Designed in the mid-1970s by America's Cup winning designer Doug Peterson, the Cavalier 36 started life as a pure blooded offshore racer. An earlier related incarnation was Ganbare, Peterson's One Ton Cup winner of 1973. From Ganbare came the lines for the Peterson 36, a slightly larger and more powerful evolution. This design swept the 1974 One Ton Cup with 1st, 3rd, and 5th from a world class lineup of 30 boats. Meanwhile in New Zealand, a company by the name of Cavalier Yachts, at the time fast becoming the country's premier producer sailboats, needed a boat to fill a space between their popular Cavalier 32 and Cavalier 39. They licensed the design and commissioned Laurie Davison to redesign the deck to their specs and thus the Cavalier 36 was born in 1976.
Along with its smaller sibling, the Cavalier 32, the 36 shares same the use of balsa sandwiched GRP construction. The hull and in fact the whole boat is solidly built. The keel is attached with seven high tensile monel keel bolts and the chainplates are integrally molded into the hull and deck. The deck profile being sleek and uncluttered, hinting at its race pedigree, has been praised for being sensible and safe. The cockpit, 7 feet long can seat up to 10.
Within the boats 9.1m LWL and 3.5m beam belies a spacious interior for a 36 footer, boasting 7 feet of headroom. There's berths for seven spread between the seagoing quarter-berth, settees with pilot-berths and V-berths. Interior woodwork is in teak or mahogany with excellent finish.
Under sail, she is stiff and fast on all points of sail with her forte on downwind runs though performance on a reach is also excellent. For all its racing pedigree the boat serves well in the cruising domain for those who are willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort for a whole lot of performance. We know of at least two boats that have circumnavigated. Overall an uncomplicated, strong, and easy to handle boat. In total twenty boats have been produced.
LOA: 36' 0" (11.0 m.)
LWL: 30' 0" (9.1 m.)
Beam: 12' 0" (3.6 m.)
Draft: 6' 3" (1.9 m.)
Displacement: 14,500 lbs. (6583 kg.)
Ballast: 7500 lbs. (3405 kg.)
Sail Area: 860 sq. ft. (79.8 sq. m.)
Headroom: 7' 0" (2.1 m.)
Engine: 20 - 40 hp diesel
Designer: Doug Peterson
Builder: Cavalier Yachts, NZ
Year Introduced: 1976
Also Known As: Cav 36
» Cavalier 36 owner's website
Thanks goes to Brent Cameron of Vinings Yacht Brokers for his help in the research of this article.