Pedigree & Performance: Solaris 44
Performance cruiser yachts like the Italian Solaris 44 are intended to reward the discerning sailor.
Solaris is a small boatyard, only a Vespa-scooter ride from Venice but it is a big achiever when it comes to building beautiful yachts that I can testify perform well. The Italian yard produces about 40 to 50 hand-crafted yachts annually, built by a team of composite experts of several European nationalities. The result is a stiff boat, thanks to laminated bulkheads that make for a true monolithic hull – and that’s something discerning sailors appreciate on the regatta course. Quality is at the heart of this privately-owned yard’s philosophy and one reason why it has produced the iconic Wally Super Maxis in the past, clearly demonstrating this facility’s experise. The range currently consists of the nine production models from 37 to 72 feet (11.3 to 21.9 metres), and the 44 (13.3 metres) is the latest.
So, climbing behind the wheel of the Solaris 44 felt very familiar to me. The same striking lines penned by Argentinian naval architect Javier Soto Acebal were evident, as was the same high attention to detail that makes this a premium marque. The Solaris 44 is designed for shorthanded cruising and, of course, racing thanks to all lines running aft to an open cockpit that’s spacious even when fully crewed. I stood on hull number one of the Solaris 44, berthed at the Cannes 2018 boat show. A slightly sleeker and larger version of the Solaris 42 – which itself sailed as well as it appeared, I concluded, during an afternoon at sea a few years ago. A previous 44-footer launched in 2011 had sold fairly well, so it wasn’t surprising that the Italian yard should reproduce this size but in a much more angular shape with beam carried aft, reflecting current race designs from Volvos and other high performance yachts.
To read all of this article, pick up a copy of the July/August issue of Asia-Pacific Boating magazine, or buy it online from www.magzter.com. Also available for download from the App Store and Google Play.