Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Solaris Yachts History

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Devon, UK
    Posts
    2,793

    Default Solaris Yachts History

    Does anybody know when Solaris went out of business

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    'Estrella del Sur' is currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, Florida for hurricane season.
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Sorry Ian, I have no particulars on that. Anybody else?

    Brad

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Stratford upon Avon, boat Poole
    Posts
    3,373

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Ian,

    I googled 'solaris catamaran' and got this link http://solarissunrise.co.uk/ which has info on the background.

    However, beware! It says they were made at Exmouth. That will probably ensure you don't believe a word of it, any thing from Exmouth must be suspect!!!!

    Hope this helps. Happy sailing!

    Mike
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    'Estrella del Sur' is currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, Florida for hurricane season.
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Mike, that is the site for someone who has purchased the moulds for the old Solaris Sunrise 36 and is continuing to produce the hulls/decks/interior liners, in limited numbers, for home builders. The original Solaris Yachts has been out of business for at least a decade, although some of the designs were produced for a period afterwards by other builders (including my Sunstream 40, which was for a brief period after the demise of Solaris, sold as the 'Bluewater Catalac 40' by the same group that purchased the moulds for some of the original Catalacs).

    Brad

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southern California USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Ian,

    For history on your Sunstar 32 and the company, you should get in contact with Malcolm Taylor who ran Solaris for many years and is a wealth of information on the boats. He now lives in Florida, USA, but also spends time in B.C., Canada. He has a website: www.starshipcatamarans.com

  6. #6

    Smile Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Hello,

    I believe the Solaris was developed from Bill O'Brien's "Amazon" together with his "Oceanic". They both followed the popular "Bobcat" which also influenced the later "Catalac" designs. Think Mk I "Amazon" was 8m Marine Ply construction, the Mk II was also 8m but GRP built, likewise the Mk III which was a stretched version.

    The last "Amazon" Mk 111 seems to have been built by Solaris in 1993. The design was 'stretched' by Spencer who was formerly in partnership with O'Brien - he took over the moulds which I think then passed on to Solaris).

    If all this interests you, take a look at the 'Bill O'Brien 'facebook' open group. The owner of the last "Amazon" which was built has further information there. Hope that helps with some of the earlier pedigree! Good luck, John

    PS Also something here: http://www.catamaransite.com/catalac_history.htm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    'Estrella del Sur' is currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, Florida for hurricane season.
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Sorry, I've been away from this site for some time due to personal reasons but have to respond, albeit belatedly, to Bobcat's last post. There were different designers for various of the Solaris yachts but to my knowledge, none were designed by Bill O'Brien. I believe that the original Solaris 42 and Sunrise 36 were bespoke designs by the same naval architect (whose name now escapes me). The later Sunstream 40 was developed from the Cherokee 35 (designed by J.R. (Rod) Macalpine-Downie) and the Sunstar 36 and 32 were pulled from molds to a couple of Eric Lerouge's designs (as of course, was the Manta).

    Brad

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cornwall UK
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    The original Solaris 42 was designed by Terry Compton, a British designer,who now I think lives in the US.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    'Estrella del Sur' is currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, Florida for hurricane season.
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    You're right Tabs, it was Terry Compton whose name escaped me (designer of the Solaris 42 and Sunrise 36). He also desgined the Aristocat 30, which later was given life by Tony Smith in the US as the Gemini - the most successful production cruising cat of all time. So yes, there is a great history of well-designed cats being modified and lengthened by other builders, even going on in some cases to become more successful than the original design. The various iterations of the Gemini, the Manta and yes, my own Solaris Sunstream 40, were all developed in this fashion.

    Whether one likes the various Solaris cats or not, their designers certainly had a great pedigree. Apart from Terry Compton, above, Rod Macalpine-Downie, the designer of the Cherokee 35 (which became the Sunstream 40) was another highly successful designer of catamarans through the 80's. His Crossbow design won five consectuive 'Players's Fastest Sailboat' trophies; his 'Lady Helmsman' in the 60's won the IYRU International Challenge for cats (and as I recall, introduced the first rotating wing mast); and his 70 foot 'British Oxygen' was a hugely successful offshore racing cat for a number of years. Eric Lerouge, the designer of the Solaris Sunstar 32 and 36 also has a storied reputation amongst catamaran designers and the same can be said about Derek Kelsall, the designer of the Solaris 24.

    To my knowledge, however, none were designed by (or modified from a design by) Bill O'Brien.

    Brad

  10. #10

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
    Sorry, I've been away from this site for some time due to personal reasons but have to respond, albeit belatedly, to Bobcat's last post. There were different designers for various of the Solaris yachts but to my knowledge, none were designed by Bill O'Brien. I believe that the original Solaris 42 and Sunrise 36 were bespoke designs by the same naval architect (whose name now escapes me). The later Sunstream 40 was developed from the Cherokee 35 (designed by J.R. (Rod) Macalpine-Downie) and the Sunstar 36 and 32 were pulled from molds to a couple of Eric Lerouge's designs (as of course, was the Manta).

    Brad
    Interesting quote:

    "The Solaris Sunrise was as far as I know designed by Malcolm Taylor in the 1980′s and built by Solaris Yachts In Woolston, Southampton, England from around 1988 to 1995." http://www.solarissunrise.co.uk/history

    Same yard as my Bill O'Brien Amazon Mk11 in 1975 and many of his other cats - maybe some connection there when Bill fell out with Spencer ... I definitely read somewhere about the stretched BoB design being involved - I'll get back to you if I ever discover where!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    'Estrella del Sur' is currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, Florida for hurricane season.
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Bobcat, you could well be correct as far as the Sunsrise 36 is concerned (although the design was very similar to Malcolm Taylor's original Solaris 42, but for the ketch rig). Keep us posted!

    Brad

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cornwall UK
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    I'm pretty sure that the original Solaris 42 was designed by Terry Compton, not Malcolm Taylor.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    kefalonia
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    The last and most recent of the Solaris range , the Sunstar , was initially built in Woolston by the Solaris Yachts company , then later 8 boats were built by Blue water Catalacs in Piddlehinton , Dorset .
    This company also built 8/9 metre Catalacs until liquidation in 1998 , when I bought mine .
    The Sunstar was originally designed as a Passion 32 by Eric LeRouge and then copied by Solaris .
    there was a Sunrise and a 42 being built during the winter 97/98 .
    I didn,t get where I am today by being somewhere else !

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    'Estrella del Sur' is currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, Florida for hurricane season.
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Thanks Tabs, you are of course correct - it was Terry Compton who designed the 42. And Gramos, thanks for those details on the status of Solaris yachts in the late 90's. My Sunstream 40 (hull number 14) was built in 1994 and at that time, Solaris yachts were still operating out of Southampton.

    Brad

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    in BC Canada, the UK
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    I think you'll find it was Robin Musters who designed the Aristocat

    The Compton designed 42ft Solaris was originally built a few hundred yards from the Malcolm Taylor operation but still in the Willments shipyard area which is on the east bank of the Itchen river in Southampton.

    Solaris started in the early 1970's, I first went to their yard about 1974. Malcolm started his company about 1978, I had my boat in Willments in 1981/2, The BOB Oceanic was still being built there (different yard). BOB himself lived nearby

    Willments is/was a huge site and originally home to the Supermarine flying boats - and developed the later Spitfires. The Germans tried to bomb it during WW2

    So lots of history, the J Class Velsheda was moored next to me during its original refit. Back then the yard owners also owned the cutter Lulworth, even bigger than Velsheda. Rob Denny was working on his 35ft catamaran there during my time. Some Val trimarans were built in the same yard. So too the Swales 70ft ill fated BOB cat (Anneliese was of course built at Willments) The list goes on.

    I last saw Malcolm when he was in BC, Canada trying to start a multihull boatyard

    Richard Woods

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    'Estrella del Sur' is currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, Florida for hurricane season.
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Thanks Richard - it certainly sounds as if Southampton was an interesting place to be for multihullers in the late 70's, early 80's.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Solaris Yachts History

    Wow! just joined this group. Maybe you guys can help me. Malian a Vent came on the market recently. According to what Ive been able to find out about this boat is that it was built by solaris. For those who may not know its a 70' cat owned at one time by the Cousteau society. Im trying to get some kind of info on its origin, original purpose and or any history anyone may have.
    And sorry to all of you who may be salivating over this boat being on the market. Its been sold to a good friend of mine.
    thanks
    carl

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •