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  #1  
Old 10-22-2008
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San Juan 34 ?

Any one familiar with these boats? Found one, 1983, in seemingly very good condition, two sets of sails (one cruising, one racing), yanmar diesel, freshly varnished teak inside and out, for $21k (with a 10' whaler + outboard too).
Seems like a good price. I've been looking at Catalinas 30 and 34, and Irwin Citations 34, and HUnter 34s too (yes I know).
But - what and how are San Juans?
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Old 10-22-2008
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The SJ 34 began life as Crown 34, produced in Vancouver BC. They are designed by a Hien Druhyzen (sp?) and are a pretty typical late 70s somewhat-IOR-influenced cruiser/racer. So if you search YW etc for Crown 34s you'll get to see more examples, and get an idea of what SJ may have changed from the original.

The Crowns have stood the test of time, with several in our area still racing and cruising. What the San Juan built boats are like I can't really say but if they followed the original scantlings then they're probably fine for what most of us do with our boats. That is a fair bit of boat for the money....

It is of the "skinny main big genoa" era, so will have the habits associated with the same. A bit of a dancer dead downwind, I'd expect, when the wind pipes up. But careful sail selection and heading choices makes that pretty manageable.

The Crown 34 was refined into the Sceptre 36 and Sceptre Yachts was formed, and Sceptre has a pretty solid rep, esp for their pilothouse 41/43s.
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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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Last edited by Faster; 10-22-2008 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 10-24-2008
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San Juan 34

I have one. The designer strayed somewhat from the IOR formula so there isn't as much bumping as some boats built to the rule. It's not as squirrely downwind as most IOR boats but you will have to pay attention in steep following seas. I can't speak for the Crowns or Sceptres but the San Juans are very solid built boats. The Clark built boats (San Juan) have a spade rudder and an inward facing flange hull/deck joint and the aluminum toe rail is bolted through the flange for structural rigidity.
I have spoken to several who have made Pacific crossings with no other mods than adding auto pilots. Ours sails to weather brilliantly and is also pretty fast downwind.
I would recommend one to a friend except I am very competive by nature and it would probably start an arms race
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Old 10-24-2008
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Clark Boat Works bought the molds from Crown in 1980, as Crown was dismantling to re-imerge as Sceptre [thanks to Hein Driehuyzen]. The Crown 34 was essentially left alone & became the San Juan 34. Only minor changes were made internally. The hull shape was still a.k.a. the Crown 34 racer/cruiser.

The deep 6 ft. keel on the SJ 34/Crown 34 made it faster than many competitors. The 34' generally had a PHRF 130.

Some of the SJ 34's were built as racers with pipe berths; while others were intended as cruisers with more finished interiors. The racer/cruiser was a popular model for Clark Boat Works. But Clark Boat Works went out of business by 1984 & production of the SJ 34 was ceased.
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Old 10-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjuan2R View Post
Clark Boat Works bought the molds from Crown in 1980, as Crown was dismantling to re-imerge as Sceptre [thanks to Hein Driehuyzen]. The Crown 34 was essentially left alone & became the San Juan 34. Only minor changes were made internally. The hull shape was still a.k.a. the Crown 34 racer/cruiser.

The deep 6 ft. keel on the SJ 34/Crown 34 made it faster than many competitors. The 34' generally had a PHRF 130.

Some of the SJ 34's were built as racers with pipe berths; while others were intended as cruisers with more finished interiors. The racer/cruiser was a popular model for Clark Boat Works. But Clark Boat Works went out of business by 1984 & production of the SJ 34 was ceased.
The Clark Co. did shut down in 1984 but another company continued to build the SJ 34 until 1988. Besides minor changes to the interior, Clark also removed the rudder skeg and from photos it looks like they changed the hull/deck joint from the Crown configuration. Otherwise they are identical.
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Old 01-26-2009
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Any more comments on San Juan 34?

Hi,
I think I may be close to putting an offer on this San Juan 34.
Any other comments? Areas to check?
It has rod rigging - how do I check this to see if it is ok?
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Old 01-28-2009
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Misconseption

The SJ34 is a awesome boat; fast strong and reliable. There are a few differences than one persons history reports. The SJ34 never was foam cored on deck, it is balsa cored. Also she sails fine down wind untill you try to sail above hull speed. She was never designed as a modern plaining hull, once above hull speed she will build a bigger and bigger bow wave, unable to break ove, which acts as a sort of a break. This is fine if you understand it. She doesn't have a true roling problem asociated with IOR boat, because she wasn't built to capitolize on the IOR ruling. The problem lies in that just like a car which has no rear breaks, if you apply the breaks hard enough the back of the car/boat will try to rise up. The SJ 34 cannot break the bow wave, the harder it is pushed the further the stern will try to rise, once the point of diminished returns is reached it will begin to roll back and forth off the pivot point ( the bow ) untill it cannot be controled. The key is to keep her flat in the water or try to raise the bow ( which is vertually impossible ). The design is fine, she sails exactly as designed, points extremely well, sails down wind fine, is fairly fast and stable. She is not a true open ocean cruiser, a get wet extreme racer or a motor home on water. The SJ34 is a compromise of all with decent speed to please.
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Old 01-28-2009
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Sj34

My wife and I own one of these boats. WE have always owned the Clark boat products, I grew up in RI, on Narraganset Bay racing a SJ24 as a kid. The boats are built above and sail better than almost all the boats of there time and are still competative today. As with any rod rigging they have similiar things to look out for. But for 100% of what most people use their boats for you couldn't be happier with there design and handling
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Old 07-07-2009
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" As with any rod rigging they have similiar things to look out for. "

What do you look for when inspecting rod rigging?
db
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