Is Seawind faster than Soling?

I always thought the Soling was faster in stiffer wind, and in light winds the Seawind might have an advantage.

There is a semi-local club that graciously allows me to race my Seawind with their Solings. It is understood that the Solings are racing for points. And of course, I could race for fun. But no points. There were 14 Solings on this day.

In the first Race, I intentionally, started close to the back of the pack. I was third (windward tack) to the first mark. And first (broad reach) to the second mark. The breeze had died there. There were 2 Solings close behind me, and with no wind I could not get out of their way. Although we were all becalmed. As soon as I could, I pulled off line so all Solings could go. I apologized for not being able to yield the right of way, due to no wind. Those guys were really good about my predicament. I felt terrible about it. But we agreed that I would from now on, start 1 minute behind and not “mix it up” them. I thought that was fine. And I appreciate them allowing me to sail with them.

But my problem was that every race after that, I seemed to be passing a lot of Solings, even though, I would take a very wide mark turn, go way out of the way, Make 360 turns if I was getting to a mark ahead of them. To allow them to go ahead. Even at that, I would finish mid pack. As I could easily pass them between marks. And, it seems, my boat could point higher, too.

The winds were about 11-15 Knots with gusts up to about 18. And at times, calm spells to nearly nothing. I am not that great a sailor. So I credit the Seawind with having greater speed. But then, maybe it was the wind conditions favored the Seawind. I noticed it seemed to be much faster down wind (if I could keep the bow up), and on a broad reach. Close hauled still a little faster, but could point higher too.

My boat weighs about 7.2 pounds. One fella mentioned that the Seawind seems to have a higher maximum hull speed. But I thought I would ask others that have more experience.

I think you’re trying to compare chalk and cheese - the Soling was designed way back in the mid 60’s where as the Seawind appears to have its roots in the AC class from the late 90’s. The Soling as a model weighs nearly 50% more than the Seawind and also carries a slightly smaller sail area (this all assumes you’re talking about the 1m Soling rather than the Soling 50 which rates as a Marblehead)). So in a word, yes, I would expect the Seawind to be the faster boat in practically all conditions, the one exception being perhaps when they’re sailing in relatively large waves when the Solings’ heavier displacement could be advantageous.

Both boats have their advocates and detractors and both their place in the market, it just depends which side of the fence you sit on, traditional or modern…



Thank you Row,

Of course you are correct. And yes while both boats are 1M, two decidedly different boats. Both in design of hull/keel/sails and weight. The Soling has much higher freeboard. The Seawind heels over more. Soling… longer waterline. I think both have their advantages. Both are beautiful boats in different ways. The Soling more classic. Seawinds more contemporary race looks. Chalk and cheese? I’m thinking more like thoroughbred vs quarter horse.

I was always under the impression that the Soling would be much faster especially, in most heavier conditions. I guess I was surprised at what I saw on that day. Maybe it was just that day. Especially given the Soling guys are much more experienced and better sailors than the lone Seawind guy (me).

Our Club, West Valley RC Mariners, Litchfield Park, Arizona, in the early 2000’s started a club class called “1-Meter Sport” which allowed any commercially available kit-built boat, 1-Meter approx, to race. We at various times had SeaWinds, CR-914, Soling 1M, Victor Cup Yachts, RC Lasers and a few other ready built 1-Meter boats. The fact that the SeaWinds almost always came out on top led us to form the SeaWind COA. Arizona typically has light winds but even when we had higher winds the SeaWind’s maneuverability usually won the day. We also had a couple of ODOM’s sail with us a few times. On short courses the SeaWinds prevailed for the same reason but on longer courses the ODOM’s high aspect rig and deeper keel gave it better straight line speed.
I guess that is why one-design racing is so much more fun when boat setup, tuning and skipper skill are the only variables.

I like the analogy!!


A couple of years ago, I went to a club a couple of hours north of us in Northern VA for an “Open 1 Meter” regatta- there were about 7 boats, as I recall. I was the only Seawind, there was an ODOM, and the rest solings. The ODOM won the regatta going away (it is worth noting that it was sailed by Walter House, who is very, very good), and I was in second (and I’m not very good). Consistently in different conditions the Seawind appeared to be faster than the soling.

I’ve sailed my soling against odoms and seawinds with the MD club form time to time and its always been around mid pack. against the Odom and seawind in lighter air. the 10lbs soling is a lot of mass to get moving and keep moving… When the wind really picks up and the seawind and odoms were overpowered the soling kept chugging away…

are they the same…no but in the right conditions, you’d have a good race…

Very interesting dialog mates! I have sailed with a group here in town that sail Solings. I have sailed two of my boats in what I would call “street races” with these guys. I’ve done pretty well against the “Soling boys” with my Seawind and with my Yamaha RTW. In strong wind conditions the Solings once under way do very well on runs across the lake, but the Seawind and Yamaha accelerate much faster after each mark which discounted any advantage the Soliings had on the runs. I think next outing with these guys I’ll see if one of them might want to trade off boats for a few races to see how much of the outcomes were skipper or boat related:D