For over five years, Southern Rival, our 1973 Rival 34 sailboat, has been a fifth member of our family. As renters in London, we always appreciated spending time on SR, since we own her outright and we felt she was our real “home” in the UK. She’s been well-cared for with many nice upgrades (new winches, stackpack, engine upgrades, chartplotter, EPIRB, battery monitor) in addition to the £25,000 in restoration she received before we purchased her.
We looked at dozens sailboats before deciding to purchase a Rival. We decided that a Rival was for us because we wanted a strong, safe and easy-to-sail boat that could protect us in a blow (we’ve been out in over 40 knots of wind), be fun in the Solent and throughout the English Channel, and could do ocean passages if the wanderlust took us. We also needed an interior that had comfortable accomodations for two adults and two growing kids (now teenagers). Rivals fit all of these goals, and they fit our budget. We’re members of the Rivals Owners Association and we’ve greatly enjoyed the AGM dinners.
After making that decision, we looked at a dozen Rival sailboats before purchasing Southern Rival. We looked at many boats that were owner-finished, or neglected, or needed new bottom jobs or engines or sails. Most were just too rough for the time we had to invest in a sailboat, and I know from having rebuilt previous sailboats how very expensive new parts and sails and engines can be. (I have personally spent four times the purchase cost of a neglected sail boat just in refurbishment). This time, with a 34 foot sailboat in mind, we wanted to find a boat that had already been refurbished to a great standard, and we were willing to pay for the benefits of a newer engine, newer sails, a copper epoxy bottom and a great interior. Southern Rival fullfilled all of those goals.
After five and half years of ownership, the wisdom of this decision has paid even more dividends than expected. Southern Rival has been a joy to own and sail, and we’ve had time to enjoy her and funds to upgrade her (like the new self-tailing Lewmar primary winches). You can easily find and buy a Rival 34 for £10k less than Southern Rival, but it’s unlikely to have £30k of quality rennovation work and upgrade work already done.
Southern Rival is turn-key and ready to sail now. There are three things that I would do in the next three years as a continuing owner:
- The new house batteries are slightly tall for the battery location, and need to be shifted slightly.
- The mounting pegs for sprayhood have worked loose on the port side and are allowing water in above the galley– this has been happening since before we owned the boat and is minor, but it would be good to reset and seal the mounting pegs.
- The decks should either be repainted or have Flexiteek or similar added. I leave this decision to the next owner, because there are many options. Some owners will want to keep the glare-dampening gray decks, others will want want gleaming white decks, and others will want imitation teak (which could look really great). The price is adjusted for the cosmetic issues with the deck, and you can see examples at the owners website that show how repainted decks can have an excellent impact on the looks of a Rival.
If I were single-handing her across the Atlantic, I would add a boom brake, a water-maker and some solar panels, but that’s about it. She’s in exceptional shape– especially the beautiful, factory-finished interior.
Originally Southern Rival she had two owners in the UK before going to Colijnsplaat and being renamed Janus II. She was brought back to the UK by her fourth owner, who restored her original name and Part I registration. We purchased her just over five years ago. As US citizens, we transferred her to a US Coast Guard registration. She can easily be transferred back to a UK SSR or Part I Registry whens she is sold.
Why are we selling? Two main reasons– in the next two years we will likely return to the United States, and my children are about to go to college. We plan to celebrate their graduation in the future by owning a Rival again!
Southern Rival is moored at Haslar Marina In Gosport in slip F6. Please email me at email@example.com if you would like more information or to schedule a visit. Serious enquires only, please. As noted, SR isn’t a bargain boat, but for an owner who knows quality and what it is worth, she is the right boat.
Complete Details and Gear: Southern Rival Inventory 2013
Photo galleries of voyages and maintenance: http://sailingvoyage.com/photos/index.php/Sailing-Trips-UK-Europe