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Multichine 34 / 36

MC34/36 Serenata sailing in deep waters of the South Atlantic, being steered by the auto-pilot while the young couple who is crewing her endure a "hard life" on board. This photo is the epitome of freedom and happiness.

Introduction: This design is the development in a larger scale of our most successful offshore cruising sailboat project, the MC 28, the bestseller in our line of offshore cruising sailboats stock plans. We obtained so many desirable features, like perfect trim balance, easy steering, dry decks in heavy weather, etc, which are recognized trademarks of the MC28, these features being naturally enhanced with the increase in size, that we considered worth trying the same set of lines plan in a larger scale once more. The new design preserves all the characteristics of its smaller sister, while incorporating a level of comfort and performance that couldn’t be dreamed with in a twenty-eight footer.

Next we will give a much more detailed description of the MC34 than it is usual to be found in yacht design sites. Our intention is to offer a vision of the project in a wider perspective, so that those interested in the plans who are looking for living aboard, or are interested in blue water cruising adventures, can have a better idea of what the MC34/36 has to offer.

Interior layout: The inside layout of this design follows the current trend for this size of boat, having two private cabins, a large heads aft, L-shaped dinette with a sofa facing it, and a very spacious galley abaft the dinette in pendant with the navigation compartment. This layout fits like a glove for a family to live aboard or a couple to receive another couple as guests for some time. The interior layout concept is turned to provide comfort for who is intending to stay onboard for long stretches, when keeping the cabin tidy has special importance. For instance, the main saloon settees don`t go straight to the topsides. Instead lockers are placed behind the back-rest walls with ample shelves on top of the lockers.

The MC34/36 uses all its interior space to the benefit of the crew. The water and diesel tank capacities are much above the average in equivalent yachts of about the same size, and few others can compare in stowing space. There are no confined corners in the MC34/36 interior, every compartment having been made the best use of it, from bow to stern.

The MC 34/36 interior layout is thought to provide comfort when sailing offshore or when living aboard for long stretches.

Fore cabin: The V-berth installed in the fore cabin is easily converted into double berth, for that matter being needed to lift a trapeze-shaped floorboard panel and laying it between the two berth heads. A custom made cushion completes the upholstery, providing the comfort expected from a double berth.

The fore cabin is fitted with a cushioned chair, a counter with a bin under it, two hanging lockers and two symmetrical shelves over the berths. A bulkhead with door ensures privacy to those using this cabin.

Saloon: Being the most important compartment of the interior, we didn`t measure efforts in providing this social area with the maximum comfort and functionality. The lockers installed behind the backseat walls are handy to store all sorts of stuffs aboard and the bookshelves cuddle up the ambience. The mast post serving as fixing support for the table structure is another practical solution, since it doesn`t interfere with access to the fore cabin. Actually it helps, since there is a pillar to grab hold if the boat is rolling excessively.

What makes the difference in the MC34/36 saloon layout is the profusion of lockers and shelves behind the settee walls. This arrangement provides a cosy atmosphere to the ambience besides offering lots of space for storage. The drop-leaf table has enough elbow room for up to five persons to enjoy a meal.

The saloon sitting area is large enough to accommodate up to ten persons for socializing, while five can have a meal on the folding table without being overcrowded. It is possible, even though not being our preference, to make the table with a sliding ring around the mast to allow it to move downwards to the level of the settees, creating an extra double berth at portside. When developing a design, we think it is preferable to avoid moving parts, whenever possible.

The windowed cabin trunk walls transmit an incomparable feeling of airiness and natural illumination to the saloon.

MC34/36 Arakae`s saloon with its table laid for a fancy dinner.

Galley: The MC34/36 galley is one of the highlights of the project. In the first place it is very large compared to boats of about the same size, and second, it is very functional. The galley counter is U-shaped, creating a niche where the cook can fit inside, staying out of the transverse range of the gimballed stove. When a safety belt is available, what we strongly recommend, the cook is held inside the recessed niche, being capable of facing the stove, or the counter, with no way of falling.

One of the advantages of the raised floor in the galley is allowing the cook to integrate with the exterior when staying there, thanks to the windowed cabin walls.

The boat`s fridge is placed under the counter with access from above. It is possible to divide the fridge, part of it being freezer, using one compressor only, but the consumption of electricity will be higher. There is a dust bin under the sink and there is also an utensils well covered by a hinged acrylic lid facing the sink`s forward wall. Things that will be used at the moment can be stored there without risk of falling. The outer wall above the galley stove top gives access to racks for plates and cups, while a large locker forward is intended to store provisions. Under the counter there is also room for pots and pans.

Navigation table: The navigation table and radio communication station is a compartment relatively separated from the rest of the interior, so to give maximum tranquillity to who is operating there. The navigator faces forwards, so that the instrument monitors, like radar, chart plotter and AIS, when installed in the forward side of the table top, give true bearings, what is a contribution to safety, especially when the crew is worn out after a prolonged watch.

The navigation table is installed close to the companionway ladder, what facilitates communication with the crew on deck. Besides, this corner of the boat is undisturbed by crew traffic.

The wall to the right of the navigator stool is where the electrical switch panel should be installed and its prolongation forward is our preferred spot for installing the SSB, or Ham radio. There is a paper charts locker under the table top, accessed from upside. Even if no paper charts are taken onboard, this compartment is invaluable as storage space for tablets, notebooks, cell phones, or anything. Even though it is not shown in the render, the front part of the navigation table wall facing the centre of the boat may be provided with a line of three drawers, accessed from the corridor.

Heads: The heads is placed abaft the navigation quarters, in an area of the interior with excellent headroom, the same found in the galley. It consists of a grated floor, on which one stands when having a shower, a raised floor where the toilet is installed, a counter with lavabo having a mirror-walled bin at its back and a hanging locker abaft of it.

The heads is as complete as a 36 foot cruising sailboat can afford, with shower, counter with vanity basin and toilet. The headroom is excellent for a shower-bath

Engine compartment: The engine room is located under the companionway ladder between the heads wall and the aft cabin entrance hall wall. The engine is accessed by its four sides and from the top, since the compartment top is removable, bliss for maintenance and engine trouble-shooting. The propulsion is conventional and the propeller shaft is housed in a tunnel at the lower tip of a small skeg placed there for this purpose, this way avoiding the cumbersome propeller strut. A S-drive with the same power as a direct drive propulsion is a good alternative, in this case simplifying installation and dispensing the skeg. The extra cost of the s-drive is compensated by the savings in not having to spend in the propulsion line, propeller and mechanical seal. Besides, since the propeller in the s-drive version works in the vertical, it is slightly more efficient than the direct propulsion, which works at an angle of ten degrees with the horizontal.

Aft Cabin: The owner`s cabin is snug as a bug in a rug. In the first place, for the crew well being, its double berth is as wide as a residential double berth. Besides it doesn`t require lee boards, since it is limited by the wall that separates the heads from the cabin by one side, and by the bins and shelves wall by the other side. The entrance hall to the aft cabin, besides being provided with a door to ensure privacy, it is fit with a hanging locker and a sofa, the sofa`s seat being at the same height as the berths. Airiness, when the door is shut, is provided by two opening ports, one installed in the trunk`s side wall and the other in the transom.

The MC34/36 aft cabin is airy and spacious. This is MC 34/36 Serenata`s aft cabin. The discontinuity in the cockpit`s side wall is due to the need of making a compartment for the rudder stock quadrant, which hides below the cockpit sole.

Lazzarette: There is a huge compartment abaft the heads, extending from station 7 to station 9, with access from the heads` aft wall where spare sails, inflatable, spare anchors and other bulky items can be stored. If a gen-set is desired, the right place to install this equipment is there. A water maker can also be fitted there. This compartment is water tight, and for ventilation we recommend installing an opening porthole facing the cockpit starboard wall. Abaft this compartment, going from station 9 to station 10, there is a separate compartment with access from the cockpit where the gas bottles are stowed. This compartment has a raised floor, flush with the cockpit floor, and drains to the transom by means of two permanently opened oblong holes in case of gas leaks, bored in the transom at each side of this locker`s aft wall. Below this locker there is a space for storing light things, like bed linen, for instance, accessible by an opening in station 9, or alternatively, an opening in the aft cabin starboard wall.

Deck layout: The deck lay-out is absolutely straightforward. The fore deck is flush, the cabin trunk is small and is placed abaft the mast and the cockpit is rectangular, the easiest shape to be built it. In short, when the builder reaches this stage of construction, in very short time he/she will see the boat completed. Then, when using the boat, this simple and uncluttered deck layout pays off for its simplicity, this experience coming from the already tested smaller version, the MC28. The difference is that in the MC34/36 project we gave preference to steering wheel, a bit more cumbersome, and much more expensive, but being the preference of many interested in boats this size. Notwithstanding, we didn`t shut the door for those who prefer the good old tiller bar, much simpler and reliable. The change required for this configuration is placing a gudgeon and a pintle at almost deck level and extending the rudder post up to slightly above the deck level where the tiller fitting will be attached. Another simplification was our decision of installing a pair of deck winches only, considering the MC34/36 is intended for cruising and winches are expensive items.

The halyard winches are placed in the mast, a decision that was also taken when developing the plans, with the intention of simplifying the manoeuvres. Since the mainsail requires going to the mast to fix the reefing cringle in the gooseneck hook (the most reliable system), and then having to tension the luff a bit more, why not keeping the halyard winch close to where this operation will occur? The same reasoning applies to the fore sails halyard. To douse a fore sail it is necessary to send a crew to the fore deck. Why not then letting the fore sails halyard winch at an arm`s length from that crew member instead of requiring two persons to perform this operation?

The MC34/36 deck layout is the epitome of simplicity, resulting in a less expensive boat, simple to be manoeuvred in the high seas, especially when sailing short-handed.

The fact that the fore-deck is flush allows for the stowage of either an inflatable, or a solid dinghy, in its central area without hampering the access to the forepeak. It is good to say that a solid dinghy, the Caravela 1.7, was designed to be carried on the foredeck. This particular dinghy is special in many ways. It is apt to sail, to be rowed or to be propelled by an up to 4HP outboard engine. It is watertight and self-bailing, and it is unsinkable when carrying up to four-hundred kilos of payload. This dinghy is a fnctional answer for two important reasons: to be used as a stable tender, and as a life-saving craft, in case of accident. The Caravela 1.7 was designed having in mind our MC28, Samoa 34, Cabo Horn 35 and MC34/36 builders. Since the plans are free, we know that there are heaps of these dinghies built and being used in the four corners of the world.

Spars, sails and rigging: Sloop-rigged, the MC 34 is specified to have two pairs of spreaders and four lowers, these being quite opened apart, for maximum longitudinal stiffness.

The MC34/36 uses a pair of lowers well apart from each other. This provides an incredible stiffness to the mast, which, together with the specification of two pairs of spreaders, results in a spar as strong as a telegraph post.

A full-battened main and a furling fore-sail makes manoeuvring quite easy. When sunbrela bat-covers with lazy-jacks, together with re-circulating luff cars on the mast track are adopted, hoisting and dousing the mainsail is an effortless job.

Sloop-rigged, and specified for having full batten mainsail, the MC34/36 is duck soup to be sailed short-handed.

The feeling of power and safety that the MC34/36 transmits when sailing close-hauled is perhaps the main reason for being considered an excellent boat for offshore passages. This MC34/36 is Arakae. She belongs to Pedro Tremea and is stationed in Itaipu artificial lake, located in the border between Brazil and Paraguay.

Construction: The MC34/36 is specified for construction in plywood/epoxy, (ply-glass building process, when the plywood sheathing is covered by a thick layer of fibreglass lamination), or metallic construction, either steel or aluminium. There are MC34/36 built employing any of these three processes and owners are equally happy with their boats. When building the transverse structure for assembling the hull it is possible to order the semi-bulkheads and bulkheads cut by CNC files. Almost all MC34/36 builders who chose metallic construction preferred to order their transverse structures already cut by CNC than making them in the traditional way.

CNC cutting saves time and enhances precision. Most the metallic MC34/36 were built from CNC cut transverse structures.

Plywood/epoxy ply-glass construction: This is the most popular boat building method among amateurs and is a proven means of obtaining a yacht of the highest quality. Its secret is the combination of marine plywood with epoxy, the most impermeable to water of the polymers. The outstanding durability and low maintenance required for boats built by this technique is granted by the saturation of the whole interior with this resin and the encapsulation of the outside surface of the boat with a thick layer of fibreglass, also saturated with epoxy.

MC34/36 Smoko, built in plywood/epoxy in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand. One of the advantages of the plywood/epoxy construction method is the fact that it only requires for the construction the employment of ordinary carpentry tools easily found in any hardware store, and the technique is within the reach of any amateur with a taste for working with wood.

The art of working with wood and plywood sheets requires only average skills to do the job, and the work is fascinating. The largest number of amateur constructions registered in our files is by this method and our builders report their work as extremely pleasurable. Another great advantage of this type of construction is that it produces light-displacement boats. As consequence it increases the ballast ratio. Our clients who built their boats in ply-glass report their yachts show bursts of speed difficult to be found in cruising sailboats.

Dunay, the first MC34/36 built in ply-glass. His builder, Danubio Semeraro, reported us his boat reached twelve knots when sailing in a beam reach, what is super for a thirty-six foot cruising sailboat. It can be noticed that the hull hardly touches the water.

Construction in aluminium: when the boat is built in aluminium it is also quite light, almost matching with ply-glass in weight. Besides it is immensely strong and durable, and, when the proper alloy is utilized, doesn`t even require being painted. This may represent an important saving, since painting is always a labour consuming and expensive operation. The only special care aluminium boats require is being protected against electrolysis, not allowing different metals be in contact with the aluminium, and be sure that the electrical wiring is properly isolated, so not to be possible to have electricity leaks.

Cutting by CNC the transverse structure saves time and enhances precision. This aluminium MC34/36 hull was assembled using laser cut bulkheads and semi-bulkheads.

The same MC34/36 hull shown in the photo above seen after having its hull plated. This boat was built by her owner, Riccardo Gardalben, in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Now the construction is almost concluded and his boat is being prepared for launching.

Steel construction is also popular among MC34/36 builders. Steel being relatively cheap and very strong, it seduces many builders. However it produces heavier hulls and care must be taken to ensure long lasting protection against oxidation. Several boats of the class were built in steel.

Keel and rudder: A relatively shallow draught, low centre of gravity, cast iron bulbous fin-keel, or a steel case fin filled with lead, fit this design superbly, allowing for deep and shallow water navigation with plenty of safety margin. The cast iron version possesses a flat bottomed semi-bulb below, which grants a low centre of gravity and good lifting capabilities when sailing close-hauled, while the steel case filled with lead has the same hydrofoils, same draught and approximately the same vertical position of centre of gravity, in function of the lead`s higher density, the only difference in shape being the fact that the bulb is omitted. So, both solutions have about the same performance, the decision on what keel type to choose depending on cost, local availabilities, and personal preference.

The cast iron version of the fin keel with a flat bottomed bulb is advantageous when going aground by accident, since the bulb`s flat bottom works like a sledge, preventing up to a certain point that the keel`s tip burries in the mud or sand.

Steel case fin keel to be filled with lead internally until the total weigh equals the weight of the cast iron version. When this is reached an empty space is left in its upper part, which can be used as a sump well, and where an automatic pump can be installed. When the boat is made in aluminium the metallic case is made with this same material.

The rudder is specially designed for cruising offshore, having a rectangular longitudinal shape, for allowing maximum efficiency when running with the seas, so that its lower tip very improbably loses grip. Preventing broaching in harsh sea conditions is one of our great concerns when developing rudder projects. The rudder construction follows the specifications for each material specified in the plans, but its shape is the same externally.

Other information: The MC 34 and the MC36 are the same project, the only difference residing in the transom configuration and rudder design. The MC34 version of the project has a transom hung external rudder fixed to the transom by means of gudgeons and pintles, while the MC36 version possesses a spade rudder with a rudder stock passing through a built-in telescope in the transom scoop. In the MC34 version, the rudder pivots inside a V opening in the boarding platform and the rudder has no rudder stock, its part out of the water having a rectangular cross section extending up to deck level. In both versions, as we already told, a tiller bar can be chosen instead of the steering wheel.