The Sparkman and Stevens 34 (S&S 34) is every part the classic yacht, with eye catching lines and good sailing performance while being well mannered - there is a lot to admire. Built in the early period of mass GRP yacht production the boats were substantially built and the interiors finished in the same style as the the traditional timber designs which went before. This quality of build has stood the test of time well. The boats now offering great value for money.
PENNANT has been in syndicate ownership since she was new and is now reluctantly offered for sail having provided many happy years of ownership. She benefits from having been fastidiously maintained and boasts a historic service log which will be an invaluable reference going forward. A chance to grab a good example of this classic design at a realistic price. Currently lying ashore here at Ardfern.
The S&S 34 was conceived shortly after Olin Stephens designed the 1967 and 1970 Americas Cup victor Intrepid which interestingly was the first 12 Metre to have a separate rudder and keel, an innovation the S&S 34 retained. The design was commissioned in 1968 by a British yachtsman by the name of Michael Winfield. His boat Morningtown was a 36 foot wooden one tonner designed for RORC racing, it impressed him so much he asked Sparkman and Stephens to prepare plans for a production boat. The S&S 34 was the result. The first boat produced was Morning Cloud which went on to win its class in the Sydney Hobart in 1969.
Stephens recounts Winfield, “He set up shop in England, I’m not sure how many he built, a dozen or so, but he was not an experienced boat builder, and he didn’t continue the work. The moulds and tooling were sold to some other builder there, and they built a few more there.”
Thus Winfield & Partners sold one of its two molds to a boatbuilding concern called Aquafibre who continued production until 1974. These hulls were often finished by other boatyards. Some boats found their way to the US where they were sold as the Palmer Johnson 34.
However it was in Australia that the S&S prospered. Downunder, the second set of Winfield molds were owned by Swarbrick Brother Yachts in Western Australia and between the years of 1969 – 1984 the three Swarbrick brothers Tom, Terry and Harley built 34 boats. The company eventually failed under bankruptcy and the molds were then sold to Maybrook Marine of NSW in 1986 who produced a further 4 boats over the following three years. The molds were then stored until 2003 when they found their way back to Western Australia by way of Mike Finn of Cottesloe Yachts, and under consultation with Sparkman and Stephens, boat production was adapted to use the latest in foam sandwich with vacuum infusion technology. These new “Constellation” class boats sold by Cottesloe Yachts were introduced in 2004 and are in current production, built by an all new Swarbrick company called Swarbrick and Swarbrick, owned by Tom Swarbrick’s son Glenn. These new boats are 25% lighter in the hull, are physically stiffer, and exhibit better impact strength.
In total, between 50 – 100 boats were built in the UK and Glenn Swarbricks reports 126 boats coming off the mould in Australia, of which 3 are of the latest “Constellation” class boats built with the latest foam-sandwich GRP technology.'
Extract from Sparkman & Stephens 34. By W.L. April 2016. www.bluewaterboats.org
'Designed in 1968 by Olin Stephens – the most noted yacht designer of his era – this 34-footer has a stack of world firsts and inter-national race trophies to its name. S&S34s have won the Sydney-Hobart, Fastnet, the Round Britain & Ireland, and Round Ireland races and, most importantly, proved themselves as fast, reliable long-distance cruisers. Remarkably, for a design of its age, S&S34s are still in demand, with new boats being built by Cottesloe Yachts and Swarbrick & Swarbrick in Western Australia......
The S&S34’s rapid rise in popularity was mainly thanks to one of Winfield’s first customers. Former Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, a relative newcomer to sailing at the time, was so impressed by the design at the 1969 London Boat Show that he ordered one. Later that year he won the gruelling Sydney-Hobart Race on board her, and became only the second Briton to win the event in its history. And so began the S&S34’s distinguished racing career. For the next four years, S&S34s dominated the winners’ podium in the Sydney-Hobart and many other international events......
Under sail the S&S34 puts on a reliable and often exciting performance. They’re renowned for being wet boats, particularly to windward, yet in heavy weather will be satisfyingly sure-footed and carry their sail well........
Below they offer generous accommodation, and good standing headroom throughout. The positioning of the engine well forward, just behind the mast, adds to the sense of space and helps keep the weight in the centre of the boat.......
For its time, the S&S34 was very advanced, yet it has since proved itself to be an enduring design, and a classic cruiser-racer that is hard to beat.Single-handedS&S34s have an impressive track record for single-handed sailing. In 1981-82, Australian Jon Sanders became the first person to make two consecutive circumnavigations on board his S&S34 Perie Banou......
Extract from Sprakman & Stephens 34. By Vanessa Bird. www.classicboat.co.uk
'Over 40 years on, the S&S 34 is still a quick boat. The hull is easily driven and by the numbers only 20hp is required to drive the boat at hull-speed, however owners report less in practice.
When the boat was introduced the S&S 34 was regarded as having exceptional speed to windward and in heavy weather. Even today the boat is hard to beat to windward in more than 10 knots, in fact owners have reported throwing in tacks of 80 degrees.
Her 50% ballast ratio results in a stiff boat, with the first reef thrown in at hefty 25 knots of wind. As the boat heels, the waterline length increases significantly; according to Olin’s design spec, the optimum angle of heel is 23.5 degrees, but don’t expect a dry ride, the S&S 34 is a wet boat like most Sparkman & Stephens designs of that era.'
Extract from Sparkman & Stephens 34. By W.L. April 2016. www.bluewaterboats.org
Now regarded as a classic the S&S 34's at the time of the boats inception were built using the then latest GRP technology.
From the era of classic yacht design the rig has by modern standards a relatively small mainsail and large overlapping genoa.
Mainsail and genoa are annually serviced by sail makers.
The GRP deck moulding is a single piece moulding including the coachroof structure, decks and cockpit. Still finished in the original gelcoat the moulding is finished with non-slip texture panels on the side decks.
Below decks the boat has been fitted out in the traditional style with stout joinery work of teak on beech framing, finished in a gloss varnish. Clever use has been made of space throughout the interior to maximise storage space. The stepped coachroof design adds useful head room in way of the galley and chart table.
Forepeak - Laid out in the traditional fashion it provides two single berths in a V-formation. Bunks are of a good length. Bin type lockers provided beneath bunks with overhead lockers outboard and storage nets forward.
Heads - Bi-fold doors separate the heads from the forepeak and saloon when closed off, opening up the compartment to the full width. Head compartment itself is on the portside with a forward facing marine toilet and ceramic sink outboard. A hanging locker is provided outboard to starboard.
Saloon - The layout of the saloon is a non-standard with the engine box located centrally at the forward end and drop leaf saloon table immediately adjacent. The passage forward is on the starboard side of the engine box. Bench type settees are provided along port and starboard side, both converting to berths when required. An additional pilot berth is provided outboard of the port settee. Storage with in the saloon is provide in a selection of lockers outboard of the seating, a large locker is discretly hidden on the main bulkhead also neatly shelved.
Nav Station - Immediately to port of the companionway steps is the aft facing chart table with dedicated navigators seat allowing easy communication with those in the cockpit. Instrument displays are readily to hand with chart storage provided within the table and additional cave lockers outboard. A sizable storage space is provided aft of the chart table.
Galley - Located opposite the Nav Station the galley is appointed with gas cooker, stainless steel sink and basic worktop space. Secured storage is provided outboard for crockery with further storage beneath the worktop.
Located forward in the saloon the engine is concealed within an engine box immediately aft of the main bulkhead. The box dismantles readily to provide excellent access around the engine for servicing purposes.
In this case we are acting as brokers only. The Owner is not selling in the course of a business. whilst every care has been taken in their preparation , the correctness of these particulars is not guaranteed. The Purchaser is strongly advised to check the particulars and where appropriate at their expense to employ a qualified Marine Surveyor to carry out a survey and/or to have an engine trial conducted which if conducted by us shall not imply any liability for such engine on our part.
This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.