Ok then lets start at the beginning and see where we end up.
Have you ever been onboard one ?
I am a great fan of Duncansons. The 35 has been in my favourite boat category for years. Four years back when I started looking for a new boat after some years without one I came across a Duncanson 37 aft cockpit for sale. From the advert I asolutely fell in love with the thing.
Then we went and had a look at her. Strange interior layout. The head is open to the forward cabin and is very small indeed if you are thinking of having a shower, while one of the berths actually required crawling across the galley bench top to get into it. I thought both issues might have been fixable but the other half was having none of it. While I have never seen another Dunc with the odd berth arrangement those I have seen (34's, 35's and 37AC's) have all had that bad head arrangement. I have been told that not all of the 35's had this arrangement but I cannot be sure about this.
Under 40', most cruisers would probably go for the 35 or possibly the 37. The 34 was more of a cruiser racer than the others. There is also btw a 34' 1/4 tonner that is much more racer than cruiser.
The 35 is a lovely looking boat no doubt. Some had a weird offset propshaft that makes manoeuvering under power interesting to say the least but plenty of them were a more standard arrangement. I've heard reports of leaks that were very difficult to fix where chainplates pass through the decks. A lot of the 34's were saildrive which is no bad thing really. For cruising you could maybe do with a bit more tankage though this is moreso with the race inclined models.
Build quality is supposedly excellent. Some hulls experienced bubbling but I'd reckon they'd have all been fixed years ago now. Interior joinery was generally OK, through hulls etc were of an exceptable quality, engines mainly Volvo I believe, rigs were good and strong. Plenty of Duncs have done the Syd-Hob which tends to speak for itself.
Draft is acceptable for cruising. From memory the 34 drew just under two metres, the 35 about the same. Basic configuration was not dissimilar to the S & S 34. Moderate fin, skeg hung rudder. For their day they were good boats uphill but unless you are going to employ a huge number one or an assy they offer only moderate performance off the wind when compared with more modern designs.
In short for a young couple they are a fine boat. You could also look at S&S 34. We ended up with a Van de Stadt 34 which is also a nice boat. East Coast 31 is anothe likely candidate.
Good Luck in your search.
I'm looking to buy a Duncanson 34/35 and I would like a little feedback on my choice. Much of the intended cruising will be in the Coral Sea and Asia South Pacific region, winds about 15 to 35 knots if all goes according to plan... I'm not much of a fan of latitudes greater than about 40!
Short handed (1guy 1girl) sailing will be the primary sailing style though capacity for another couple in relative comfort is desireable.
Most of my work is with power vessels (I'm a skipper and engineer for vessels up to 25 metres) and am currently working on a 20m vessel doing week trips 110nm into the coral sea and also inner Great Barrier Reef. I have only 2400nm of delivery sailing so an easy sailing vessel is required for further learning.
Budget? Within 80,000 aussie pesos, I mean dollars, for the boat and a haul out for a look and poke around with a surveyor.I've looked in the review section here and come up empty, though other reviews have been favourable and the owners I've spoken with like their Duncansons A LOT.