1986 O'day 35 Review
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.
shopping for an O'day
after reading your interesting comments you may be able to shed some light. I I,m looking at two O'days at this time with swing keels and would like some comments and views. One is a 27 food 1987 sitting in salt water with a diesel westerbeke drive. The other is a 1986 with gas powered OMC sail drive inboard. I will be moving the 87 to fresh water if purchased. I now sail a 25 foot Macgregor swing keel she is fun and we spend a lot of time on board, but would like to go bigger for this is better. How do these boats compare and what could I expect in rough water, and winds greater than 25 knots.
Barry it sounds like my O30 your describing! I've the fin keel and it's 4'11" draft 16 hp universal 2 blade prop. she handles well in 15-20 winds. she came with a force 10 2 burner propane with oven that replaced the OEM alcohol. we have a new garhaure traveler in the cockpit and wheel steering. the cockpits on most of the Odays were small is yours?
We owned a 1984 34ft O'day and had a blast with it - pointed well, quick turn of speed and very comfortable for a couple living aboard.
My biggest gripe was the lack of a deep anchor locker... otherwise, what an excellent boat....
(We only sold her to return to the UK and buy a bigger boat to go around on - the O'day would have easily done it, but we wanted more storage space and a steel hull. The new owner of our boat is very happy with it and is continuing her meander throughout the Carib....)
I sold my O'day 35 in June of 2014. She was an excellent boat for my use: day sails, weekend cruises, week long cruises. My family of five and I had a lot of fun with that boat. Now the new owner will have his own adventures.
I have to say that O'day built a great boat. She was 28 when I sold her. The hull was still in good condition. The engine had close to 4000 hours when I sold it and still ran great. The mast and boom were fine. I had changed the standing rigging in 2012, the original rigging lasted over 25 years in salt water and had no problems. The Barient winches worked great (I gave them regular maintenance). The ports and hatches were cloudy but still serviceable and most didn't leak a drop (the hatch in the vberth would leak a few drops if green water came on deck). The rudder was original, it had some water in it, but most boats do. The electrical system was mostly original - I had rewired the engine panel but the rest was stock and still functional. All the running lights worked and same thing in the interior, although I did change a number of interior lights to low draw LED or CFL.
Overall I was very happy with my O'day experience.
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