posted 22 April 2002 10:56 AM
I’ve been sailing for just two years – the last year on a Dart 15 catamaran. I feel like I’ve got the basics down, but am interested in moving up just enough to bring the family (wife and 5-year-old) son into things. There are a few Sonatas currently available here in Hong Kong and it seems like it might be a suitable boat.
Although I have been racing in the Dart 15, I’m more interested in cruising around Hong Kong, possibly working my way up to a short coastal hop or blue-water passage.
How easy is this boat to single-hand? Although I might have crew, I’d like to think I can handle it on my own if necessary. What is the optimal heel? Is she stable there or likely to go over in a gust? How does she handle in heavy weather?
Many thanks your response(s)!
posted 24 April 2002 10:45 AM
I sailed a Sonata for two years in Hong Kong although I’m back in the UK now. The boat is ideal for racing in the harbour. It’s also great for the kind of cruising that many people do, such as pottering around the islands off Sai Kung. In these relatively sheltered waters the boat should be able to cope with anything the weather is likely to throw at it (short of a typhoon!). Equally importantly, the Sonata will keep moving in the light airs that are common in Hong Kong. You should be ok singlehanded with the small jib and no spinnaker. Optimum heel is 20 degrees maximum if you are racing but it’s whatever feels comfortable if you’re cruising – just keep reefing down.
That said, if I were planning to go further afield where I might meet some real ocean rollers or where I might have to cope with bad weather for a long period, then I’d want something bigger with an inboard diesel.
I don’t know if you are a member of any of the Hong Kong Yacht Clubs but I’d definitely visit the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club at Causeway Bay and I’d definitely contact the Sonata Class Secretary there, Andrea Richey(852) 9095-6652
firstname.lastname@example.org . It’s getting to the end of their racing season but somebody will probably give you a ride on a Sonata to see what it feels like. You could also pop around to Hebe Haven Yacht Club to see what they have to say.
posted 25 April 2002 03:51 AM
I don’t belong to the RHKYC, but am a member of the motley crew that calls itself the Lantau Boat Club.
In fact it’s at the RHKYC where there are two Sonatas currently for sale, one the famous (at least in HK) Toadhall. I can forsee being interested in an occassional race, but cruising is my primary interest. Your point about HK’s light wind conditions is well taken.
As I’m looking at these two boats, is there anything that one should especially look out for when buying a Sonata?
Again, many thanks.
posted 14 May 2002 02:02 PM
I’ve nearly completed refitting Paloma, which I keep on a mooring at the Hebe Haven Yacht Club. You are welcome to come for a sail, perhaps in a week or so. In the meanwhile, if you are passing that way, she’s up on the hardstanding, you are welcome to have a look around. You can admire my wife’s work, she single-handedly stripped out, scrubbed, vacuumed and painted the whole inside in three days. In summer heat!