Boom Position

Set the boat so you are heading in your desired direction and adjust the boom out so that the luff tell-tales fly (Chew).  Generally, better to be slightly low unless the reach is too shy and you are worried about making the mark – go low in the gusts and high in the lulls (inland) or work the waves on the sea.  Off wind you have to play the sheet – beam reaching is the fastest so if the wind is shifting avoid having to sail broad in the light patches. (Griffiths).

Kicker Tension

The kicker should be tensioned enough to stop the boom lifting in a gust. If gusts are allowed to lift the boom then the leech opens and the power escapes from the top of the leech (Solo Forum).

Use enough kicker to stop the leech twisting open, nothing kills speed more than too  much kicker – only needed on closer reaches in medium to strong conditions (Scott).

Aim to get the whole leech setting cleanly.  Watch the leech streams for twist and the tell-takes for sheet position.  Adjust the kicker as the reach changes in particular towards a deeper run (Griffiths).


Ease it 4-5″ on a reach (Scott).

Eased 110-120 mm from its upwind position.


Off (Scott).

ALWAYS OFF – Kills speed otherwise.  If you are overpowered work the mainsheet, hike and move weight back.  Bring out the big guns and take sheet from sail to control quicker (Griffiths).


Use only enough to balance the boat and provide neutral helm (North).   In light conditions go for as little as possible.  If you need to move leewards take the board up so you can crab.  In normal conditions – you need more than you think and if trying to steer with mainsheet and body position then too little board will feel insecure (Greenwood).  Go for about half way, slightly more if closer to beating and less if running (Griffiths).


  1. Thanks for a great reference of all the articles you have read; I am however still perplexed about the rigging set-uo; showing exactly what pulleys and where? I can seem to find it anywhere; even the Solo Class DVD doesn’t clearly show how the rigging is attached; thanks again

  2. This is a really good round-up! I’m also new in Solos after a 25 year ‘holiday’ – thanks for this article.

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