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Old 03-07-2011, 06:53   #16
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Re: Swan 36 1969 - Is It a Good Boat to Start With?

Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Who needs an orgy when you can have PASSION?............i2f

I am willing to try both and make a comparison


Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:20   #17
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Re: Swan 36 1969 - Is It a Good Boat to Start With?

That's a beautiful classic Swan. If you are willing to upfit her, go for it. Or find one that some guy just spent a ton of money on that is turn key, ready to go.
A classic boat like that is more than just 'the look' as Markj says. She has soul and you respect her. You become part of the legacy of the boat, you are just the current owner. Her element is blue water.
A modern clorox bottle Hunter or catalina is just a piece of plastic, heartless. These boats are at home at the dock.

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Old 03-07-2011, 09:18   #18
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Re: Swan 36 1969 - Is It a Good Boat to Start With?

I cam close to buying one 20 years ago due to its siren lure. Unfortunately, at the time, it needed a whole new interior, a new motor (was the original sea-water cooled volvo) and rigging. Lots of brightwork (part of its allure, I know). The real deal killer for me was the draft, which, I believe, was something close to 8 or 9 feet - a bit to deep for where I like to cruise.

Good Luck with your decision - If you go for it, post some pics!
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:59   #19
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Re: Swan 36 1969 - Is It a Good Boat to Start With?

An older boat should have the chain plates pulled, inspected and replaced if evidence of crevice corrosion. You won't be able to see the corrosion till the plates are out of the boat. Standing rigging should be redone if swage fittings are more than about 10 years old. Sails need to be flown and inspected to check for shape and condition. Old sails aren't necessarily bad but if they've been out in the sun a lot and carried in too strong a wind, even a fairly new sail can be crap.

If the engine is the original salt water cooled Volvo, it may need a rebuild soon. Engine was designed for use in salt water so everything that touched salt water is replacable, cylinders and heads, but parts may be costly and hard to find. Engine is rebuildable in the boat except for the main bearings which could save you some time, effort and money. Love those old Volvos especially since you can hand crank them which I did for 10 years.

The rest of the boat is probably pretty much bullet proof as long as it hasn't had long term leaks onto plywood. Bringing the interior back could be a lot of spit and polish. Be careful of plywood pieces as you could easily sand through the exterior veneer which will mean you'll have to paint it to look good. That's a plus in my opinion as I like the Herreshoff look of painted flat surfaces and varnished trim. If the gel coat is getting porous and thin, you may want to repaint her. That is a costly undertaking if you have a yard do everything.

As far as value, check what the Hinckley Pilot 35s are selling for. They are a comparable boat from an equally respected builder. If the boat is in rough conditon, wouldn't expect to pay much more than $20,000 as you could easily put that much and more into her. I've been redoing a Pearson 35 and it's amazing how much things add up even using Ebay and swap meets to buy most of the upgrades.

Newer boats have more interior volume though much of it is unusable for a sea boat. The worst thing is they are butt ugly with the emphasis on the butt. If they were a date, wouldn't take them anywhere I'd be seen in public.

As far as sailing ability, it's an S&S design. That says it all. Should go to weather like a demon. Will do okay off the wind but not a great surfer. Should have no handling issues and be a great sea boat.
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:29   #20
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Re: Swan 36 1969 - Is It a Good Boat to Start With?

The Swan 36 1967 - 1970
LOA: 35.5 feet
LWL: 25.5 feet
Beam: 9.64 feet

A modern boat
LOA 36.5
LWL 31.1
Beam 12.6

Good evening.

The Swan is a sailor's boat.
The 36 was pure Sparkman and Stevens.
One thing is for sure. You will not drown sailing that boat off shore.

Proper sea berths that can be used while sailing upwind. Keel weight right at the bottom. When the pooh hits the rig, you'll be much happier in that vintage Swan than in any marina hopper with its wide beam, wide backside etc.

I can talk from experience. Being caught out in mid-Atlantic in a Swan is just that much less stressful than on something else. You hardly notice the gale because the boat just takes it in it's stride.

If you want to get that 36, get it.

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Old 06-07-2011, 12:38   #21
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Re: Swan 36 1969 - Is It a Good Boat to Start With?

The 36 is very strong good sailing boat. But it is small. I would not want to be on it for any prolonged sail with 3 other people. The price sounds nuts!
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Old 14-07-2011, 15:13   #22
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Re: Swan 36 1969 - Is It a Good Boat to Start With?


I bought a 1968 Swan 36 as my first sailboat last November in the Caymans. I have sailed her about 2000 miles including in winds up to 40kts and she handles a force 8 gale with reefed main and jib just great.

Mine was in a bit better shape than you say the one your are considering. The engine runs good but all the gauges and warning buzzers didn't work so lots of rewiring. Interior, rigging and some electronics are pretty good.

This boat was all set up for cruising with a Monitor wind vain and and Raymarine tiller auto pilot.

I think this is a great boat if you are considering off shore cruising. It is definitely a seaworthy basic design. The thing I love about this old Swan is that the basic boat is so well built. You have a lot to work with. I have found no basic issues with my boat although it is over 40 years old. I had it out of the water last month and the hull is in great shape no blisters etc.

Based on what I payed for mine the boat you describe would be worth about $20,000 US in my opinion, as earlier suggested.

Good luck.


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