Bluewater Sailboat – Cavalier 36

Also called: Cav 36


The Bluewater Sailboat Cavalier 36 was designed in the mid-1970s by America’s Cup-winning designer Doug Peterson as a pure-blooded offshore racer. Ganbare, Peterson’s 1973 One Ton Cup winner, was an earlier similar form. Ganbare provided the inspiration for the Peterson 36, a slightly larger and more powerful evolution. This design won the 1974 One Ton Cup, finishing first, third, and fifth out of a world-class field of 30 boats. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Cavalier Yachts, which was quickly becoming the country’s preeminent sailboat manufacturer, required a boat to cover a gap between their popular Cavalier 32 and Cavalier 39. They leased the design and commissioned Laurie Davison to rebuild the deck to their specifications, giving birth to the Cavalier 36 in 1976.

Cavalier 36
Cavalier 36
  • 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


The Bluewater Sailboat 36 shares the same balsa sandwiched GRP construction as its smaller sibling, the Cavalier 32. The hull, and indeed the entire boat, is well-built. Seven high tensile monel keel bolts secure the keel, and the chainplates are integrally molded into the hull and deck. The sleek and simple deck shape, hinting at its race pedigree, has been commended for being practical and safe. The cockpit, which is 7 feet long, can seat up to ten people.

Below Deck

The boat’s 9.1m LWL and 3.5m beam conceal a roomy cabin for a 36-footer, with 7 feet of headroom. Berths for seven people are distributed among the seagoing quarter-berth, settees with pilot-berths, and V-berths. The inside woodwork is finished in teak or mahogany and is of high quality.


She is stiff and quick on all points of sail, with a preference for downwind runs, while her performance on a reach is also superb. Despite its racing history, the boat excels in the cruising arena for those willing to forgo a little luxury for a lot of performance. At least two boats have circumnavigated the globe. Overall, a simple, robust, and easy-to-handle boat. A total of twenty boats have been built.

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