Thinking Too Much about sailing

I’m working on a Soling 50 and don’t really like what is becoming of it.
The hull is what looks to be ABS and kind of flimsy. I’ve blueprinted it as best I can but filling and sanding the plastic is not easy.
One of the issues I’ve encountered is that the keel and mast are about 4" apart for/aft. In my mind it would be best to have them in line. The mast support and the ballast rod could be one piece so as not to stress an already flimsy hull. To move the keel further forward I would need to adjust the CG.
Has anyone ever tried using a weighted rudder so as to move the CG rearward and this would allow the keel to move further forward?
Not a big deal to make a stainless steel rudder if this would help the cause.
I am definitely not a wiz at this and follow the directions of the manufacturer when it comes to things like the CG. Are there any other considerations one must be aware of when doing something like this? Is there a correlation of the keel to the CE of the sails maybe?

I wouldn’t move the keel, stick with how the boat is designed. don’t mess with the balance. Add structural reinforcement to support the mast. I’ve never seen a Soling 50, but I’m sure there’s a ton of info around the web on what other people do to support their masts. you can add a bulkhead to integrate mast and keel as one structure?
hope this helps
John Storrow

Do not mess with the placement. Build it per the plans.
The soling 50 balances, and sails very well. There are several around actively sailed.

The mast placement is also proper. A mast in-front of the CLR is called the Lead. You can fine-tune the lead to add or reduce weather helm. Only small adjustments are needed.

By the way, The soling 50 is also Dual-Rated as a Marblehead 50/800 as it is 50" long, and carries 800 square inches of sail. You can fully register and compete in the Marblehead Class.

My issue is that the hull is plastic and somewhat flimsy. I was pondering a way that I might how to reduce the flex.
I contacted the manufacturer and they won’t give me the CG. I want to use a CF mast and a large sail servo in place of the mechanism they call for. This will also change the CG.
Is there a rule of thumb or a way to calculate the CG?


Build it per the plans.

Have you installed the deck yet? the deck gives it a lot more strength/less flimsy.
The large sail servo won’t make much of a difference to the CG anyway. I’ve used a Hitec drum winch in my Vintage M which is a tiny percentage of the wieght of the fourteen pound boat. Find out what ohter Soliong 50’s use for winches.

Raced my VM against a soling 50 a few years ago, got my clock cleaned

The Soling 50’s I have known have Dumas style arm winches in them, and they are good boats.
It makes no difference what winch is put in the soling, just put a good one in. The variation in weight between winches will make such a small insignificant difference in CG and etc that to figure out what exactly it will do is a ginormous waste of time.

The only way you will have problems with this is if you mount a 16oz winch hanging off the transom. :confused: Just install the parts per the plans, and sail the boat. At that time if the balance is so far off, then start making small adjustments untuil you find the proper balance, just like everyone has to do on every boat.

If you were taliking about a Modern boat that weighs less than 10lbs all-up, this conversation is much more applicable, as the CG is far more sensitive. Your Soling 50 probably weighs 15-16lbs all-up ready to sail (just a stab in the dark)

In Regards to the Soling beating your VM…
Your VM is a Traditional design. the “Madcap”

The soling, although it’s underwater appendages give the appearance of qualification to the “High-Flyer” era of the Marblehead class, surely does not have the 1" Garboard radius turn, and therefore does not qualify to VM Rules which encompass Traditional and High-Flyer Ms. Given that, and the fact that the Soling is a more modern design, the boat is pushed forward into the “Classic” era of the Marblehead CLASS.

So, surely one would expect boat-on-boat for the soling to beat the Madcap for more reasons than just the 1" garboard turn.
But, Never lose sight of the fact that the skipper also plays a large part in the boat’s performance. A good skipper can make a slow boat go fast. A Bad skipper can make a fast boat go slow.

But, If one were to claim that the Soling 50 did not qualify in the Marblehead CLASS Rules, they would be 100% wrong.
The soling, although it can be dressed up as one. Is just not a Traditional era of the Vintage Marblehead. And, as such one would fully expect it to clean the clock of a Traditional M on “paper”.

It’s still an M though


I have a soling one meter. the hull is styrene, assuming yours came from Victor Model yachts, its probably styrene as well…

I reinforced my soling one meter around the keel with 3" carbon fiber tape. and also reinforced the bulkheads with 1" carbon fiber tape…up the side of the hull…

I think fiberglass would do just as good a job…as reinforcement if you are worried about strength issues…

Once you put the deck on, you will be surprised how much stronger everything is…

Breakwater, you make a very good point regarding the CG. I may be going about this with the wrong approach. I’m accustomed to working on nitro powerboat hulls that call for a CG of 43% from the transom (as an example for mono hulls) so that the hull will run at the proper attitude. Too much weight too far aft and the hull gets too much air and flips over. CG is too far forward and you end up plowing through the water.
I guess a sailing hull is constantly plowing through the water and doesn’t come up on plane.
Another good point made is that small shifts in the CG won’t make a big difference in the performance. Well that is why I started with a large hull so that small mistakes are transparent (I learned from my powerboats that the smaller the boat the harder it is to setup/tune in.
I just can’t get accustomed to building plans that call for a dimension taken from the nose at a compound angle to a support. Then another dimension from there to another area that supports the mast. This to me is just an invitation for errors and there is no way of verifying one’s work until the boat is on the water.
I think I’ll take everyone’s advise and build it to the plans (even though I may thik they are somewhat ‘lame’), The wooden rudder shat has to go rhough. This just seems too ‘Mickey Mouse’ so I already made a carbon fiber rudder with a brass shaft.

Thanks to all for the guidance

if you move the keel or rudder, you are affecting the CLR, center of lateral resistance. in other words you are changing the balance point of how the boat would slide sideways through the water. if you change the CLR, then you would need to change the CE (center of effort) in this case the CE is is the combination of the CE of the Main and the jib…

Radically moving one or the other could result in a boat that won’t sail very well. Ie too much weather helm the boat wants to round up into the wind as a result of the CE being too far behind the CLR or a boat that constantly falls off, the CE to far forward of the CLR…

the Bakersfield club has a soling 50 build guide…22 pages long,d.dmQ pic of how Olson does his keel reinforcement…

rebuld of Soling 50 31

sorry Victor model does not make the soling 50 sorry about that bad info…

Hey Marc- not to contradict you old buddy- BUT Victor DOES make a Soling 50 Kit. They were one of the original Soling 50 makers, and dropped it for lack of sales a few years ago. Once they moved to Louisiana, someone convinced Ruby that they were nuts to leave all the old tooling in the back room- so they started offering (again) a Soling 50 lower boat kit. It is $ 389, including the hull, deck, wooden interior parts, hatch, trasnom, keel and rudder shell halves, etc.

It includes everything needed to build a Soling 50 except the rig and sails (and ballast). It is polystyrene (not fiberglass) which is why a buyer might think it is “flimsy”- but we know how that all changes once you reinforce a little, and put the boat all together.

Several of the guys active in the Class use Victor boats.

BTW- I got a Vortex Soling 50 from a guy here in Cleveland, who wanted to give it away. It is pristine - absolutely like new- and I am in the process of changing the electronics from the 1983- vintage stuff to a modern gear-operated sail control unit. I have an idea the the Soling 50 might be the answer to “what’s next?”- if our guys get bored with only Soling One Meters. The building skills should all transfer. One guy in WRMYC has a Vintage Marblehead- so I thought he and I could spar a little.

Anyway- hope you come down for our Open Regatta- June 15-16 (14 is practice).


Re: Flimsy hull,

Except for the keel/mast area, the hull only has to be stiff enough to keep the water out.

The Soling 50 Dual rates into the Marblehead class, so you could spar more than just a little.

By the way, what is have the builders found to be the best adhesive for wood, glass, carbon etc to polystyrene. I’ve used epoxy but no matter how much I roughen the surface I still can’t get the bond I like on a fiberglass hull. The epoxy seems to just sit on the surface and when put under stress it just ‘pops’ of the polystyrene but holds like rock to the wood.

Bonding items to the hull can be accomplished using 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant #5200. It is a white, thick and gooey material comes in a 3 oz tube. It does require about a week to reach full strength cure, but once cured remains flexible (a good characteristic for dealing with ABS hulls flexure. I’ve used it in my 15+ year old Victoria and have had absolutely no problems. (Wear old clothes while working with it!!)

^^ In the Marine industry, 3m 5200 is affectionately known as 52-Million.
Because it probably has a half-life of 52-Million years.

If you are ever presented with the situation to remove a part bonded with 5200, the air promptly gets let out of your sails.

If you have any hope of ever removing a part that has been bonded, you’re best to use 3m 4200. If it’s a set-it and forget it 3m 5200 will work.
I like to use a hobby paint-brush and paint-in the 3M product to get a nice clean glue.

Also, FYI, this stuff takes humidity to cure. It can take a long-time in the winter when it’s dry. If you want it to set faster, wet a paper towel and leave it nearby, but not ON the bond.