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Beneteau First 36, Sailing World 2023 Boat of the Year

  • By Dave Reed
  • December 16, 2022

Boat of the Year

Sailing World Magazine’s  annual Boat of the Year tests are conducted in Annapolis, Maryland, following the US Sailboat Show. With independent judges exhaustively inspecting the boats on land and putting them through their paces on the water, this year’s fleet of new performance-sailing boats spanned from small dinghies to high-tech bluewater catamarans. Here’s the best of the best from our  2023 Boat of the Year nominees »

The Total Package

  • Beneteau First 36 2023 Boat of the Year
  • Stated purpose: Shorthanded racing, club racing, coastal cruising
  • Crew: Solo to six
  • Praise for: Build quality, deck layout, versatility
  • Est. price as sailed: $345,000

Like a runaway, the Beneteau First 36 careens across a westerly-whipped Chesapeake Bay. The boat’s big-shouldered spinnaker and mainsail are silhouetted in the early October morning light. It’s making trees on the Eastern Shore as we peg the throttle down to keep chase in a 19-foot RIB. The four crewmembers on board are having a casual conversation—like no big deal—when a cold and meaty gust fills the spinnaker. The leech flickers, and the boat surges forward onto plane. Twin rudders zipper the slick streaming out from the transom as the helmsman, hands at 10 and 2 on the carbon steering wheel, effortlessly weaves the boat across waves tops. The boat is, as the saying goes, on rails.

“Wicked,” is how senior Boat of the Year judge Chuck Allen summarizes his experience when he steps off. “That boat is going to be hard to beat.”

Three days and 10 boats later, nothing comes close to usurping the Beneteau First 36 as the obvious and unanimous Boat of the Year, a boat that has been a long time coming and overdue. It’s a boat that will serve many masters.

J/45

Beneteau initiated its First 36 project in 2019 by surveying a broad focus group of First “Point 7” owners and dealers about what they wanted in the marketplace, and the takeaways were: 1) Not another ­displacement boat—it had to plane. 2) They wanted a lounge, not a dining room. 3) They wanted their nav station back, and 4) for that, they were OK with having a smaller head.

Beneteau First 36 berths

Given the boat was to meet all three of its club racing, shorthanded and cruising demands, the brain trust assembled inside and outside of Beneteau focused on No. 1—keeping it light and fast. Naval architect Samuel Manuard, the new hot talent of the IMOCA 60 and Class 40 scenes, did the hull, keel and rig. Pure Structural Engineering took care of the structure, and the weight-obsessed glass slingers at Seascape’s factory in Slovenia ensured the boat came in at not a pound more than 10,580. At that weight, of course it’s going to plane.

The entire boat is ­vacuum-infused with CoreCell (hull) and PVC (bulkheads) from the deck down, inside and out, and everything, except the fridge, is somehow a piece of the structure puzzle.

Beneteau First 36 V-berth

“We are saving big weight there, as furniture is also part of the structure, and all of it glued together makes the boat extremely stiff and very light,” says Beneteau’s Tit Plevnik. “What is special is how calculated it is. In mass-production building, you can’t rely on precision, but we do. The boat is built to the same standard as a pure ­racing boat.”

“The moment I saw it, I knew it would be good. It’s a great-looking boat at the dock and even better with the sails up.” —Greg Stewart

Built like a race boat, the judges all agree it sure sails like one. “It’s a big 36-footer,” says veteran BOTY judge and naval architect Greg Stewart. “It’s a full-ended boat that has a hint of a scow-type bow with a lot of buoyancy forward. Looking at the numbers, what they achieved with the weight and its placement is impressive—10,000 pounds for a 36-foot waterline length is a very good number. I could tell the minute we put the spinnaker up it was a slippery boat.”

Stewart set the day’s top speed at a tick over 18 knots and says: “I remember feeling the puff hit and load the rig, and the boat just scooted off with really nice steering. It felt like a Laser when you get it in that groove and it just levitates. With the dual rudders, which are pretty long, the boat has more of a power-steering feel upwind, so it lets you do a lot of things. There’s so much control, which is a good thing because you can drive out of situations, but at the same time, it’s easy to oversteer.”

Beneteau First 36 sink

Multiple cockpit mock-ups done at ­different heel angles produced a workspace that the judges could find no flaw with. “It’s all legit, easy and clean in the pit,” Allen says. “With the four of us in the ­cockpit, we had plenty of space to move around and were never into each other.

“I was doing a lot of trimming downwind,” Allen adds. “You can feel the boat take off. It was really stable and easy to handle. The thing is light and fast, and we did push it to try and wipe it out, but it was hard to do.”

All the judges praised the clever location of the primary winches on sloped coamings, which were easier to trim from than a traditional winch-on-the-coaming setup. “They’re at the perfect height,” says judge Dave Powlison, “and with them angled like that, you don’t have to crane your neck to see the sail, and the lead is virtually override-proof.”

Beneteau First 36 nav station

Also noteworthy is the generous space between the high carbon wheels and the cockpit walls that allow the helmsman to slide forward without having to step up and around the wheel. The jib trimmer has easy access to the three-dimensional clue adjustment systems, and for the pit, there’s plenty of clutches, redirects and cleats to keep everything sorted and tidy.

Beneteau First 36 judges

The standard spar, and that on the demo boat, is a deck-stepped Z Spars aluminum section with Dyform wire rigging that carries 860 square feet of upwind sail area, which Stewart says is considerable for the displacement of the boat. The mast is well aft, which really stretches out the J dimension and opens the foredeck for a quiver of headsails—for this, you’ll find two tack points on the foredeck. There are four halyards total: one for a masthead gennaker, a 2-to-1 for a code sail, a fractional gennaker, and a 2-to-1 staysail. Allen, a semi-retired sailmaker, put an estimate for a complete race inventory at $60,000, which would put the boat on the racecourse for roughly $400,000. (Base boat is priced at $345,000.)

When the race is done, however, how about that interior?

Step down the wide companionway steps into a space of design simplicity and efficiency, some of which makes you say, “Duh, of course.”

Beneteau First 36 during sea trials

For example, there’s no ­traditional L-shaped galley to port or starboard. There is, however, a tall and slender fridge smack in the middle of the boat (that you connect to the galley with a removable cutting board to complete the L). Walk on either side of it to get forward, past the proper nav station, the fold-down dinette table in the middle with roomy 6-foot berths on both sides, a jetliner-size head with a stowaway sink to starboard, and then a gigantic V-berth that benefits from all that volume in the bow. Back aft, under the cockpit, are large quarter berths as well that easily cruise-convert into storage space for water toys, like kites, wings and foils, all of which takes us back to survey result No. 2. This is where the post-race party begins and ends.

With the usual supply-chain delays, compounded with the build and design team’s obsessive and calculated approach to getting the Beneteau First 36 perfect at Hull No. 1, its debut got off to a later start than hoped. But with early boats landing at eager dealers worldwide, Plevnik says the goal is 32 boats per year for the next two years. The BOTY judges assure us it’ll be worth the wait and give you plenty of time to start planning what you can and will do with it.

  • More: 2023 Boat of the Year , Beneteau , Boat of the Year , Print Winter 2023 , Sailboats
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  • By Herb McCormick
  • Updated: April 29, 2008

36 foot sailboat interior

Glenn Henderson is a good ol’ Southern boy, a Florida native who loves surfin’, sailin’, and Gators football, not necessarily in that order. When Henderson joined the Hunter Design Team in 2001, his first commission was the Hunter 356, which was an unqualified success with more than 500 units built. This year, Henderson has revisited the concept with the Hunter 36, and it’s interesting to see the choices that he’s made on this second-generation approach.

Rather than a wholesale makeover, it’s safe to say that the 36 is an evolution and extension of the midsize theme. There are lots of features that are consistent with the brand that have been carried through with this latest Hunter, including the backstay-less B&R rig with the distinctive, swept-back double spreaders; the folding wheel and walk-through transom, which maximize the comfort and utility of the cockpit; and the Traveler Arch with built-in bimini, with the mainsail traveler within handy reach of the helmsman.

The hull of the 36 has been slightly tweaked, Henderson said, to lower the prismatic coefficient and promote even greater stability and better balance. In practice, what this means is a slightly longer waterline with a somewhat straighter plumb bow. Henderson started his design career drawing quick, sporty, highly successful raceboats, and he hasn’t lost his touch when it comes to hulls that move sweetly through the water. We tested the 36 on a day of mostly light winds hovering around 8 knots. Upwind with full sail on, the boat registered an effortless 5.6 to 5.8 knots. Cracked off to a close reach, the speedometer topped 6 knots. The helm was light, and given the spotty breeze, the performance was excellent. On our wish list, we’d add a foot chock for the helmsman and a repositioned overhead bimini window for better sight lines to the mainsail, but both can be easily addressed.

On deck, there are lots of little features that suggest a notable attention to detail, starting with the good nonskid underfoot. The anchoring system is very well done, with a large cleat adjacent to the windlass to ease the strain on the rode; a dedicated bar over the bow roller ensures that the anchor won’t jump its mount and nick the headsail furler or pulpit. The cockpit lockers are enormous and well organized, with fiddled shelves and brackets for the emergency tiller, companionway slats, and other items. We were less enamored of the small hatches in the transom scoop, which seemed out of reach and somewhat superfluous, prone to immersion, and, in the event that they became flooded, potentially hazardous.

36 foot sailboat interior

As with the deck, the interior layout and styling have been modified and updated. This is a very big 36-footer. The straight-line galley of the 356 has been transformed on the 36 into an L-shaped arrangement that lies to starboard, adjacent to the companionway steps. To port, the aft-facing nav station is enormous; it wouldn’t be out of place on a boat 10 feet larger. Likewise, the head is big and accessible, with a sink/vanity in one section and the head/shower in a separate enclosure. There’s a V-berth in a forward stateroom (with a nifty louvered door in the bulkhead to open up the space when desired) and a large athwartships double aft (with its own headboard!). All in all, it’s a worthy successor to the original.

Herb McCormick is a Cruising World editor at large.

LOA 35′ 6” (10.82 m.) LWL 31′ 3” (9.53 m.) Beam 12′ 0” (3.66 m.) Draft (shoal) 4′ 11” (1.50 m.) Draft (deep/standard) 6′ 5” (1.96 m.) Sail area (100%) 780 sq. ft. (72.46 sq. m) Ballast (shoal) 5,064 lb. (2,302 kg.) Ballast (deep) 5,023 lb. (2,283 kg.) Displacement (shoal) 13,900 lb. (6,318 kg.) Displacement (deep) Ballast/D .34 D/Length 175 SA/D 16.9 Water 75 gal. (284 l.) Fuel 38 gal. (144 l.) Engine 29-hp. Yanmar diesel Designer Glenn Henderson/ Hunter Design Team Base Price (sailaway) $147,000 Phone (386) 462-3077 Website www.huntermarine.com

  • More: 2001 - 2010 , 31 - 40 ft , Coastal Cruising , marlow-hunter , Sailboat Reviews , Sailboats
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RigSloop
Sail Area587.71 sq. ft.
LOA36 ft. 1 in.
LWL28 ft. 3 in.
Beam11 ft. 2 in.
Draft6 ft. 1 in.
Displacement13,000 lbs.
Ballast5820 lbs.
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  • Sailboat Guide

Islander 36

Islander 36 is a 36 ′ 1 ″ / 11 m monohull sailboat designed by Alan Gurney and built by Islander / Tradewind Yachts between 1971 and 1986.

Drawing of Islander 36

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

With nearly 800 boats built this was one of the most successful models from Islander Yachts. During it’’s production history the ISLANDER 36 was delivered with the following engines (in a an approximate cronological order):

Universal Atomic 4 -Gas Palmer P-60 - Gas Perkins 4-108 - Diesel Westerbeke L-25 - Diesel Pathfinder - Diesel Yanmar - Diesel

It is said that the molds for the ISLANDER 36 were purchased by Newport Offshore Yachts of CA, USA in 1986. But it is not known if any other boats were built after this date.

SHOAL DRAFT: 4.8’/1.46m

TALL RIG: I(IG):47.00’ / 14.33m J: 14.48’ / 4.41m P: 41.30’ / 12.59m E: 12.80’ / 3.90m

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Beneteau First 36 review: Is this the best First yacht in years?

  • Toby Hodges
  • March 14, 2023

Is the Beneteau First back to its iconic best with the new lightweight, sporty cruiser-racer for all levels of sailors, the Beneteau First 36?

Product Overview

Price as reviewed:.

You might not appreciate it at first glance, but this could well be the best performance production yacht we’ll see for some time. This realisation creeps up on you slowly, and is further confirmed the more time you spend aboard the new Beneteau First 36.

I’m far from alone in thinking this and the Beneteau First 36 won the highly competitive performance category in this year’s European Yacht of the Year competition – and with unanimous votes from the 12-strong jury.

The Beneteau First 36 is neither brash nor sexy. Rather, it’s modest, simple even, but, as you soon discover, ergonomically brilliant. It’s not perfect of course – a comparatively small and fiddly heads compartment ensures that – but it is a superb marriage of design, engineering and industrial nous. All of which begs the question, is this finally a return to the dual purpose cruiser-racer roots of the First?

First and foremost

What’s in a name? A lot. More than 25,000 yachts in over 70 different model formats have launched bearing the First branding over the last 45 years. These boats gained a reputation for offering cruising comfort combined with race-winning potential, all at an acceptable price point. That hasn’t really been the focus for many years – until now perhaps.

This Beneteau First 36 was conceived initially in 2018 by Seascape, the sportsboat specialists which Groupe Beneteau bought and rebranded the year before. It became a major collaboration between the brands, their designers and engineers. This is the Slovenian yard’s first new Beneteau, tasked with reviving that dual purpose ethos of First and designed to bridge the gap between its sportsboats and the larger, more luxurious French-built Beneteau First 44 and Beneteau First 53 .

36 foot sailboat interior

The First 36 is arguably the only mainstream production cruising yacht that can plane in moderate winds. Twin rudders allow you to push but remain in control. Photo: Beneteau First/Ana Šutej

Seascape founders and mini Transat sailors, Andraz Mihelin and Kristian Hajnšek, have collaborated with Sam Manuard on all their designs to date. The racing scene has since caught up and Manuard is now the in-demand Class 40 and IMOCA 60 designer.

Mihelin defines their creation concisely: “It’s designed with one purpose: to motivate people to sail more.” That’s quite the task! Yet since I first sailed with Mihelin on their debut Seascape 18 in 2009, we have seen and frequently discussed how sailing has changed. The desire for space and comfort has driven a burgeoning multihull market, while the planing monohull market has been left largely to a few skilled niche yards such as Pogo and JPK.

Get people sailing

Typically, when you crave the conditions to really send a yacht, you get no such luck. I had two trials out of La Rochelle, where we spent the majority of the time in single figure windspeeds. That said, there was plenty of opportunity to see just how easily driven – and easy to drive – this design is, and to learn more about how it achieves that from the designers and builders who joined us on board.

36 foot sailboat interior

Simple but really neat control lines led to hand. Photo: EYOTY/Ludovic Fruchaud

The light breezes dictated that our preferred option was to reach whenever possible with a big (140m2) blue gennaker, where we could induce some heel and make average speeds of 8-8.5 knots. The Beneteau First 36 is designed to hit double figures in around 14 knots wind and we noted how it starts planing in the high 8-knot boatspeeds in around 12 knots wind.

It also has the stability and control to keep plenty of sail up when speed reaching. A couple of my fellow European Yacht of the Year jury members did get to sail it in 20 knots and recorded figures of 10-13.5 knots under Code 0 at 90° and up to 14.5 knots under kite at 120°. That’s rapid for an 11m monohull.

The Beneteau First 36 is also quick upwind, even in the light stuff, where we typically made around 7 knots in these conditions, although it’s not one for pointing too high – start to pinch (less than 45° true) and you quickly sacrifice half a knot.

The sporty feel on the helm and how it moves on the water is the real take away. It’s a light boat with plenty of rocker and is responsive to longitudinal weight distribution, so crew weight distribution will be important when racing. Nevertheless, on the second day in slightly lighter breezes and with eight people aboard, we maintained a consistent 7.5 knots, occasionally touching 8 knots with the gennaker (with little attention to crew weight positioning!).

36 foot sailboat interior

Manuard’s powerful hull shape uses reverse sheer for a low look. Photo: EYOTY/Ludovic Fruchaud

It’s the ease of that speed that stood out. For a 36ft boat to be averaging high rather than mid single figures, is the difference between sporty and displacement sailing. That translates to a significant increase in fun factor too. The First has a very high sail area to displacement ratio and although it’s technically a planing/high performance boat, it doesn’t look like one whether on or below decks.

How do they do that?

The mastery lies in the engineering and build. The Seascape team has produced an impressively light standard boat, a fully cored, vacuum infused hull and deck with sandwich bulkheads. Everything is structural with no needless weight. It’s closer to specialist race boat building than the more industrial methods its parent company specialises in, yet without the expensive exotic materials. The wide but short foam cored swim platform weighs just 8kg for example, and the overall light displacement is under 4.8 tonnes.

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36 foot sailboat interior

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“There’s no silver bullet here, it’s lots of small things,” Mihelin comments. All scantlings were optimised by Kiwi specialists Pure Design and Engineering and adapted by Manuard and Hajnšek to within labour cost targets.

The ease with which you can maintain good speeds on the water is one thing, but then there’s the ease of sailing the boat. As the boat’s interior designer Lorenzo Argento proved, you can spend long periods reaching with no hands on the wheel as it tracks along effortlessly. He is so impressed he has bought a Beneteau First 36 for his 60th Birthday.

36 foot sailboat interior

The First 36 is a great deal of fun to sail. Photo: EYOTY/Ludovic Fruchaud

In fact, there was very little pressure increase in helm on all angles, whether sailing upwind under jib at 7 knots, or beam reaching with the code 0 at 8.5 knots. “Sam’s brief was that we don’t want a boat that’s hard to sail,” says Mihelin.

The Jefa steering links to high aspect rudders on stainless steel stocks. Were twin rudders really needed on this, as it’s not an overly beamy shape? A well mannered boat is part of the core brief, Manuard replies, adding that with this type of hull shape even pros would struggle to control it with a single rudder when pressed.

Manuard has found fame with his scow bow shapes so I was also curious if he’d considered that approach here. “We thought it out of the scope of the boat – it’s not an extreme racer,” he explains. “The scow comes with negatives, the slamming is really difficult to bear… the biggest point of this boat is that it suits a lot of people.”

36 foot sailboat interior

Warmth of wood. The compact galley has adequate stowage, particularly in the raised lockers and bin outboard of the sink. Photo: Branko Ceak

The designer used reverse sheer as a styling and space trick, to keep the bow and stern comparatively low (the latter to avoid a bulky appearance), yet maintain reasonable coachroof height for access. The deck design is also deliberately simple. “It’s one of the reasons we threw out a tiller system,” says Mihelin, explaining that the Beneteau Group has a lot of customer and user data, and knew that 90% of 37.7s were sold with wheels.Nevertheless, a tiller is an option many racing and short-handed sailors would love to have on this boat.

Keep it simple

The clean, working cockpit transforms from cruising to racing mode by removing the aft sets of cockpit benches and table, leaving just the short forward benches. This not only jettisons some weight but frees up key space to work the sheets, particularly the primary winches, where there is then space enough to stand and grind.

36 foot sailboat interior

The navstation is comfortable and a good size, although you lose seated headroom outboard, and the saloon is generous and comfy. Photo: Branko Ceak

A prime benefit of creating a lightweight shell is that you can take weight out of the appendages too. Here a 1.5 tonne cast iron keel and unfussy Z-Spars aluminium rig comes as standard, while a square top main was rejected because it adds weight to the mast and the additional complication of runners.

All running rigging is left exposed, led aft to a bank of six clutches each side of the companionway. The jib sheets are led through low friction rings, controlled via in- and outhaul purchase systems each side, to give full cockpit control of jib sheet leads and angles with minimal weight. Tail bags help keep the cockpit and companionway area tidy and the six-winch layout is designed to allow cross-sheeting of all sheets to the windward side.

There’s a slot in front of the wheels to work the mainsheet winches, and without the aft benches, more space to sit and trim the main or jib. The traveller controls and backstay purchase are led neatly to camcleats here too, within reach of trimmer or helm.

The stanchions are through-bolted with supports for hiking crew, while an offshore hatch on the foredeck provides bracing if changing headsails. On deck stowage is in a quarter locker and one large main aft locker, from where the steering gear is accessed.

36 foot sailboat interior

simple, no frills forward cabin has 6ft headroom up to the berth, a single locker and raised shelving. Photo: Branko Ceak

Lightweight performance yachts are typically stripped or have a very minimalist feel, an impression you certainly don’t get here. The Beneteau/Seascape team has been clever in maintaining a feeling of warmth and a certain level of cruising comfort needed for a dual-purpose boat.

The surprising part is perhaps how this is achieved, in that many of the kilos that have been saved, by using sandwich bulkheads rather than any structural plywood for example, are added back in the form of proper doors, tables, wooden floors and trim. It makes a difference between cruising and camping aboard.

Key criteria were to include a proper navstation for racing with a chart table large enough to be used as an office desk, and a three cabin only layout. The thinking is that a two cabin yacht of this size would typically have a stowage area in place of the third cabin, whereas here the identical aft cabins are adaptable and can both be used either as doubles or a single with large work cabin/stowage space.

Overall, the interior is kept symmetrical and simple with easy flowing access. The central island, with its integral two-level fridge, is an excellent feature. Conceived by Argento, it provides bracing where you need it most, yet a clear passage each side, which will be valuable for moving or stacking sails. A large wooden chopping board extends work surface space by joining the island to the sink or chart table.

36 foot sailboat interior

Aft cabins are clever as they can be used as doubles or work cabin/stowage space. Photo: Branko Ceak

The saloon has long, sleepable berths with particularly comfortable cushions, however, with tanks below the berths, practical accessible stowage is found wanting. An angled V-shaped entrance to the forward cabin and heads helps extend the saloon and there is decent space at both ends of the table to sit or walk around.

The small heads compartment and decision to go with a door that opens inwards will be an area of contention, and the lack of separate shower a potential deal breaker. The solution is more reminiscent of an airline- or train-style toilet. While it is possible to shut the door after you, it takes a bit of practice and larger crew will need contortionist skills. The folding sink is neatly done, with a drop down mirror above it, but it leaves you questioning the long term practicality and durability of such a fitting.

Build quality is impressive. The Beneteau First 36 has a vacuum infused Vinylester hull and deck and a Corecell foam core. “Using foam helped us take 200kg out of the hull”, says Seascape’s CTO Hajnšek, adding that Pure Design helped them to get rid of balsa as a core. The lightweight sandwich technique results in all the liners weighing just 60kg for (an estimated 200kg saving).

Seascape will know better than any that it can shed another 300-500kg by removing timber and using a different keel. It leads one to think there’ll be a turbo edition of this model in the future, with tiller, water ballast and foam cored furniture.

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The First 36 strips away sailing complexities in an effort to ensure it can be fun for crewed racing and short-hand sailing. This is the planing boat amateur sailors can enjoy. It’s no glitzy head turner, we’ve yet to see how it will rate and perform on the race course, and it’s fairly basic with small tanks for cruising. However, it still firmly ticks the cruiser-racer box. It’s built with production ‘standard’ (non-exotic) materials, and thanks to good design and engineering, it delivers on the water. Is this a new First icon then? The First marque used to dominate the value-for-money cruiser-racer sector, and this model arguably takes us back to those roots. And yet the 36 introduces another factor above these – high performance that is approachable enough to encourage fun for all levels of sailors. The heads is arguably a mistake and will be inconvenient for larger crewmembers. I also wonder if they can be built quickly enough to this standard, while hoping that the more sustainable materials Beneteau is already employing on its First 44 can be used for this model soon too. But how refreshing! A stiff, planing boat that puts the focus back on sailing is surely the way to go. Easy speed equates to more sailing time. The 36 is indeed class. First class.

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36 foot sailboat interior

*Recommended retail price. Value-Added Tax is subject to change, according to the country of purchase. For pricing information, availability and product characteristics, thank you to contact your dealer.

  • Description
  • Main Points

Specifications

You can now experience the thrill of high-performance sailing – not only on the race course, but also on family holidays or day-sailing trips. We have made this possible through a carefully placed high-tech and meticulously designed deck and interior ergonomics, which is bringing the most important features of grand prix racing boats into the hands of a club racer or active cruiser. First 36 is the first mainstream racer/cruiser where onboard comfort doesn’t affect the experience of high performance sailing.

EXCLUSIVE:  In April and May, reserve your sea trial aboard the First 36, wherever you are in Europe. 

NAVAL ARCHITECT : Samuel Manuard Design : Lorenzo Argento Structural engineering : Pure Design & Engineering Innovation and research : Sito

First 36 - Voilier de l'année 2023

THE FIRST 36 IN NAVIGATION

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For the special occasion of the 140-year anniversary of the BENETEAU brand , the BENETEAU dealer network is holding exclusive sea trials , throughout Europe, of this multi-award-winning sailboat.  Contact your dealer right away to plan your sea trial, from April 1st through the end of May. 

Reserve an exclusive sea trial

36 foot sailboat interior

WHY FIRST 36 ?

36 foot sailboat interior

SPEED MADE EASY

When you boat can do 14 knots on jib alone, fun and excitement will result in simply sailing more. 

THE DESIGN TEAM

Our designers are not only world-class names from the nautical industry but also passionate sailors and friends. In this project, they found a common goal of designing a true sailing boat for the coming age.

MORE THAN JUST 36 FEET

A modern hull design brings about an extensive interior volume. This allows for an interior with the size and comfort of a 40-footer from the previous generation.

INDUSTRIALIZED HIGH-TECH

The hull, deck, bulkheads and interior components are fully cored and vacuum infused. Everything contributes to structural strength. To date, this building technique has only been used in racing or expensive niche brands. The result is a very stiff boat, weighing only 4.800 kg.

VARIABLE COCKPIT

The cockpit is modular, as it needs to address a wide variety of setups. Removable bench extensions transform the cockpit area into a comfortable cruising lounge. When extensions are removed, the cockpit has an ergonomic and efficient racing/shorthanded setup.

SAILING EXPERIENCE

A whole new sailing experience opens up when you can achieve double-digit boat speeds easily and in complete control.

The main components of making this possible are the light weight and the world-class nautical design of Sam Manuard. An ergonomic and extremely precise steering system is also vital. With race-grade rudder blades, the steering wheels remain light and direct even when planing downwind or at higher heeling angles.

To stay true to its 40 years of Beneteau heritage, a First needs to excel in fully-crewed club racing, relaxed family cruising as well as shorthanded sailing. Cockpit ergonomics was one of the main focuses in the design process. The higher wheel position gives the helmsman direct access to the mainsail winch, an important detail for shorthanded sailing.

36 foot sailboat interior

LIVING ONBOARD

The First 36 features a traditional three-cabin layout. To maximize living space in the saloon, the bathroom footprint is minimized, using an innovative foldable sink. The extra space makes room for a navigation table/onboard office.

Another innovation standing out in the saloon is the standalone fridge island. A removable cutting board can significantly extend the working surface of the standard L-shape galley and make it the largest kitchen area in the class.

High-quality wooden details, in combination with minimalistic GRP, provide a modern, elegant living space below deck.

36 foot sailboat interior

A connected boat

The mobile application, Seanapps , and its onboard unit lets you view the status of the boat's various systems (battery charge, fuel or water tank levels, maintenance scheduling) via your smartphone, as well as planning your route or reviewing your sailing status using your mobile phone.

SEANAPPS

Length Overall

36'0"

Beam overall

12'6''

Lightship Displacement

Draught Min

7'5''

Cabin Number

36 foot sailboat interior

Press Reviews

Yachting world.

Beneteau First 36 review: Is this the best First yacht in years? - Read the article

First 36 has her first test in Denmark Read the article

36 foot sailboat interior

Limited offer on the First 36 model

36 foot sailboat interior

First 36: The genesis of a new creature

The First 36 is no ordinary boat. And its creation was not ordinary either: It took four years and the merging of two very different teams. So here's a rare look behind the scene.

36 foot sailboat interior

1977-2022: The Story of the Firsts

With more than 25,000 boats built since 1977, the First line celebrates its 45th anniversary this year and it is still the gold standard of performance cruising.

Beneteau services

With teams for sea trials, financing, customization, events, an after-sales service, and a network of dealers worldwide, BENETEAU delivers the help and expertise every boat owner needs throughout his boating life maintaining an enduring customer relationship.

36 foot sailboat interior

Other boats from the range

36 foot sailboat interior

4.3 m / 14’1’’

1.7 m / 5’7’’

36 foot sailboat interior

7.29 m / 23’ 11’’

2.5 m / 8’ 2’’

36 foot sailboat interior

7.99 m / 26’ 3’’

2.54 m / 8’ 4’’

36 foot sailboat interior

14.65 m / 48’1’’

4.25 m / 13'11''

36 foot sailboat interior

17.12 m / 56’2’’

5 m / 16’5’’

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36 foot sailboat interior

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Modern classic.

36 foot sailboat interior

Sailing Simplicity at its Finest

Long time single handed sailors love the M36 because within 5 minutes they can be off the dock and sailing. Beginners are equally as enthralled because the M36 is simple to sail, simple to learn on and immediately rewarding with her straightforward sail handling and control lines that are lead under deck to electric winches at the helmsman’s fingertips. In addition, all instruments are intelligently arrayed to quickly provide all the information you need.

36 foot sailboat interior

More Than a Daysailer

Take her overnight! The elegantly appointed optional V-berth, standard fridge and enclosed head make her far more versatile than a mere daysailer. The M36 also has a deep, safe and comfortable cockpit which accommodates six adults allowing you to safely entertain your guests.

36 foot sailboat interior

Beautifully Appointed Interior

No detail inside her cabin is overlooked. Large safety glass windows and a huge foredeck hatch flood the interior with natural light. The Herreshoff style interior is finished elegantly with white bulkheads, solid cherry trim and marvelously varnished hull sheathing. Twin port and starboard settees are ergonomically designed for comfortable lounging (or sleeping), and well placed reading lights invite you to enjoy the morning paper or catch up on some afternoon reading. Generous storage can be found in the forepeak. An alternative layout converts the forepeak space into a beautiful and functional V-Berth for overnight stays.

36 foot sailboat interior

Remarkably Simple to Dock

The M36 does exactly what you tell her to do. She backs straight (no prop walk), turns on a dime and docks like a pro. In short, she maneuvers under power as responsively as she does under sail making her a pleasure to both sail and to bring back to port. Even the fenders are just a ‘clip’ away; pad eyes and stainless steel rub rails are placed on deck for ‘clip-on’ polar-fleece-covered fenders. What could be easier!

36 foot sailboat interior

Perfectly Engineered

At Morris Yachts we’re not just boat builders; we’re sailors and boat owners too. Perhaps this is the reason the M36 is so intuitively designed with the owner in mind. Often overlooked by other builders, access to the engine, through-hulls and electrical systems is superb.

36 foot sailboat interior

As with all sailing boats built by Morris Yachts, the M36 offers peace of mind. You are onboard one of the most seaworthy boats in the world. Setting the industry standard, Morris Yachts’ level of engineering, fit and finish sets the benchmark by which other builders measure themselves. Morris craftsmen and engineers demand only the finest equipment and use the most modern techniques and technology during the boat building process, proving that the beauty of a Morris is not only skin deep but integrated throughout all facets of the vessel.

36 foot sailboat interior

LOA36' 1"
LWL25' 0"
BEAM10' 1"
DRAFT5' 3"
DISPLACEMENT8900 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY20 U.S. gallons
ENGINEYanmar 3YM20C x SD Saildrive unit, 3-cylinder, direct-injected, fresh water-cooled marine diesel engine, maximum 21 hp @ 3600 RPM.
CONSTRUCTIONCarbon-Epoxy & Kevlar™

Images and media on this page may represent optional equipment or previous specifications. Specifications and equipment are subject to change.

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36 foot sailboat interior

Living Aboard a 30-36ft Sailboat: A Guide for the Curious and Adventurous

Living on a 30 foot sailboat

Living Aboard a 30-36ft Sailboat: A Guide for the Curious and the Adventurous

Living aboard a sailboat is a dream for many people. The freedom to travel wherever you want, whenever you want, is an appealing prospect for those looking to escape the rat race and live a simpler life. However, living aboard a sailboat is not without its challenges. There are many things to consider before making the leap, and it is important to be prepared for the lifestyle change.

And it can be done for less than $60,000 . In most cases, less than $40,000. Ready to live, ready to sail, ready to travel.

As we share tips and suggestions for living aboard a 30-36ft sailboat, we will also share pictures of two excellent cruising sailboats : 1985 Catalina 36 mkii and 1987 Tayana Mariner.

On Deck, 1985 Catalina 36 mkii

Consider This, Living on a 30-36ft Sailboat

If you are considering living aboard a sailboat, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to decide what type of boat you want. There are many different types of sailboats on the market, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. You need to choose a boat that is the right size for you and your needs. Need bigger? Check out this Catalina 445 and the xYachts 45 comparison .

You also need to consider the type of sailing you want to do. If you plan on sailing long distances, you will need a boat that is seaworthy and comfortable. If you plan on sailing in coastal waters, you can get away with a smaller boat. For example, do you need a skeg-hung rudder or not? Do you need storage or do you need tankage?

1987 Tayana Mariner is a solid, seaworthy sailboat

Once you have chosen a boat, you need to start thinking about the logistics of living aboard. You will need to find a place to dock your boat, and you will need to figure out how to get your belongings on board. You will also need to stock up on food and supplies.

Tayana Mariner Cockpit

The Joys of a Simpler Life on a Sailboat

Living aboard a sailboat can be a great way to live a more simple and fulfilling life. However, it is important to be prepared for the challenges that come with this lifestyle. If you are willing to put in the work, living aboard a sailboat can be an amazing experience.

Catalina 36 Interior

Tips for Living Aboard a 30-36ft Sailboat

Here are some tips for living aboard a 30-36ft sailboat:

  • Choose a boat that is the right size for you and your needs.
  • Consider the type of sailing you want to do.
  • Start thinking about the logistics of living aboard.
  • Find a place to dock your boat.
  • Figure out how to get your belongings on board.
  • Stock up on food and supplies.

Be prepared for the challenges that come with this lifestyle. As with any lifestyle, there are many challenges along the way. But the benefits of living on a sailboat are pretty damn good.

Interior of Sailboat Tayana Mariner

Benefits of Living on a 30ft Sailboat

Here are some of the benefits of living aboard a 30-36ft sailboat:

  • Freedom to travel wherever you want, whenever you want.
  • Simpler lifestyle.
  • Close connection to nature.
  • Sense of adventure.

Challenges of Living on a Smallish Sailbaot

Here are some of the challenges of living aboard a 30-36ft sailboat:

  • Limited space.
  • Limited amenities.
  • Maintenance and repairs.
  • Weather conditions.

If you are considering living aboard a sailboat, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully. If you are willing to put in the work, living aboard a sailboat can be an amazing experience.

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Living Aboard a 30-36ft Sailboat: A Guide for the Curious and Adventurous

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Pearson 36 Boat Review

Posted by Ed Lawrence | Boat Reviews , Reviews

Pearson 36 Boat Review

This 1970s family cruiser offers a fair turn of speed

pearson 36 sailboat under sail

Bill Shaw was a graduate of the U.S. Maritime Academy at King’s Point and a student at the Westlawn School of Yacht Design. Afterward, he worked 11 years for the prestigious firm of Sparkman & Stephens, where chief designer Al Mason gave him a key role in the development of the Nevins 40 (1954) and the Tartan 27 (1960). His move to Pearson Yachts in 1964 was the beginning of a long relationship.

Bill thrived in Grumman’s corporate environment, becoming both general manager and chief designer. His first boats were the Coaster and Wanderer (1966) and the Renegade (1967), the first Pearson with the rudder detached from the keel. Our review boat , the Pearson 36, came along five years later. It was in production from 1972 to 1976, numbering 103 units. The base price in 1975 was $29,500.

In Bill’s words, “The boat was designed as a performance-oriented cruiser also designed for the race course” in what he described (in those days) as “a world of beamy cruisers and pipe-berth ‘tonners’ ” that left buyers with the choice of going slow comfortably or less slow uncomfortably.

A Comfortable Cockpit

The result is a fast 36-footer that provides crew with comfortable accommodations in the cockpit and down below. The design features a high-aspect-ratio masthead rig that represents the shift from the CCA rule to the IOR era. A tall-rig version was available.

The overhangs are moderate, with a raked stem and fairly broad (by IOR standards) counter transom. Also typical of the IOR are narrow ends. The resulting lack of deck space at the bow is an inconvenience for those using these boats as cruisers.

The hull is nicely proportioned with an overall length of 36 feet 6¾ inches This 1970s family cruiser offers a fair turn of speed by Ed Lawrence Boat review Pearson 36 and a waterline length of 29 feet 2 inches. Sail area is 601 square feet, with only 260 square feet in the mainsail, meaning that large headsails will require some effort if they are to be trimmed tight in a stiff breeze. The sail-area-to-displacement ratio of 17 and the displacement-towaterline- length ratio of 243 are about right for a cruiser with better-than-average performance. ( Note: These numbers may have varied a bit over time, of course, but those were the original specifications. –Eds. )

So, while Bill Shaw paid his respects to the IOR, the 36 was more of a dual-purpose family boat. That was, in fact, the overall design philosophy of Pearson Yachts throughout its history.

The hull is solid fiberglass with integrally bonded bulkheads and the deck is cored with end-grain balsa. Water tanks are made of fiberglass, the fuel tank is fashioned from Monel. The external ballast is lead, and the rudder is hung on a skeg.

Wheel Location

I’d been aboard for at least 11 seconds when I noticed that the wheel is located far forward in the cockpit, a big difference from most boats. It was a welcome sight.

Most wheels are located well aft to enhance crew comfort (such as protection under the dodger), allowing the crew to work winches forward in the cockpit, and relegating the helmsman to a seat at the stern. On many boats, the mainsheet traveler is mounted on the bridge deck, so it is more or less out of the way as well. But this arrangement results in mid-boom sheeting which requires a heavier boom.

On the Pearson 36, the boom is only 12 feet 10 inches, so the mainsheet is attached to the end of the boom. The result: a mainsheet and traveler that can be managed from the helm position. It’s great for singlehanding. And whenever there is crew, the jib and spinnaker trimmers are aft, out of the helmsman’s way, an important consideration when changing course or jibing a spinnaker. A minor downside is that the mainsheet, when on centerline, interferes with companionway access.

While underway during our test sail, the cockpit proved to be large enough for six adults and a child. One can relax against the high-sided coamings and stretch out comfortably. Our review boat has old-fashioned cockpit lockers in which loads of sails and gear can be stowed. In the original manufacturer’s configuration, however, the quarter berth housing took up a lot of the starboard locker.

pearson 36 port settee

Accommodations

The 36’s interior is well-organized and nicely appointed. Heading below is as simple as stepping onto the top companionway step, which measures 20 by 18 inches. That dimension is noteworthy because it provides a convenient perch on which the night watch can scan the horizon without getting too wet or cold. What’s more, this step can be raised to gain access to the top of the engine.

The 11-foot 1-inch beam produces a wealth of space belowdecks coupled with the 6-foot 4-inch headroom. The saloon measures 9 feet on centerline, allowing two people to stand shoulder to- shoulder without feeling as if they’re packed in on a crowded subway ride. The galley and a settee are to starboard; to port is a nav station and second settee.

On our review boat, the table folds out of the way on the bulkhead, freeing space and allowing the settees to slide out and convert to berths. Both berths are more than 6 feet long. A pilot berth to starboard will be popular on a long passage, since sleeping amidships is like being on the pivot point of a teeter-totter. On this boat, its opposite space to port is occupied by a bookshelf and two cabinets. Some Pearson 36s have an additional pilot berth to port.

36 foot sailboat interior

The large area devoted to the saloon unfortunately subtracts space from the forward cabin. The V-berth is long enough and wide enough for a couple, but with the door is closed there’s precious little room for dressing.

The navigation station sports a 25- by 30-inch chart table, just right for folded NOAA charts.

The L-shaped galley in our review boat is fitted with an Adler-Barbour 12-volt ColdMachine refrigerator and two-burner Optimus stove/oven. However, Bill Shaw sneakily threw a curveball when he placed a cupboard door under the sink, giving the impression of accessible storage space there. In fact, the door provides access to the fuel and water filters on the starboard side of the engine, though only a gnome will be comfortable working on that side of the engine.

The 11-foot beam makes for a spacious saloon with pull-out settee, a large table, and pilot berth to starboard centrally located for sleeping when the boat is underway. The settee berths are more than 6 feet long. The table folds up against the main bulkhead. The galley is aft in the starboard quarter. The top companionway step makes a good seat for keeping watch on a cold night.

Also of note is the wet locker to port of the companionway. Although small, it is vented to the engine compartment so wet things will dry.

The head is a small compartment crammed with a toilet, a vanity with a small sink, and a shower.

36 foot sailboat interior

Pearson 36 Performance

The first thing I noticed during a test sail on Puget Sound was that the Pearson 36 motors at 7 knots with the diesel turning at 1,800 rpm — pretty snappy performance. Theoretical hull speed is 7.29 knots. The original engine was a 30-hp gasoline Atomic 4 .

With a full-battened mainsail and an aging genoa, our test boat sailed to weather in 9 to 11 knots of breeze making 6.5 to 7.6 knots, impressive performance for a cruising sailboat. She covered the bottom at about the same speed when we eased sheets and sailed on a broad reach. She’s a tad on the tender side, but once heeled to 20 degrees she buried her shoulder and forged ahead.

Replacing the three-bladed prop with a folding prop should add at least half a knot.

The Pearson 36 carries a PHRF rating of between 135 and 158, depending on the fleet. Rating for the largest fleet, on Narragansett Bay, is 141. For comparison, a Ranger One Ton and an Irwin Competition 37 of the same year rate 120 and 123 respectively.

When shopping for a Pearson 36, be advised that Pearson built a number of 36-foot sailboats before it disappeared from the scene. The first of the 36s is very different from those that followed. The original 36s were built between 1972 and 1976. The next boat, the Pearson 36-2, was in production from 1985 to 1990. (This one is shown on the cover.) Other variants, all designed by Bill Shaw over the years, are the popular Pearson 365 (a ketch), the Person 367 (a cutter), and the Pearson 36 Pilot House. All of these 36-footers are well-loved and actively sought after sailboats.

What I can say for certain is that the Pearson 36 is a well-built, moderate interpretation of the IOR that still looks good and sails well today.

About The Author

Ed Lawrence

Ed Lawrence

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36 foot sailboat interior

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  • Sailboat Reviews

Columbia 36

A bargain-basement racer/cruiser from a granddaddy of american production boatbuilders..

Columbia 36

It’s hard to believe, especially for those of us who learned to sail in the 1960s, that fiberglass sail boats built back then are now a part of history. The “fiberglass revolution” that seems like just yesterday, is now 30 years in the past. A lot has in the world of boatbuilding since then, but many of those old boats are still sailing.

 The Design

The Columbia 36 was in production between 1967 and 1972. One reader estimates that more than 600 were built, making it a very successful model.

The boat was designed by William Crealock, the California naval architect who today is more readily associated with the Pacific Seacraft line of bluewater cruisers bearing his name. The Columbia 36, with its transom stern, aluminum frame windows, and step-down cabin, bears little resemblance to the Crealock 34 and 37, whose canoe sterns and bronze portlights give it a tough, traditional, go-anywhere look.

The Columbia 36 was a pretty slick looking boat in its day, and though its lines have worn reasonably well with time, we’re reluctant to call it a “classic.” The sheer is essentially flat, with modest spring, the sidedecks wide and the cabin nicely proportioned. The rig is on the small side for this size boat.

Underwater, the divided underbody shows a swept-back fin keel that looks like an inverted shark’s dorsal fin, and a skeg leading to the spade rudder. Interestingly, the propeller shaft (not shown in the drawings) is situated at the aft end of this skeg, which places it above and aft of the rudder and nearer the surface than one might expect.

The long cockpit rates highly with owners. One reader said it doesn’t feel crowded even with a crew of eight.

The displacement/length ratio is 261, which is a nice number for good all around performance—too high for a hot rod, but just right for comfortable family sailing.

A subtle point about Columbias is the tooling. A wooden boatbuilder in Maine once told us that one of his objections to fiberglass boats was the absence of crisp, sharp lines and edges. Study a glass boat, especially an old one like the Columbia 36, and you’ll see what he means. Every edge is generously radiused. Of course, some of this is necessary to pull a form from the mold, but not to the extent that Columbia rounded everything. In our opinion, many of the old Columbia’s lose a few points in looks for this reason. An exception would be the Columbia 50, where wooden toerails (instead of the usual rounded, molded fiberglass toerails) go a long way toward alleviating the impression of an amorphous, eggshaped structure.

Construction

Like nearly all production builders in the 1960s, Columbia used standard hull laminates of polyester gelcoat, chopped strand mat and 24-ounce woven roving. Columbia was a pioneer in developing what it called the “unitized interior,” or fiberglass pan, in which the engine beds, stringers and furniture foundations are all molded. This pan is then “tabbed” to the hull with wet fiberglass and is presumed to provide the necessary stiffening.

Finish work goes quickly after such a pan is in place. Teak trim, cut and milled in the woodshop, is simply screwed into place. The cabinet doors, juxtaposed against the gleaming white pan, and ubiquitous pinrails are as telltale of the late 60s and early 70s as shag carpeting.

The hull-to-deck joint is unusual in that it incorporates a double-channel length of aluminum into which the hull and deck flanges are fitted top and bottom. It probably made good engineering sense, but given the complaints about leaking,  and the fact that this method, to our knowledge, has not been used by other builders, suggest it had its problems. Because aluminum has little or no springback, we imagine that bumping a piling could permanently “dent” this channel, causing leaks that would be very difficult to repair properly.

The deck was cored, and to finish the interior a molded headliner was glassed in. The old Columbia brochures are rather funny to read, showing as they do plant workers dressed in lab coats, installing winches, cleats and windows as if building a boat was no more difficult than assembling pieces from a kit. In fact, Columbia fomented this idea, marketing its boats in kit form and calling them Sailcrafter Kits.

The basic structure of the early Columbias was reasonably sound, and sold with a two-year warranty. That many of those boats are still around says something positive about general construction quality.

On the other hand, the boats were pretty much bare bones. No frills. But then, they were more affordable than a comparable boat today. We don’t mind the opportunity to do our own customizing, but the interior pan limits what you can do.

Most readers responding to our Owner’s Questionnaire rate the construction quality of the Columbia 36 as above average. No major problems were reported, though we do have some complaints of deck delamination. In all fairness, separation of the fiberglass skins from the coring is common in many older boats and should not be judged as a weakness peculiar to Columbia. But you should have your surveyor check the deck for soundness before buying.

Miscellaneous complaints include inadequate ventilation, need for a sea hood (“The companionway hatch is a joke”); various leaks at windows and hull-deck joint; and mainsheet and wheel poorly located. The brochure says the keels are lead, but at least one reader said his was iron.

Columbia 36

Performance

The Columbia 36 was intended to be something of a hot boat when it was introduced. In fact, it was offered with a trim tab on the trailing edge of the keel for better control off the wind. A brochure credits the inspiration to the Twelve-Meter Intrepid ‘s “lopsided defense of the America’s Cup.”

We don’t know how successfully the boat was raced, but do know that its PHRF rating is about 162, making it just a hair faster than a Catalina 30 (168) and a Cal 34 (168). None of our readers indicate that they race. One said, “Built for comfort, not speed.” Typical reader ratings for speed are “average” upwind and “above average” off the wind. Several note the importance of sail trim (true of any boat!); annoying weather helm (excessive weather helm is unforgivable, but we suspect there’s always a few whiners in this department who must not understand that a boat without any weather helm is a bear to steer); and one reader noted that the spar doesn’t bend much to optimize sail shape (bendy rigs weren’t in vogue at that time).

The standard sloop rig doesn’t carry a lot of sail. One reader said he had a “tall boy” mast, which presumably was available as an option, as was— surprisingly—a yawl rig.

Columbia 36

Overall, readers have positive remarks about seaworthiness, stability and balance. “The boat is a very good sailer,” wrote one reader, adding that his boat “…has taken all Lake Michigan has to offer and never broken.”

Most Columbia 36s were equipped with Atomic 4 gasoline engines. Several readers complain that the 30-hp. doesn’t move the boat fast enough—about five knots. One reader had an Albin 20-hp. diesel. Another said engine access was very poor: “No room even to check oil.”

Fuel tankage is 29 gallons; water is 44 gallons.

The layout of the Columbia 36 is standard, with a Vberth forward, U-shaped dinette amidships, and quarter berths aft. The sideboard galley puts the cook in the way of traffic, and the sink may have difficulty draining on port tack.

The most unusual feature of the plan is placement of the chart table opposite the head. This certainly isn’t convenient to the cockpit for navigator-helmsman communications, but it does allow two quarter berths instead of just one. Readers note that the boat sleeps an honest six people, and tall ones at that. Headroom is listed at 6′ 3″.

Fiberglass interior pans tend to make for a rather sterilized appearance—the proverbial inside look of a refrigerator or Clorox bottle. We’re not fond of them for several reasons: Pans restrict access to parts of the hull, tend to make the interior noisier and damper, and make it difficult to customize. But, that’s the way it is with most production boats.

The Columbia 36 was a popular boat in the late 60s and early 70s, and still has its fans today. The basic structure is good. The interior is plain. We suspect that prospective buyers will find a wide range of customizing by previous owners. The quality of this workmanship will have a lot to do with your decision to buy or look elsewhere.

The BUC Used Boat Guide lists average prices for Columbia 36s ranging from about $25,000 to $33,000, depending on year and condition. Our original research showed those prices to be reasonably accurate. In today’s market, you should be able to pick up a Columbia 36 in decent shape at a great price. One reader wrote, “The boat can be bought at bargain rates as it is the most underrated boat on the market.”

Prices for all boats tend to be higher on the West Coast than the East Coast. Freshwater boats from Canada and the Great Lakes are most expensive (BUC Research says 25-30 percent more), and those in Florida and nearby states are the least expensive (about 10 percent less).

We think the boat represents an outstanding value for the person who wants the most boat for the least money. On the other hand, it suffers from the usual economies and slap-together techniques of large production builders. And the design is beginning to look a bit dated. We doubt that you’ll make any money on the boat.

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Another Fantastic Interior Remodel on an Old Sailboat

36 foot sailboat interior

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First Sailing Uma, now this Danish guy. Maybe it's just me, but I find white on a sailboat interior, to just work wonders for the livability, sense of airiness and space. It's brighter, more modern. And just look at the details. For a budget operation, this guy did a fantastic job. I think if the 31 foot boat I looked at last week had an interior like this, I would have had an entirely different view on its livability!  

For a bit there I was thinking 30ft would be too small for me. Now I'm not so sure. I would definitely like to be in his shoes in this video!  

36 foot sailboat interior

I agree on the brightness, but I’m overwhelmed by a no-frills feeling. It reminds me of research vessels, so I guess institutional is another associated word. The wood trim offsets that some, but I prefer the reverse...mostly wood with some white to break it up.  

SuperC said: I agree on the brightness, but I'm overwhelmed by a no-frills feeling. It reminds me of research vessels, so I guess institutional is another associated word. The wood trim offsets that some, but I prefer the reverse...mostly wood with some white to break it up. Click to expand...

36 foot sailboat interior

Matter of taste.. Wood interiors are vestiges from when boats were not being made with fiberglass. Wood is a sensible material for trim regardless of what the joinery panels are made from. It can be contrast wood color/grain or painted as the (plywd) panels are. Wood finish is more forgiving to wear.... though probably more difficult to make a cosmetic repair. Plastic laminate is quite durable and it comes in solids and wood grain. Heck bulkheads are plywood and the face is a "veneer" usually... wood or laminate or a painted. They say wood is cozier.... like a paneled den or something, Few boats will have ALL wood interiors... usually some contrast on the head liner. Many like the interior to be darker to escape and contrast from the brightness of being in the cockpit.  

SanderO said: Many like the interior to be darker to escape and contrast from the brightness of being in the cockpit. Click to expand...

No boat here. Just beginning to learn to sail on dinghies w no interior at all. I’ve been doing all the online shopping for our dream, though, so my perspective isn’t real-world. I guess I should add that I really like the look of the newer cats w lots of white interior because they feel more like an apartment on land than does a monohull, although they are well out of our price range. And mono with a deck saloon seems like it would be bright and roomy no matter the finishes. Ultimately, yes, it is absolutely taste specific. And the advice I keep seeing is get on the boats to see what kind of layout you like. COVID just makes that hard :-(  

SuperC said: No boat here. Just beginning to learn to sail on dinghies w no interior at all. I've been doing all the online shopping for our dream, though, so my perspective isn't real-world. I guess I should add that I really like the look of the newer cats w lots of white interior because they feel more like an apartment on land than does a monohull, although they are well out of our price range. And mono with a deck saloon seems like it would be bright and roomy no matter the finishes. Ultimately, yes, it is absolutely taste specific. And the advice I keep seeing is get on the boats to see what kind of layout you like. COVID just makes that hard :-( Click to expand...

36 foot sailboat interior

White with varnished wood trim is the Herreshoff style (named after Herreshoff who designed his interiors this way). It was popular even in the wooden boat days. It is only a matter of preference. Personally, I prefer this style, but can also appreciate fine varnished interiors. Mark  

36 foot sailboat interior

Yeah it's surprising how a little white, especially on the roof, can brighten things up and make the space feel larger. Also that's a nice layout BTW. I like the aft forward facing heads a lot. And the open aft quarter birth looks a lot nicer and more usable when its open like that, unlike so many others that are dark little enclosed 'caves'. Nice boat!  

Attachments

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SanderO said: My interior is all teak.. but the headline is white gel coat GRP... easy to maintain... What I am not crazy about is the carpet bits above the cabinets applied to the inside of the top sided. I can't think of a good alternative material... except maybe white plastic laminate... or maybe a light quilted/padded fabric. View attachment 137121 Click to expand...

I think a white ceiling might just be added to my official boat criteria ;-) This is starting to look mandatory!  

Automobile headliner material might do the trick. Easy to work with  

this??? LUVFABRICS Champion Diamond Quilted Faux Leather Vinyl Foam Backed- Automotive, Headliner, Furniture Upholstery, DIY Projects, Headboards, Home Decor & More! 54" Wide (White)  

Back in the heyday of boatbuilding, there were different priorities to designing. Racing was far more popular than it is now, and the creature comforts were pretty great for the time. But we've changed how we use our boats now, the uses are far more individual tastes. It's a tough one for builders. Not many people buy new boats, the easiest avenue for builders is to design for the charter market I imagine. There may be a time when scarcity of boats leads to renovations akin to old houses. I think that has already begun, but it may accelerate in the near future. It's hard for many to come up with $50,000 for a boat in fine order. So the option is to spend $20,000 on a fixer upper and perhaps put $10,000 a year towards it to get it where you like it. In the end, you'll spend a lot more than that $50,000 for the boat in good spec, but that wasn't an option, so you spread out the costs over the years, not unlike any big purchase that would be financed - sort of a mortgage to oneself.  

Ninefingers said: Back in the heyday of boatbuilding, there were different priorities to designing. Racing was far more popular than it is now, and the creature comforts were pretty great for the time. But we've changed how we use our boats now, the uses are far more individual tastes. It's a tough one for builders. Not many people buy new boats, the easiest avenue for builders is to design for the charter market I imagine. There may be a time when scarcity of boats leads to renovations akin to old houses. I think that has already begun, but it may accelerate in the near future. It's hard for many to come up with $50,000 for a boat in fine order. So the option is to spend $20,000 on a fixer upper and perhaps put $10,000 a year towards it to get it where you like it. In the end, you'll spend a lot more than that $50,000 for the boat in good spec, but that wasn't an option, so you spread out the costs over the years, not unlike any big purchase that would be financed - sort of a mortgage to oneself. Click to expand...

Weekend use, and a weeks use is different than longterm The post about 10 people eating is spot on Nobody would keep that ongoing for long You become creative with storage  

Pretty much everything you want to do with a boat, I have done or am about to do. On my old CS27, I added a connecting insert between the two setees. It made the entire center of the cabin into a queen sized bed. Roll off one side for the washroom, and the other side for the fridge/kitchen. I did this in this the 4th year of ownership, and it very significantly changed the boat. It became a lounge area during the day with throw cushions for me and my dog. I never slept in the v-birth again. Often I would leave the insert in place for days at a time, and then chuck it in the v-birth when I took guests out. I had it proffesionaly upholstered for a whopping $200 bucks. Just some 3/4" ply and foam. On my new boat I will be trying to move the head to the aft quarter - we shall see if I have the room, (Tartan 34). I get it in a couple weeks, (I have not seen it in person). I don't have a picture of the insert, but here is the salon. A back cushion filled the left cavity and the new insert (about 2' x 5') filled the middle. FYI floor is laminate instead of the old wood. I also moved the sink and added a bench to the cockpit. I am a carpenter, so it was more or less professionally done by me. The previous owner spent about $25,000 plus around 1000 hours of his own time. It is a legendary CS27 with it's own 200 page website, (which is down now, working with the old owner to get it back it up maybe). I spent about $15,000 on it. I sold it for $10,000 US a month ago, (same as I paid for it). Ravat is her name. EDIT: I stand corrected, the blog is back up: The CS27 Ravat Chronicles . The dates are off by 7 years due to reposting I guess.  

Floor Hardwood Wood Property Flooring

Can you share the name of those boats ?!  

The first is an old Northshore 27 that had an extensive refit by Jerry Hendrey of Careening Cove Boat Brokerage & Slipway in Sydney. He then called it an Ultimate 270. The second image is just something I found online some time ago. No idea what the boat is. The third image is an Alerion Express 28. The circular bulkhead with sliding doors is a Dragonfly 25 trimaran. The modern interior is a B60.  

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COMMENTS

  1. Islander 36: A Cruising Sailboat for All Time

    Smaller boats like the 27 footer came out first and at some point Islander sold a 37 foot kit boat that morphed into the 36 foot production sailboat which in turn evolved into this shapely and popular classic. ... as were interior details such as refrigeration and battery chargers. Deck & Rigging. The I36 sail area is about 600 square feet on a ...

  2. Beneteau First 36: The Top 10 Best Boats Review

    The new Beneteau First 36 that debuted at Annapolis last fall checks all these boxes, and more. Enough that we here at SAIL happily anointed it one of our 2023 Top 10 Best Boats winners. This is a remarkably versatile craft. For a mass-production boat, it is quite light but also very strong, with a purely race-boat-quality build regimen.

  3. First 36

    The new First 36 has about the same living volume as the legendary First 40.7. Simple, comfortable and versatile, the First 36 interior was developed around three-cabin cruising functionality. Its most notable feature is the large central fridge with a removable cutting board, making this sailboat's galley the largest of her class.

  4. J/111 Offshore Speedster- High-Performance 36 ft sailboat

    The J/111 is a sleek, speedy, one-design 36 footer that is the ultimate day sailor, racer and weekender. J/111 is an easy-to-handle, comfortable sailboat that accelerates quickly, slices to windward at 7+ knots and hits double-digit speeds downwind. Performance to date in a wide variety of sailing conditions has been nothing short of remarkable.

  5. Beneteau First 36, Sailing World 2023 Boat of the Year

    Beneteau First 36 2023 Boat of the Year. Stated purpose: Shorthanded racing, club racing, coastal cruising. Crew: Solo to six. Praise for: Build quality, deck layout, versatility. Est. price as ...

  6. ISLANDER 36

    Westerbeke L-25 - Diesel. Pathfinder - Diesel. Yanmar - Diesel. It is said that the molds for the ISLANDER 36 were purchased by Newport Offshore Yachts of CA, USA in 1986. But it is not known if any other boats were built after this date. SHOAL KEEL: Draft: 4.9'/1.45m. Displacement: 13,600 lbs. Ballast: 5,600 lbs.

  7. Hunter 36

    Designer Glenn Henderson/ Hunter Design Team. Base Price (sailaway) $147,000. Phone (386) 462-3077. Website www.huntermarine.com. More: 2001 - 2010, 31 - 40 ft, Coastal Cruising, marlow-hunter, Sailboat Reviews, Sailboats. This evolution of a previous Hunter success was rethought by a good ole' southern boy.

  8. Islander 36 Association

    About the Islander 36 Association. The Islander 36 was designed by Alan Gurney to be a fast racing boat with a good IOR rating as well as comfortable to sail and cruise. The boat has proven to be very well-suited to San Francisco Bay conditions. ... 36 ft. 1 in. LWL: 28 ft. 3 in. Beam: 11 ft. 2 in. Draft: 6 ft. 1 in. Displacement: 13,000 lbs ...

  9. Islander 36 Review

    Smaller boats like the 27 footer came out first and at some point Islander sold a 37 foot kit boat that then morphed into the 36 foot production boat that became the shapely and popular classic. ... For example, folding props and shoal draft keels were optional as were interior details such as refrigeration and battery chargers. Cockpit, Deck ...

  10. Islander 36

    Islander 36 is a 36′ 1″ / 11 m monohull sailboat designed by Alan Gurney and built by Islander / Tradewind Yachts between 1971 and 1986. ... The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more. Formula. D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  11. Beneteau First 36 review: Is this the best First yacht in years?

    The Beneteau First 36 is designed to hit double figures in around 14 knots wind and we noted how it starts planing in the high 8-knot boatspeeds in around 12 knots wind. It also has the stability ...

  12. First 36

    First 36 is the first mainstream racer/cruiser where onboard comfort doesn't affect the experience of high performance sailing. ... We have made this possible through a carefully placed high-tech and meticulously designed deck and interior ergonomics, which is bringing the most important features of grand prix racing boats into the hands of a ...

  13. M36 Daysailer by Morris Yachts

    When the M36 Modern Classic was first introduced in 2004, she was the only daysailer that featured a self-tacking jib, sail handling systems and helm control pods that are now often copied, but never perfected. Morris Yachts' quality construction, together with her Sparkman & Stephens design pedigree, guarantees a boat of lasting value that ...

  14. The 36

    The Hunter 36 is a stunning cruiser. The updated window line gives this yacht a sleek feel, but the improvements don't end there. The hull design has been improved, featuring a wider beam further aft as well as a more profound bow hollow. The result of this hull design is a longer dynamic waterline, which means more speed. The deck features a sleek, modern profile with large side windows ...

  15. Used Boat Review: Gulfstar 36

    The interior of the boat is roomy, comparable to other spacious cruisers of the era, like the Catalina 36. The arrangement, again, is conventional. ... Gulfstar, even in 1984, seemed to subscribe to the foolish idea that a 36-foot cruiser could live and sleep six or seven people. A couple using the boat will likely convert the large quarter ...

  16. Living Aboard a 30-36ft Sailboat: A Guide for the Curious and

    Be prepared for the challenges that come with this lifestyle. As with any lifestyle, there are many challenges along the way. But the benefits of living on a sailboat are pretty damn good. Tayana Mariner is a unique interior design. Benefits of Living on a 30ft Sailboat. Here are some of the benefits of living aboard a 30-36ft sailboat:

  17. Catalina 36 MK II

    Owners' main complaint is with interior woodwork. By. Darrell Nicholson - Published: May 7, 2001. 0. Facebook. ... Like most of the company's boats, the Catalina 36 was designed by the in-house design team under the direction of Douglas. ... Looking to buy a 42-46 foot sailboat? Considering a Beneteau Oceanis 45 or the newer Beneteau 46.1 ...

  18. Pearson 36 Boat Review

    The 36's interior is well-organized and nicely appointed. Heading below is as simple as stepping onto the top companionway step, which measures 20 by 18 inches. ... When shopping for a Pearson 36, be advised that Pearson built a number of 36-foot sailboats before it disappeared from the scene. The first of the 36s is very different from those ...

  19. CATALINA 36

    36.33 ft / 11.07 m: LWL: ... with modified deck and interior. Sailboat Forum. View All Topics: ... to the bottom of the keel or fin. Like the LWL, it will vary with the weights of fuel, water, stores and equipment. A boat's actual draft is usually somewhat more than the original designed or advertised draft. For boats with adjustable keels ...

  20. Columbia 36

    The "fiberglass revolution" that seems like just yesterday, is now 30 years in the past. A lot has in the world of boatbuilding since then, but many of those old boats are still sailing. The Design. The Columbia 36 was in production between 1967 and 1972. One reader estimates that more than 600 were built, making it a very successful model.

  21. Islander 36 boats for sale

    Offering the best selection of Islander boats to choose from. ... 36; Islander 36 boats for sale. Save Search. Clear Filter Make / Model: Islander - 36. Location. By Radius ... Alle 25 km 50 km 100 km 200 km 300 km 500 km 1000 km 2000 km 5000 km. from your location. Condition. All. New. Used. Length. to. ft. m. Price. to. USD. Year. to. Class ...

  22. Is this 36 foot sailboat worth saving? Who designed it?

    The first owner was a research doctor at Wake Forest Medical Center, Chuck Lloyd. Dr. Lloyd built and commissioned the boat in Matthews Virginia. It was designed by a University of Michigan naval architect as a custom racing vessel. She is fast, carries a lot of sail, and turns on a dime.

  23. Another Fantastic Interior Remodel on an Old Sailboat

    9589 posts · Joined 2007. #4 · Oct 4, 2020. Matter of taste.. Wood interiors are vestiges from when boats were not being made with fiberglass. Wood is a sensible material for trim regardless of what the joinery panels are made from. It can be contrast wood color/grain or painted as the (plywd) panels are.