A design ahead of its time! This vessel is priced for an end of season sale and needs a new owner!
At Toronto's Dockside in-water boat show September, 1989, CS Yachts unveiled its new 34 -- so new that it didn't even have an interior. The new Tony Castro design had first been put into production by MG Yachts in England, and CS had yet to sort out its own accommodations plan and detailing. Nonetheless, consumer reaction was positive. Fueled by an innovative marketing concept (introductory price under 90 G's) and some interesting features, the design gained an instant following: ready buyers. (Nothing succeeds like price point.)
"We wanted," said newly installed marketing manager Stuart Robertson "a 'show stopper' to introduce what we believe is the only quality 34-footer in today's market at an affordable price. Our strategy was to target second-time owners and at the same time pitch first-time buyers with a true-value bargain. "The strategy appears to have worked and Robertson was happy to display affidavits from satisfied owners championing the qualities of the new yacht, above and below the waterline.
During our test sail, I ventured forward along the side deck and up onto the coach roof to the mast. With a freshening breeze heeling the yacht past 15 degrees, I found the journey uneventful. The deck is free of major obstacles, while the holding power of the molded non-skid was sufficient to ensure my safety even when the deck was wet. And the distance from the raised coach roof to the side deck, although significant, even at our present angle of heel, was not as precarious as I had imagined.
Returning to the security of the cockpit I leaned against the contoured backrest supporting my lower back. (Shorter crew will enjoy the same comfort in their mid-back area.) Even with four adults lounging in the cockpit there was plenty of extra space left to accommodate others.
Venturing below decks while underway is always an adventure with the risk directly proportional to the angle of the heel. While not exactly a total klutz on a boat, I nevertheless seek the nearest legitimate handhold for the balance. Negotiating my way down the companionway stairs (the stairs are angled, providing a semblance of levelness as the yacht heels) I reached for a overhead rail handrail. There wasn't one. Too bad: I'd recommend installing an overhead rail through the main cabin passageway, from the head to the V berth.
The Grand Tour
The vessel's interior is richly appointed and the saloon contains teak-faced side cabinets and shelving with strip-teak battens lining the walls, all satin varnished. A teak and ash sole has been installed throughout. Dark blue upholstery with white dots contrasted with the cream-colored ceiling panels and molded white galley and chart table facings.
Center stage, as one descends into this cavalcade of color, is the horse-shoe-shaped galley. Twin molded sinks and a single dry locker stall are fitted forward of the gimbaled Force 10 stove/oven combo. All galley plumbing is easily accessible for maintenance, below the sink. Enough pantry space and shelving is provided above the stove behind plastic sliding doors to accommodate most culinary supplies.
Across the passageway to starboard sits the chart table/refrigerator combo. While not a new concept, the design is a good feature on a boat with limited space. While I've never been impressed with a "split" galley, there is no denying the utility of this system. One minor irritation is the lack of what I term "cleaning slots" around the galley top perimeter. Cleaning the top is much easier if the fiddle design incorporates breaks or slots so the assorted crumbs are easily captured. If your next yacht purchase is missing these essential slots, ask the salesperson to throw in a battery-operated vacuum to deal with the problem!
Boasting accommodation for seven, I found the design had comfortable sleeping quarters. With standing headroom featured in the V-berth area, and a folding door to ensure privacy (though the folding door restricted traffic flow from behind the dinette table, when latched open) the spacious V-berth area can justifiably be called a separate cabin. Plenty of drawer space and a hanging locker are built into the surrounding cabinetry. Ventilation is good, provided by a large opening hatch.
The aft cabin, located behind the galley, is comfortable and surprisingly large, accommodating two consenting adults with ease. The first batch of CS34s came out of the moulds without any ventilation ports, a problem quickly rectified with the addition of twin ports opening to the cockpit. A hanging locker is available, and ample shelving has been provided for storage.
Both the stuffing box compartment and the vessel's battery storage area, as well as side access to the engine, are reached from the aft cabin.
The 34 features a nicely appointed head ensemble to starboard, aft of the chart table. After a night's sleep at the dock -- or during watch -- the separate molded shower stall, with the third hanging locker also houses the vessel's hot water tank, a clever use of space generally allocated to a cockpit locker.
Engine compartment space is at a premium. Some components, like the stuffing box and batteries, are easy to reach, while a simple oil change will require a certain amount of acrobatic dexterity to complete. Recently an inspection port, accessible from the head, was added to assist in engine maintenance.
One area in which the CS34 is not limited is ventilation. I like plenty of easily controlled ventilation in a design. Fourteen opening ports, including hatches, are available, providing lots of fresh air in the cabin area. As well, an abundance of natural light filters through the ports, creating an open-air atmosphere below deck.
A Performance Cruiser
The yacht is built for performance cruising with an eye on the race course. With her comfortable layout and ease of handling she should (as CS planned) appeal to second owners moving up (suffering from footitis), and new inductees to our sport. Certainly the combination of price, 65 standard features and the transferable hull warranty package makes for an enticing proposition indeed.