PRICE £35-£45,000 YEAR 1980-1997
Not unlike the Nicholson 35 in both hull lines and reputation, the Rival 36 is a tough, solid yacht designed for passagemaking in virtually all weathers and sea conditions. The 36 slotted between the slightly cramped 34 and the larger 38 ketch, with 78 in total being launched. Possibly a squeeze on such a tight budget, but you get a lot more space in the R36 than the older R34, and there’s a good chance you could find one that’s already equipped for bluewater cruising.
She was offered as a masthead sloop or with a cutter rig option. Keel choice was between a deep lead-ballasted fin, a shallower Scheel keel or a centreboard (R36C). Under sail she’s predictable and easily handled, although like her predecessors, she’s not the fastest boat around. As with most heavy displacement cruisers, she’s designed more to get you safely across oceans than to race around the cans.
Wheel or tiller-steered, she has a large, deep cockpit with high coamings and excellent stowage for deck gear. Access along the wide side decks is good, assisted by high teak-capped gunwales and long handrails on the coachroof, and the foredeck big enough for handling the headsails and ground tackle, which can be securely stowed in the large, deep anchor locker when sailing.
Below decks, she is warm and woody and retains the trademark Rival ‘keyhole’ bulkhead separating the superbly designed and well-appointed galley and navigation areas from the saloon. The twin-leaf saloon table has fiddles and can seat six for a meal, while the settees are straight and make comfortable 1.91m-long sea berths with lee cloths. Most had a pipe cot above as well. Maximum headroom is 1.91m/6ft 3in and stowage is good, thanks in part to the watertank being above the keel.
With no double cabin aft and only a quarterberth, the forecabin provides a comfortable vee berth with ample floorspace to dress, plenty of lockers to stow your clothing and even a dressing table. The heads/shower compartment is also roomy, and Jack and Jill doors offer access from both saloon and forecabin.
A heavy displacement boat, the Rival 36 is capable but not sporty