experienced some slamming on my previous cat, so just wondering how good/bad it is on a solaris 42?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Micawber View Post
    Thanks Heiko for the offer. I'll contact you by email. Our boat was hull 35.
    I look forward to seeing photos of your 5mm windows and Hull 32.
    Southern Star and ColdFusion We too found removal of the old black foam the worst chore. We ended up with a gallon of adhesive remover but still had lots of mess to deal with it.
    The panels sound like a great solution. Dealing with the compound curves in the forecabins is a real problem. We have added extra supports to be able to screw stainless wood screws into for roof panels. We used plastic caps in fawn and white to match the backgrounds. We even got hold of stainless staples to fix the vinyl to the roof panels.
    We have several monohulls, or half-boats as we call them, in our boatyard with the old vinyl problem. It was our local repairman who told us about Hawkehouse Marine and the separate foam and vinyl method for doing a permanent job. It is twice the work since the foam and vinyl are glued separately. But we are told the foam does not decay. We hope so. It certainly provides good insulation in both hot and cold weather.
    Yes we are very happy with our comfortable floating home-away-from-home.
    We have read reports of people finding problems with the Solaris 42 eg rusting chainplates etc. I think if one just attends to any problems straight away the issues can be avoided.
    We had a chainplate leaking from the forward main shroud into the forward starboard cabin aft wall. We put in a 2x2in mahogany post down to the curve of the hull in the aft corner. This was fibreglassed in. Then we screwed a 2" by 1/4" stainless strap the length of this up to the chainplate angle. Then we put the stainless steel bolts through all this and epoxied the chainplate back in place. It is now leak-proof and gives us peace of mind in knowing the shroud is not just tied to the roof moulding but to the hull mouldings as well.
    In looking through the ads from 1991 from Patrick Boyd Multihulls I notice there were a couple of Solaris 42 Sport catamarans advertised. Pat said these were a lighter weight fast version of the classic Solaris 42. Has anyone else heard of these? Maybe their lighter construction led to problems.
    Thanks for all the interesting comments and helpful tips

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Re: Solaris 42 in refit
    On many pics of the solaris 42 it looks as if she has a very low bridgedeck clearance. I think some guys even antifoul the middle prt because its in the water all the time? Does a solaris 42 slam a lot on anchor ad while sailing? I experienced some slamming on my previous cat, so just wondering how good/bad it is on a solaris 42?

    I see this bridgedeck clearance issue mentioned frequently on this forum , thinking out loud now, could it be increased by adding buoyancy , i.e. lengthening of the hulls ? removing as much weight as possible ? ,changing the hull profile ?
    if there is a solution then perhaps someone could enlighten us ? :
    I didn,t get where I am today by being somewhere else !

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Gramos, I think one is pretty much stuck with the bridgdeck clearance they get on any boat. If in the end result the boat does not suit your purposes, then the only answer it to buy a differenct boat. Sure, you could raise any boat a bit by elimiinating some equipment etc., but unless you were hugely overburdened to begin with (and/or the boat is quite small) the difference will not be very large. Yes, adding to the transoms may lift the transoms a bit in order to make up for solar panels/davits/dinghys etc.that are hung from the rear - but in the end, if the boat has low bridgedeck clearance it has low bridgedeck clearance.

    Brad

  19. #19

    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
    Gramos, I think one is pretty much stuck with the bridgdeck clearance they get on any boat. If in the end result the boat does not suit your purposes, then the only answer it to buy a differenct boat. Sure, you could raise any boat a bit by elimiinating some equipment etc., but unless you were hugely overburdened to begin with (and/or the boat is quite small) the difference will not be very large. Yes, adding to the transoms may lift the transoms a bit in order to make up for solar panels/davits/dinghys etc.that are hung from the rear - but in the end, if the boat has low bridgedeck clearance it has low bridgedeck clearance.

    Brad
    Any Solaris 42 owner here who can enlighten us about the bridgedeck issue? How does the solais bridgedeck perform in blue water? I know that the Solaris designer thought that it would be great to have a middle section almost touching the water, so does anyone know how that feature performs when it comes to everyday sailing?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Solaris 42 in refit

    Offcoaster, understand that I haven't sailed a 42. Having said that, while some have crossed oceans, I suspect that even owners will ackowledge that the bridgedeck clearance is less than ideal, especially for sailing to windward in chop, or heavy seas. Of course, the ketch rig that many were fitted with is also not ideal for sailing to windward. If, on the other hand, you expect to stick to the trade wind routes, then enjoy the space and quality of construction.

    Brad

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