Solaris 60 review: Mini Maxi Cruiser
Solaris 60 boasting impeccable design and high quality workmanship provides the owner with a ticket to the prestigious expensive sailboat club and delights with excellent sailing characteristics made possible by Javier Soto Acebal
Testing any new Italian Solaris sailboat is a remarkable privilege and honor for any nautical journalist, and this was no different. We had a chance to test their new model – Solaris 60 – in the Italian town of Portopiccolo, in the vicinity of Trieste.
The balance of the surface of the sails and the excellent hull, signed by Javier Soto Acebal, will leave no one indifferent. The feeling of a well-balanced rudder deserves a chapter in itself. This boat was indeed designed and made for true sailing enthusiasts.
Solaris Yachts claim that their new concept, unveiled with Solaris 60, will also shape the future of the yard for at least ten years to come. We have to admit that, after everything we’ve seen and experienced, we believe them. Even while standing at berth, we noticed the view from the stern clearly opening toward that vision of the future.
The concept behind the new Solaris 60 seems clear: drawing inspiration for creating their Mini Maxi sailboat, the yard now focused on good visibility from the stern, from where the bow can easily be seen in full – and keep in mind the new 60 is longer than 18 meters.
The hull, with a cut-out bow and a very slight side joint at the stern, is perfectly balanced in style, and perfect for a sailboat capable of competing in races and sailing the high seas. Italian style obviously does not allow for inconsistency, so all unnecessary pieces of equipment have been removed from the deck, the windows are at deck height and with a slight lift, and the cabin ends in a wide cockpit with two steering wheels, each on its own console.
Tested boat is moored in marina in Tribunj, through sales done by Croatian dealer Merk&Merk
Solaris 60 has folding seats, which allows the helmsman to sit when not steering. The cockpit is wide enough to accommodate one larger table or two smaller ones, in which case the passage runs between them. The primary and secondary pair of winches are located in front of the steering console, and the winches can be electric.
The use of modern materials and minimalist approach is present in the interior as well, signed by Roseo Design studio. The design of the interior follows the same parameters and unity of style, as well precision of workmanship already seen on the deck. The galley is placed behind the master cabin and is U-shaped, with a central aisle.
The master cabin is in the bow, and given its size, boasts plenty of storage space and has a large double bed, which can be placed in the middle with the head towards the bow, or on the left side of the cabin, so the headboard is astern. In that case, the private head is moved all the way to the bow.
Aft below deck, there are two comfortable single or double cabins with a large window. The aft cabin also has its own toilet area. Solaris 60 also boasts a large aft garage that can store an auxiliary tender up to 2,75 meters in length, while the crew cabin is in the bow and has a private head, which can be converted into a large sail storage.
Naturally, the most exciting part of the test is sailing. Our Solaris 60 flew across the sea in front of Duino Castle in less than helpful wind. The unit we tested was equipped with an aluminum mast and boom, but both are also available in carbon. With a light wind up to 6.2 knots and an angle of 63°, we reached the speed of 7.1 knots.
As we headed out to open sea, the wind got stronger, so we sailed further into it, at an angle of 56°. With 8.6 knots of wind, we reached 9.5 knots of speed. We did not have suitable sails for sailing at the stern, so this data – reaching 8.9 knots of speed with 12.1 knots of wind and a 127° angle – should be taken as statistics only.
Without any doubt, Solaris 60 was designed for sailing enthusiasts who will appreciate its sailing performance and quality of workmanship, the use of top quality materials and equipment, and adequate comfort. With this model, Solaris have achieved their goal and launched a model that will allow proud owners to take their first steps into the world of Mini Maxi sailboats.