Now that we have a section for boat reviews, and since I have owned my boat for a few years, I figured now would be a good time to write a review.
The O'day 35 is a typical 'racer / cruiser' of the mid 80's. It's a typical production boat. Build quality is acceptable, it wasn't designed to cross oceans, and I don't plan on it.
Value - You should be able to purchase an O'day 35 for mid 30's, low 40's, depending on condition of course.
Room - With 35' LOD and a 11.5' beam there is room for people and gear. My family of five can carry enough stuff for a week and still have room to move below and not feel like we are top of each other.
Comfort - The boat has hot / cold pressure water, 2 burner propane stove with oven, comfortable setees / berths, large head, wide decks, decent cockpit space. Sailing handling is fine - lines led aft, big enough winches, anchor roller and locker, etc.
Swim platform - my boat is kept on a mooring and the swim platform makes it easy to board the boat from a dingy. Additionally, in the summer we like to swim off the boat and the platform makes getting back aboard easy. If you don't care about the swim platform, the O'day 34 is the same boat minus the swim platform, and it's cheaper too.
Shoal Draft - I have the shoal keep with a draft of around 4.5'. That allows me to get into skinny water. I can anchor very close to the beach and get into marinas like the 79st Boat Basin in NY city (5' at low water).
Sailing Performance - With the shoal keel the boat isn't great upwind. It's good at reaching, but if you want to race get the deep keel (or a different boat). I race on a 1980 C&C 34, and that boat is much better upwind than my boat.
Motoring performance - I have the Universal M25 with 21 HP. With a fixed 3 blade prop and clean bottom I can reach hull speed in flat water. Add chop and the speed slows down to 6 kts. Performance is OK but not great.
Engine access - you have access on two sides (once the quarter berth is emptied out and a panel removed). It's difficult to climb down into the lazarette to reach things.
Some seacocks are in bad locations. The engine raw water intake is WAY down in a locker. I can't easily reach it, so it stays open (which makes me a little nervous). Other seacocks are under the v berth (for the head direct discharge and holding tank pumpout, so they aren't used as much, but are still difficult to get at).
The ice boxes are strange shaped and difficult to use. I guess that is sort of normal for a boat, but still not easy to use. My boat has Seafrost BD refrigeration and the ice trays take up more room.
I would definitely buy this boat again. For my budget it has all the features I wanted. I can single hand it easily (with autopilot) or take my family out for a week.
Hope someone finds this useful.