The Rival 36 Sailboat

The Rival 36 was designed by Peter Brett and built in the UK by Rival Bowman Ltd.

Designed by Peter Brett and built in the UK by Rival Bowman Yachts, the Rival 36 is a highly regarded long-distance cruiserA Rival 36 cutter anchored in Rodney Bay, St Lucia in the West Indies.

Published Specification for the Rival 36

Underwater Configuration: Fin keel with skeg-hung rudder. There is also a shoal draft version with a Scheel keel, and a centreboard version.

Hull Material: GRP (Fiberglass)

Length Overall: 35'10" (10.92m)

Waterline Length: 27'2" (8.3m)

Beam: 11'0" (3.4m)

Draft: 6'0" (1.8m)

Draft (Centreboard version): Max 6'9" (2.1m), Min 3'9" (1.1m)

Rig Type: Cutter

Displacement: 14,250lb / 6,464kg

Designer: Peter Brett

Builder: Rival Bowman (UK)

Year First Built: 1980

Number Built: 78

Owners Association: Rival Owners Association


Published Design Ratios for the Rival 36

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 15.7

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 39.2

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 317

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 30.4

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.8

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these all-revealing numbers...


Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Rival 36

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 15.7 suggests that the Rival 36 will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 39.2 means that unless the bulk of the ballast is concentrated in a bulb at the foot of her keel, the Rival 36 will have a tendency to heel excessively in a gust, and she'll need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze. 

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 317, tells us the Rival 36 is firmly in the ultra-heavy displacement category. Load her up as much as you like and her performance will be hardly affected, not that it was ever startling. Few if any sailboats are built to this displacement category these days - but they remain popular with some long-distance sailors.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 30.4 suggests that crew comfort of a Rival 36 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.8 tells us that a Rival 36 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0.


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