Sonata Association of Victoria

At the club

The Sonata Association of Victoria celebrated its 30th birthday with a sail-past, reports president Des Russell, who says the club is still a vibrant and active force.

The Sonata Association of Victoria (SYAV) was 30 years old, and members decided that a sail-past down McMillan's Strait at Paynesville on New Year's Day was a good way to celebrate. The association has 130 boats on its membership list and most of these are in Victoria. A fair number travel to the Gippsland Lakes for the New Year but the lakes are large, and it was a bit of a risk running a sail-past the day after the traditional celebrations the night before.
In the end 30 boats took part, and it was a tremendous sight, demonstrating that 30 years on the SYAV is still a vibrant and active force in sailing.

Various classes
There are various classes of Sonata trailable yachts with the Sonata 7 being the most common. The boats were mainly built during the mid-1970s and 1980s and nearly 600 were constructed. They have a reputation for being stable and roomy yachts. The Sonata Association of Victoria was formed in July 1978 and is the only designated club for Sonata yachts. It is a very active association and runs a regular programme of cruises and social events during the year. The club also has state titles and at least one extended cruise each season, and it is usually somewhere on the east coast of Australia.

Challenges of renewal
Like many other clubs the club is experiencing the challenges of renewal and over the past couple of years up to 30 boats have changed hands. Many of the new skippers are not very experienced sailors and the old salts have the additional challenge of assisting these new members to become competent in boat handling both on and off the water. To this end the club produced an instructional DVD specifically for Sonata owners who are new members to the association. This has been well received, and a second edition dealing with more technical and demanding issues is now planned.

For more information visit or visit The website includes a photo gallery and list of yachts for sale.

Des is president of the SYAV and has been sailing in many and various boats for 45 years. He loves the sailing opportunities provided by the Sonata 7.

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