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Adam Alexander 01-01-2019 01:38 PM

New Member Interested in CS 36T
Hey Everyone!,

I just joined the forum with the hopes of gaining some knowledge about CS Yachts, particularly the CS 36T. My girlfriend and I currently sail a 1978 Chrysler 26 on the Ottawa River in Petawawa, On. In a few years we intend to buy a larger boat with the intent of living aboard and cruising the world full time. I've been looking specifically at boats around 36' that are offshore and bluewater capable, something like a Tartan 37. I saw a CS 36 in a book about bluewater boats and did some research and saw nothing but great things said about it. And I love that fact that I could buy one in Ontario that's been in fresh water it's whole life.

I'd like to get some opinions from some owners on how they like them. Specifically:
-Comfort for full time liveaboard for a couple, with the occasional guest or 2.
-Offshore capabilities (I've read it's a very well built and capable boat)
-Sailing performance (Full keel vs. Shoal keel)

Any negatives to be aware of? Some things i've read were:
-Poor engine access
-Shallow Bilge
-Marginal stowage (although from pictures it looks like there is pretty decent stowage for it's size)
-Water in the rudder
-Pox or osmosis

Thanks! Any input would be greatly appreciated,


boatpoker 01-01-2019 07:40 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T
The CS36T ia one of the best built boats on the market. I've surveyed about 100 of them. Yes the engine compartment is tight, there are a few electrical issues that were not up to standard (solid core copper wiring, no gfci. no galvanic isolator, some had gate valves rather than proper seacocks and the propane drains t'd into cockpit scupper were not too bright but ..... the overall structure was truly exceptional. All CS36T's were built with hollow (as opposed to foam filled) rudders and water in these isw rarely an issue (drain at fall layup) All other issues are relatively simple fixes.
Well worth consideration.

RegisteredUser 01-01-2019 07:44 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T
I think they are V drive, but well respected boats

boatpoker 01-01-2019 07:58 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T
I've been away cruising for a few years so the last survey of a CS36T I did was in 2014. This site will not let me upload a pdf of that report but if you email me [email protected] I'll send you a copy with I.D. blanked out.

There are a number of recommendations in this report but do not let this disuade you. There would be far more issues in any other brand of the same vintage.
I am a fan.

SanderO 01-01-2019 07:59 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T
I don't know your boat so I can't comment other than what the pics and the specs show. I looked at the boat listings and seeing them inspired me to look at my own boat's pics... and some of the other Contest 36s boats on the market.

Of course I am biased, but the 36s is a much better boat for live aboard and cruising. I've had the boat for going on 34 years from new... and have lived and cruised and done a bunch of ocean passages. Now from experience I can state it is a fabulous 36' for the job. They made the boat from about 1980 or so to 1990 or so. Of course availability and price are huge issues.

Good luck with your new boat. You won't regret the decision to get serious about sailing.

RegisteredUser 01-01-2019 08:07 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T
Iirc, MaineSail, on this forum, has a CS36T and might offer info.
Maybe ping him....

boatpoker 01-01-2019 10:28 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T

Originally Posted by RegisteredUser (Post 2051573336)
Iirc, MaineSail, on this forum, has a CS36T and might offer info.
Maybe ping him....

Rod also has quite simply the best "How to" website on the web by far. Not one of the other online guru's come close.

eherlihy 01-02-2019 11:34 AM

I looked at several CS36Ts when I was shopping. They are nice boats, well designed and very well built. I really liked the wet locker next to the engine compartment (to dry the gear) and the cedar-lined hanging lockers.

My criticisms were: the V-drive made engine access difficult (try to access the impeller), there was an issue with many of the original Westerbeake engines (don't remember what it was), but many of them were repowered as a result, no swim platform, and the interior seemed small for the LOA of the boat.

Owners seem to appreciate and take care of them.

Adam Alexander 01-02-2019 04:30 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T
Thanks for all the helpful info!

Boatpoker thanks for the survey report, very interesting and informative reading through it

Another question has come to mind. I think I've read that the engines are fresh water cooled? If so, what happens when you take the boat to salt water?

RegisteredUser 01-02-2019 04:43 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T
The fresh is sealed...think car but different.

boatpoker 01-02-2019 06:42 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T
A somewhat simplified explanation ........

"fresh water cooled" is actually a misnomer better referred to as "closed cooling system".

Such a cooling system has a heat exchanger with coolant in it. Seawater is drawn via an engine driven impeller pump, pushed through the heat exchanger to cool the coolant in the exchanger then spit out through the exhaust, this water also cools the exhaust. It's the same as a car cooling sysytem uses air to cool it's "closed cooling system".

Fresh water cooling (closed cooling) is the preferred system for salt water. What you don't want is a "raw water cooled" system which uses sea water without a heat exchanger.

A "raw water cooled" engine draws in sea water and not only uses it to cool the exhaust but it also passes through galley's in the engine and cools the block. This is fairly common on small diesels on the Great Lakes and is not optimum for salt water. I've never seen such an engine on a CS36 altho' the CS30's did have this type of engine.

Adam Alexander 01-02-2019 07:59 PM

Re: New Member Interested in CS 36T
Ok, perfect. Great explanation, thanks a lot!

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