Southern Rival, our 1973 Rival 34 Sailboat, is For Sale

Southern Rival at Pottery Pier on Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour

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.

9.6 knots– not bad!

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.


SR’s wonderful interior

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:

  1. The new house batteries are slightly tall for the battery location, and need to be shifted slightly.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

SR has original gray decks

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 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.

Price: £34,000

Complete Details and Gear: Southern Rival Inventory 2013

Full photo gallery:

Photo galleries of voyages and maintenance:

Southern Rival at Haslar’s Marina in Gosport, slip F6

October Break Sail 2012

We just got back from two nights on the boat, sailing to the Isle of Wight and taking a buoy for the evening at the Newtown River.  Particularly enjoyable was setting LED lights over the cockpit for a soft lit dinner on the hook.

The sail back was dead into 4 foot swells and 16-18 knots of wind at time, but it was fun.  We used very little fuel, and we could have sailed right into Portsmouth Harbour, but we believe the rule is that you must have your engine running for the small ship channel in.

We had had the chance to see many of the Clipper fleet out on Sunday, as well as many gaff rigs:

Here’s a link to a full photo gallery from the sail:


Spring Break Sailing 2012

Enroute from Newtown River to Lymington

We just got back from a week on the Solent.  We had big plans for an overnight sail to the West Country, but after a few nights out we decided that it was just too cold to do a long passage.  It was at or below freezing most nights, getting down to 25 degrees F one night in Lymington and covering the boat in frost.

We were lucky to have along a butane-powered Bright-Spark indoor heater to take the edge off the evenings and mornings ( We used four or five of the butane “batteries” during this week, which cost about £10 for a pack of four.  We were very careful to make sure it ventilated correctly, and was nowhere near anything flammable on board.

Bright Spark Butane Indoor Heater

Still, most days had sun, even if they were cold when the clouds showed up.  We sailed from Gosport to the Newtown River for two nights, and then to Lymington for three nights, and finally one more night in the Newtown before our best sail of the trip back to Gosport yesterday.  Best day trip was a bike rental in the New Forest, which the kids really enjoyed.

Cycle Touring in New Forest

We also hiked from the Newtown River to Yarmouth for a day trip, hiked the Coastal Path in Lymington, and did fossil hunting along the shores of the Solent.  Now that we sail with two teenagers, things are changing a bit.  Doug can helm quite well, and Eve is taking on increasingly important jobs (like helping to land on docks).  If you look back through our photo albums, it seems like only yesterday they were five and seven years old.

We have a full photo album of the trip here:

 Spring Break Sailing 2011

Sample Images:

Southern Rival in Newtown River at Low Tide


Doug takes the helm for part of sail back to Gosport

As a reward for enduring the cold nights and days all week on the boat, we set up a four night rental of a fisherman’s cottage in the old town of St. Ives in Cornwall.  We’re at home now resting up, but early tomorrow morning we catch a train to St Ives for the rental.  The thing that sold me on the cottage was the location and the wood burning stove.  I’ll post pictures of this trip later.

On the way. . .


I’m on the fast train right now to Portsmouth to begin our “Spring Break 2012” sailing trip.  Rest of the crew will join tomorrow morning, and today I hope to install the new Racor spin on filter adapter to the Cav filter head, replace the raw water impeller, re-install the jacklines, and replace the water tank filters.  If I have time, I also hope to do a provision trip to Morrisons tonight.

It’s always exciting at the start of a two-week break like this.  The weather for the week looks mixed, and I really can’t take the family out in semi-rough conditions, so we will need to play it by ear as to daily destinations and where we hole up.  At the very least, I hope we have some nights at Newtown River and Brownsea Island, and one at Studland Bay.  I also look forward to dinner at the Folly Inn.

If I can, I’ll take some pics of the work today and do another post later tonight.  I have a 3G stick for the laptop that typically works well, except on speeding trains.  I also splurged today and upped to First Class for £5 so I could have power outlets and table for the train trip– it’s worth it to get off on the right foot and relax a bit.

Kemp Stackpack Installation

My son and I had a good day at the boat yesterday. We bent on the slightly shortened genoa onto its track and attached just about everything in sight with McLube dry lube (including the cable of the sail that slides up the track). When done, the headsail looked great– we could put on a couple more inches of tension, and that’s just what it needed.

Slightly shortened genoa flying at dock.

Kiwi Rigging of Gosport had also visited SR last week to service the winches, do a rigging check and minor repairs, and mount the mast blocks and lines of our new Kemp stackpack. Yesterday we bent on the cleaned and repaired mainsail and rigged up the stack pack for the first time.

Kemp stackpack almost installed

Complete stackpack installed.

All looked fine by the time we were done. We haven’t sailed with a stack pack or lazy jacks before, so I’m looking forward to going out. The gate on the sail track got a bit tweaked during the process, but I think we have a work around until I can modify the gate plate (to keep the slugs from sticking going up and down).

Still waiting for the Racor adapter to change over our CAV secondary diesel filter to a spin on Racor. Next weekend we have a few more things to service, and then we plan to head out for a week of cruising.

More images of the stackpack installation:

Using Sealift2– First Lift of the Year

We haven’t lifted Southern Rival out of the water for two years.  We have had divers clean the bottom growth (grass mostly, and the prop) about twice a year, but it was time for a proper lift out and clean and anode replacement.  Also, she was overdue for a topsides cut and wax.

Sealift2 recently added a facility in Gosport– right at the end of our pontoon, actually.  I read about the service at the forums at, and it appeared to be a good and easy to use service.  I stepped into the office late in December and bought reduced price coupons for two lift outs this year, and one cut and wax for the topsides.

We have our first voyage of the year planned for 1 April, so we’re in the run up for the season.  Yesterday we had her up and out for the day.  A full photo gallery is available here:

Here are some sample images of a very successful Sunday:

Steph and Eve help land between the "goal posts."

It was easy to pull in, get clamped, tie off and be lifted.


Time for a new anode on that prop!

With shiny topsides, we prep to launch.

By the end of the mostly sunny day, we were happily back in our slip.  We also collected our cleaned and repaired main sail, and our new stackpack from Kemp Sails, and we hope to put all on next Saturday.

A Sail on the Columbia River

I was lucky enough to have a trip to the Pacific Northwest last week, and we managed to take out Aurora, our Cal 20, for a day sail on the Columbia River.

It had rained all morning (so we took a chance to board a Fantasia 35 that was for sale nearby), and then it was sunny but calm when we were on the river.

It was great to be on the river again, in February no less.

Full photo gallery:


More winter work progress


Just had another good evening aboard. Took off the main sail yesterday and turned it in for cleaning and repairs. Picked up the altered genoa which is now two inches shorter on the luff and had stitching repairs. In two weeks I hope to put the main back on with the new stack pack and lazy jacks.

We will also clean sheets and do other work. Riggers should visit next week to do some repairs and mount lazy jack blocks.

I will be away for next two weekend. We might schedule the lift and bottom clean for mid march. The top side will also be cut and waxed. I also plan to buy a small pressure washer for the decks and spray hood.

If nothing else, we should have a cleaner boat this year! At the moment it’s sunny and cold and blowing F7 outside here in Gosport, so I don’t feel bad about packing up, sealing the boat, rinsing the decks, and catching a train to London.