Am very interested in getting a sonata as my first boat but will be sharing costs etc with parents who want to trailer sail it while i want to race. Is there much difference in performance between the lifting and fin keels?
THE LIFT KEEL SONATA IS SLOWER BUT THE HANDICAP REFLECTS THIS. HOWEVER LIFT KEELERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RACE ONE DESIGN SO ARE EXCLUDED FROM SONATA RACING SUCH AS THE AREA CHAMPIONSHIPS AND THE NATIONALS. APART FORM THE HEIGHT OF THE BOAT ON ITS TRAILER THERE IS LITTLE BETWEEN THE TWO FROM A TOWING POINT OF VIEW.
I’m just getting my L/K Sonata fixed for trailer sailing – its heavy, I’ve given up on trying to keep the gross trailer weight below 2 tonnes and am now aiming for less than 2.4 tonnes (see previous topics), so you need a hefty vehicle for towing and more importantly recovering comfortably. Its also 8ft 6in wide. To you will need to put the trailer in very deep to float the boat off as the keel housing is about 500mm deep – so you will probably get through wheel bearings and brake parts pretty fast. One advantage I’ve found is that using a light pair of 6m long ali tubes as an A frame the mast is easily lowered, and it can be trailed with all the rigging except the forestay still connected, which saves a lot of hastle. I’m fairly fit, mechanically adept and gung-ho about these things, but I would say that the Sonata L/K is getting near the limit of what is reasonable to trailer-sail if you do more than two or three launches a year.