Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Stadt 34

Stadt 34 in Cruise Mode!
Design 391 from Stadt Design is dated 1981 on their website. It carries much of the DNA of the Stadt range until then - good sea boats, modern underbodies, simple sloop rigs, relatively narrow, and quite conventional. Accommodation is much improved over many previous Stadt designs such as RCODs, Doggers etc. This design was drawn without undue consideration for the various rating systems that often compromise good sea boats, as were most Stadts in fact. Nor is it a charter boat. It is a good fast sea boat, suitable for offshore racing or cruising.

Stadt Design claim this was their first design "where the computer played the title role".  As such it is a very well proportioned boat, conventional and moderate, but very well optimised. It's the kind of boat where you can't really think of anything to change. The design allows for various materials - steel, aluminium, or GRP hulls - home built (multi-chine), or otherwise. It offers either a racing rig (fractional), or a cruising rig with masthead Genoa. The underside shows a fin keel and generous spade rudder.

Simple Racing or Cruising Rig.
Steel, hard chine version has good lines.

Generous spade rudder. Moderate stern. Moderate Beam.
The majority of the Stadt 34s around Cape Town are steel (multi-chine) or GRP. Their club handicaps range from 0.94 to 0.98 (depending on rig and hull material), and are much faster than one would expect, especially when the wind is up. As a testament to their sailing performance, two Stadt 34s finished 2nd and 3rd in the recent Governors Cup Race (2013). The winner was also a Stadt (RCOD). Now admittedly this was on corrected time, but if memory serves the first two on handicap were also first over the line, and the first Stadt 34 beat a well campaigned Farr 38/40... Perhaps a bit exceptional due to tactics and the misfortune of some other entrants, but it does show these boats are no slouches.

How do they compare with other 34s in the local market? 

In South Africa, the best 34s to chose from include the DiDi 34, and the L34 covered elsewhere in this blog. They are all excellent boats, and many buyers would chose on price and availability. The DiDi 34 is the latest design, and the fastest of the three by some margin. There are not many available yet but they are available as a very nice kit in ply-epoxy for home building. The L34 is likely the most popular as a production boat in GRP, and a good fast all-rounder. A cruising version also exists as the Holiday 34. These are fast and seaworthy and also great all-rounders. The Stadt 34 is an older design but still very contemporary, and some very recent builds available. Often built in steel, it is often the choice of serious cruisers and is a very good sea boat. The RCYC club handicaps (showing the highest) for these three are as follows: DiDi 34 at 1.025, L34 at 1.015, and the Stadt 34 at 0.98. Bear in mind that the steel Stadts are significantly heavier and have the shortest waterlines. Spoilt for choice....

Stadt 34 Vitals:
  • LOA 10.25
  • LWL 8.0
  • Beam 3.3
  • Disp (Steel) 5-400 Kgs Ballast 1-800 Kgs
  • Disp (Alu) 4-500 Kgs Ballast 2-000 Kgs
  • Disp Wood 4-500 Kgs Ballast 2-000 Kgs
  • Draft 1.8m (fixed keel) or 1.3m (lifting centreplate)

The Alu and Wood versions have similar weights and ballast ratios to the L34, although a bit more than the Didi 34. I suspect the GRP versions will be similar to the Wood and Alu as well. For racing and upwind sailing this would be useful, while for cruising and downwind sailing steel will be fine.
Nicely finished example. Centre walkway open.

Heads with option for shower. Full chart Table.Engine under the steps (good and bad!)
Nice sized saloon. Note the shoal draft keel option.

Small secure cockpit, nice for shorthanding.
Simple tiller steering.
Well served by an elegant canvas dodger.
Definitely worth a look if you find a good one. At time of writing this one looks very  tempting on Gumtree, as does this one!