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Sarita, Solitaire 52 (in english)

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Model: Solitaire 52.11 (basically a modified Stevens 50)

Designer: Sparkman & Stephens (drawing number 2390-C3)

Builders: Grand Harbour Yachts, Taiwan

Sarita is an ocean going sailboat who is a joy to steer and handle at sea. Designed by Sparkman & Stevens during the same period they were the main designers for Nautor, it is only natural that her hull shape reminds a lot of the early Swan boats. She handles offshore sailing beautiful and has soft movements even in heavy seas going to windward. She is stable and everything with her is dimensioned with a safety margin, from her mast and rigg (10 mm stainless steel back stay wire) to a sturdy skeg to protect the rudder.

Her teak interior ensure a nice feeling down below and her layout is planned for sailing with a galley containing two deep zinks and where you can brace yourself at all times. Her large saloon table can sit up to 12 persons comfortable and her stern platform is a dream when you are at anchor with comfortable steps and a swimming ladder and shower aft. With several dorado boxes and deck hatches ventilation is excellent whether at sea or in an anchorage. In short, Sarita is a comfortable quality sailboat with beautiful classic lines that are built for comfort both at anchor and sailing on the ocean. And she has proven herself an excellent boat for exploring during her life time, taken previous owners around the world to explore exciting new areas.

Film: A summary of Sarita sailing 2012-18

Film: Sarita’s sailing 2015 from Dodekanesos, via the Cyclades and Corinth canal to the Ionian Sea.

Film: 13 weeks in 13 minutes, Sarita in Greece and Turkey 2013


  • Building year: 1991
  • Call-sign: SKYR
  • Depth: 1.95 m
  • Material: GRP (fiber glass)
  • Length: 15,80 m
  • Width: 4,36 m
  • Weight: 18 ton
  • Mast hight: 23 meter
  • Engine: Yanmar Diesel 80 HK (2005), model 4JH3-TE
  • Two stainless steel water tanks (ca 1 100 liter)
  • One aluminum steel diesel tank (ca 450 liter)
  • One stainless steel black water tank for aft toilet (ca 110 liters)



  • 5 cabins with a total of 9 bunks (plus salong and cockpit areas)
  • 3 cabins with double bunks
  • 1 cabin with a single bunk
  • 1 cabin with two single bunks (upper and lower)
  • 2 toilets with showers and one shower on aft deck
  • Pressure water with foot pump back-up system (hot water from water heater, both heat exchanger from engine and 220 V)
  • Refrigerator (water cooled)
  • 4 burner gas stove with owen


Navigation equipment:

  • Radar
  • Plotter
  • GPS
  • Raymarine navigation instrument (GPS, Wind, Depth and Log) Upgraded to new Seatalk and a new i70 multi instrument in 2016)
  • Autopilot
  • SSB with antenna tuner
  • VHF (both fixed and waterproof handheld)
  • AIS (receiver and transmitter)
  • Writing barometer
  • Stereo with loudspeakers in the salong and cockpit


Example of other equipment:

  • An inflatable dingy with Mercury 6 hp outboard (from 2015)
  • A furling Genoa in Spectra (from 2014), plus a smaller spare jib
  • A furling main sail with standing battens, plus a spare main sail without battens, both in good shape.
  • A gennaker with a sock
  • Bow thruster
  • Windlass with 110 meter 10 mm stales steel chain,
  • 1 Rocna anchor (40 kg), 1 stales steel CQR anchor (30 kg), 1 Wasi Bügel (30 kg), plus pieces of chain for the anchor ropes.
  • 1 Selas life raft for 8 persons (from 2014, repacked 2016)
  • Good ventilation through several Dorado boxes and relatively new Lewmar hatches
  • Bimini over the cockpit
  • Sun awning
  • Swimming platform from the stern with shower
  • 6 gel batteries á 220 ampére
  • 1 start battery á 200 ampére
  • 4 solar panels á 110 Watt, total 440 W
  • Vindgenerator
  • A 12V to 220V Inverter 2000W
  • Windvane


Example of personal equipment on board:

  • 10 life harnesses
  • 10 life jackets (different sizes and models)
  • 2 Life bouys
  • Assorted foul weather gear
  • Fully equipped galley for at least 10 persons


Sarita´s history

Told by the previous owner:

“Sarita, a Solitaire 52.11 was built at Grand Harbour Yacht, Taiwan in 1991. She is a Sparkman & Stephens design with the drawing number 2390-C3. Basically it is the same hull as a Stevens 50 aft cockpit version with some alterations (extended transom with swimming platform for example). The yard has a good reputation for building quality boats to a limited numbers of customers and all the Stevens yachts are build at Grand Harbour Yachts.

There are supposed to be seven to ten Soltaire 52.11 built. One sister yacht was doing chartering in Croatia and another is assumed to be in Netherlands. Sarita was build specially for Dr Kurt Eckers of Austria who started and was running Eckers yachting, a charter company, until recently when he retired. Sarita was Dr Ecker’s private yacht and was named after a mummie of a young inka princess found in the Andes, she was called little Sara (Sarita).

Sarita was delivered to Greece where she was completed. The rig came from the Swedish company Seldéns and since way over half of the equipment is manufactured in the US Sarita has been approved by US Coast Guard as being made in the US. Milan Petranovic was responsible for finish the work with Sarita in Greece and was thereafter the skipper/caretaker of the boat as long as it was in Dr Eckers possession. Most of the information that are written here comes from him.

Sarita was commissioned during the summer of 1991. The same autumn she sailed to the Canaries with Milan as skipper. There the crew changed and the well known German sailor Bobby Schenk took over as skipper. He started a project, together with a paying crew, with doing an Atlantic crossing without navigation equipment, including removing the auto pilot since it had a compass. The purpose was only to use variouse old traditional navigation methods on the way to the Caribbean. The project was called  ”Transatlantik in die Sonne” and resulted in a book by Bobby Schenk with the same name.


Between 1993 and 1995 Sarita made a circumnavigation with paying crew. The round the world sailing was made against the prevailing winds when going south around the capes. During 1996 -1998 Sarita had Polynesia as a base. Here Kurt Eckers used Sarita privately as well as some longer sails with paying crew. Bobby Schenk was also spending time on board which resulted in another book, and a film for German TV, called “Südseeträume”.  After that Sarita sailed to the Mediterranean where she established as a new base but  also made longer sails, often in the shape of different projects. This included a sail to India and back with paying crew.  In the autumn of 2003 on her way up to the Suez canal, Sarita ended up in real rough weather that resulted in that she lost the rigging. After going to Haifa in Israel for emergency repair a new mast and rigg from Seldén was flown down from Gothenburg. After mounting the new rigging, which is the same model but slightly lower than the original one due to transportation limitations, the journey continued.


In 2005 a new engine was installed, a 80 hp Yanmar 4JH2M-HTE. At the same time the diesel generator was removed. In February 2006 Kurt Eckers sold Sarita to a Swedish couple, Christer Lefvedahl and Annika Ottander. Sarita then had Koper in Croatia as base, but were still sailing under Austrian flag. In August the same year she was transported on land from Slovenia to Kiel where the mast was raised and she sailed up to the Stockholm archipelago after a visit to Gothenburg. In Sweden she was measured and registered with the call sign SKYR by the Swedish Maritime authorities (Svenska Sjöfartsverket, now Transportstyrelsen). At the same time she was measured for a Panama canal certificate.

Christer and Annika owned Sarita from 2006 to 2012 when I bought her. During that period several upgrades and refits were done. In the winter 2006-07 new stays for the standing rigging was installed and the furling gear was renovated. After that most of the running rigging has also been changed.  All the winches, including the windlass, was re-chromed and a new backstay tensioner installed. All the deck hatches was changed to Lewmar high quality hatches. A new radar and plotter was installed in 2008 as well as a new three bladed Max-Prop as a replacement for the fixed one (still onboard as a spare).  The same year the two forward cabins with upper and lower berths was transformed to a master state room with a large double bunk by a well renowned boat carpenter, Roland Palm of Dalarö  in Sweden. The whole interior, including floor boards, was also revarnished and some wood details replaced. All the pumps were replaced and a septic tank for the aft toilet is installed as well as a new refrigerator system from Waeco and new counter top for the galley. All this work was finished in 2009.

Th saloon looking aft with the galley and nav station

In May 2010 Sarita was sailed to Kiel for transport on land to Slovenia. During the following winter Sarita had a major refit where the transom was rebuilt with new fibre glass, new steps with a better angle and new teak. The whole hull was shaved and sanded, both above and below the water line. The hull was then filled and treated with epoxi, five coats under the water line and three above. No osmosis was found. The topsides was then painted with five coats of Hempel Light two component white colour and the bottom has been repainted every year with anitfouling.


During 2010 and 2011 a new motor for the windlass was installed as well as an upgrade of all batteries. New gel batteries of 220 ampére each was installed, two in serie (24 V) for the bow thruster, four for the house batteries and one for the start battery. Also two solar panels were installed as well an upgrade of the bow thruster and anchor equipment (a Delta anchor to replace the CQR). Also a new deck lid to the anchor box was installed and a new Furuno facsimile receiver purchased. The boat was mainly cruising in the Adriatic and Ionian seas until 2012 when I bought Sarita, then she was on land for the winter in  Cleopatra Marina in Preveza, Greece where she is at present.”


Since 2012 up to now we have sailed during the summer months in the Ionian Sea through the Corinth Canal and the Saronic Gulf and further east through the Cyclades to the Dodecanese’s and the Turkish coast, where Sarita spend one season. Then we sailed Sarita back the same way, see links to films above. Apart from general maintenance Sarita has been upgraded with for example a new Genua in Spectra from North sails in 2014 and an anchor sail in 2013. In 2015 a new 6 hp Mercury outboard for the dinghy was bought as well as a new Selas life raft for 8 persons with a cradle. Also in 2016 we upgraded the Raymaine navigation instruments to the new Sea talk and installed an i70 multi instrument. In 2017 we replaced all the through hull fittings with certified composite fittings and ball valves from True design.

Since  2017 we live permanent on Sarita and have after the season of 2017 hav had a maintainence period when we have been on the hard for more that two years at Cleopatra Marina in Preveza. During that period we have or about to deal with our long working list, the work you can follow on our blog. Some of the things are:

  • Removal of the teak deck, dry out the core of the deck (incl drilling around 3000 holes , dry the core and fill the holes with epoxy) and painting of the deck
  • Removal of the engine for a total refit including changing all four engine mounts, stuffing box (to Volvo dripless), cutlass bearing, turbo charger, oilcooler for the gearbox and refit of a lot of the equipment like injectors, starter, heat exchanger and alternator
  • Purchase and installation of double parallell prefekters for diesel and new diesel hoses
  • Cleaning of water separator/silencer and change of exhaust hose and vakuum valve
  • Removal of old and installation of new isolation boards for the engine room
  • Cleaning, renovating and painting the engine room bilge
  • Rebuilding of the space beting the engine room for better storage en ventilation for the engine room
  • Removal and fixing leaks at the four big windows in the saloon, inkl changing the bad wood
  • Purchase and installation of a new gas kick
  • Removing and renovation of the windlass
  • Purchase of new anchors, on  40 kilo Rocna and one 35 kg Wasi Bügel
  • Purchase and installation of a vindwane, Royal Perfect
  • Purchase and upgrading the navigation system to i70
  • Construction of a new bimini mount for holding solar panels
  • Purchase and installation of four new solar panels at 110 Watts each, total 440 Watts, and a MPPT regulator
  • Purchase and installation of a wind generator
  • Change of all through hull fittings to composite material from Tru Design
  • Cleaning of grey water tank
  • Change of most hoses on the boat for sewage and water systems
  • Purchase and installation of a new water pressure pump
  • Fixing leaks in the water pressure system (aft shower and both heads)
  • Cleaning and painting of the bilge
  • Cleaning and painting of the lazaret inkl the hydraulic steering units
  • Upgrading a lot of the electrical cables and rmoving the ones not in use
  • Purchase and installation of a new battery charger
  • Purchase and installation of an inverter (12V to 220V)
  • Purchase cutting new fusions for the main saloon and sewing new covers for them
  • Scrape clean and oil the cockpit floors with Ovatrol’s Deckolje 1 och 2
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