Multichine 34/36 Gibraltar

We just published an article about the MC28 class, informing that or friend Roberto Roque, the owner of the MC28 Stella de Fioravante, ex-Fiu, had sold his boat and acquired the MC34/36 Gibraltar, which is an enlarged version of his former yacht, with more room to spare and more inertia to face stormy weather when accomplishing a hard passage. The smaller sister is already an outstanding boat when having to brave stormy conditions. Notwithstanding, the enlarged hull, with twice the displacement, is friendlier still when the seas are requiring the utmost in crew endurance. Besides the larger boat, with two private cabins, a much larger saloon and twice the displacement, is capable of offering more comfort and longer range to her crewmembers.

Roberto Roque is a Brazilian/Canadian citizen who doesn`t like to suffer from extreme cold of the merciless Canadian winter, and for that matter, in autumn he leaves the gelid Calgary winter to sail in the warmer waters of South Brazil. Presently, with summer approaching, he is in Alberta, concluding the amateur construction of our one-design dinghy Andorinha (means swallow in Portuguese) so he doesn`t feel totally separated from the sailing world that he likes so much.

Roberto bought the MC28 Fiu from me. I had built her with the assistance of my wife Eileen, having in mind girdling the world aboard her. It would be a voyage of reminiscences, a trial to reproduce the happy days when, during the sixties, we sailed from Rio de Janeiro to French Polynesia on board the 25 foot yawl Sea Bird, in a voyage that became the highlight of our lives (this story is published in our site, with link from the home-page, lower left corner). Fiu was launched in 2000, having been built with ultimate care, so to be able to cope with the challenges of taking us around the world.

At that time our yacht design office was brimming over with new orders, with lots of work to be done, and these appointments made us delay our departure. In 2007 the office shifted address from Rio de Janeiro to Perth, Western Australia, while Eileen and I adapted our plans for, instead girdling the world, to go at least half the way, sailing from Rio to Fremantle. It happened then that, after performing a sea trial, Eileen decided that at 65 years old she didn`t feel fit enough to sail along the roaring forties having only me as companion. Since all we had done in the past we had done together, either the two of us went together, or it wouldn`t have any trip at all. It was then that I did put Fiu for sale and Roberto Roque bought her, rebaptising her Stella de Fioravante.

Gibraltar sailing in the fresh waters of Guaiba River, Southern Brazil, before being delivered to Florianópolis, her present home port. Roberto Roque has plans to accomplish long distance cruises with his new cruising machine, starting this year.

Recently he discovered Fiu`s enlarged sister Gibraltar, a MC28 on steroids, and fell in love with its roomy interior and impressive hull lines. Soon after he was the proud owner of a thirty-six foot sailing sloop and Stella de Fioravante was sold to a young couple from Salvador, a city in the northeast of Brazil.

Gibraltar is Fiu being seen through a magnifying glass. This is not a tall story:)

Since the cold Canadian winter is over, Roberto Roque left his new toy in Florianópolis, flying to Alberta, being at Calgary now. Then it crossed my mind to send him photos of Gibraltar downloaded in our files that perhaps he never saw, to relent his anxiety in going back to South America just to be together with his new toy.

Gibraltar`s saloon is much more spacious than it could be possible to fit in a twenty-eight footer. The feeling of having a floating home large enough to give shelter for him and his family was priceless.

If the MC28 galley was already very large, in Gibraltar`s Roberto will find enough room for essaying a cordon bleu career!

Roberto Roque told me he has plans to sail north with no rigid schedule when he returns to Florianopolis. It will be nice to follow his trip in the tracker. He had done a lot of single-handed sailing with Stella de Fioravante. With Gibraltar, with two separate cabins, he can consider having a larger crew without feeling the sensation of loosing privacy.


Smoko, a ply-glass MC 34/36 being built in Dunedin, New Zealand

We have a large list of stock plans especially designed for amateur construction. The cabin cruisers in this list, except for a few ones too small to be suited for offshore sailing, are intended to be yachts for living aboard and for accomplishing long distance blue water voyaging. Having a long tradition in dealing with this kind of projects, we gathered valuable data about the results of our work along the years.

The warmth of a wooden interior and the advantages of a fibreglass construction are matched in the so called plywood/epoxy ply-glass boat building system. Render: Murilo Almeida

An expressive number of our clients are middle aged couples, who reached a stage in their lives that allows them to afford spending a good part of their time and a certain amount of their monthly income investing in their cruising plans, while they can`t even dream in ordering a brand new boat from the factory.

We first concentrated in designing smaller cabin cruiser with offshore potential. Our intention was opening the doors for young people just starting their professional careers to obtain their objects of desire. The smaller boats of course had a larger market, so we managed to provide plans for hundreds of amateur boat-builders from the most varied places. However there were others who wanted more room, so they could bring their belongings onboard, some of them willing to set up shop permanently on their future floating dwells.

We developed the MC34/36 plans for these specific clients, and what a surprise! The number of people interested in building boats like this was much larger than we expected. Among these people were Howard and Noelle Bennet, from Dunedin, New Zealand, a determined couple who decided to build the MC34/36 to live aboard no sooner the boat being completed. Smoko, the name they gave to her, has been progressing in a fast pace and probably will be sailing this year, since she is almost concluded. My sympathy for them is great, since I would like to be doing the same.

When we started designing yachts it wasn`t commonsense among sailors that a plywood built boat sheathed with fibreglass could have a long lasting life, while being practically maintenance free. But time proved that we were right. Plywood/epoxy construction, when adopting the so called ply-glass building technique, where the fibreglass sheathing has a structural role, and not being merely applied to protect the plywood, and the boat being saturated internally with two couches of epoxy resin, a craft built under these specifications probably has a longer life spam than if built by any other building method, except aluminium construction, which, if the proper alloy is employed, will last for an eternity (the MC 34/36 is also specified for being built in aluminium).

Smoko was on the last stages of construction in the beginning of 2015. With so little work missing, it is expected she will be sailing before the end of the year. Rigging, keel and engine, the most expensive items, are already purchased. Courtesy: Howard and Noelle Bennet

The reasons for choosing the ply-glass boat building system are the superb physical properties of plywood added to the strength of fibreglass and the water tightness of epoxy resin. This is the best of both worlds; the cosiness and warmth of a wooden decorated interior and the advantages of a fibreglass boat, all that absolutely within the scope of the amateur to do it.

Howard and Noelle decision to build Smoko in plywood/epoxy strictly following the project`s specifications was an excellent test for the plans. At the time he acquired the project our office was established at the city of Rio de Janeiro, literarily on the other side of the world. New Zealand has a strong tradition as a boat building nation and we knew he wouldn`t find logistic hurdles of any kind there. However he would have to count on the information contained in the project and the support we promised to give him on-line whenever he needed. The result of this joint venture was the best possible. The boat is one of the best built by our clients, and now she is almost completed. The office being presently established in Perth, Western Australia, we don`t feel to be so far away anymore, and it will be a pleasure to visit Smoko when she will be sailing. During the time of construction we had the opportunity to acknowledge the Bennets well, and we learned to respect their competence and determination. When Smoko will be sailing we hope they will have a similar thinking about us.

Click here to know more about the Multichine 34/36.