New Friendship 36 Makes a Splash

Cold molded by Maine craftsmen, a new shallow-draft daysailor is designed to float where most can’t go.

What’s a sailboat designer to do? A customer loves his 40-foot high-end fiberglass daysailor, but its 3-foot 11-inch centerboard-up draft is just a little too deep for the 3 feet of water at the end of the dock. He wants the same good looks and sailing ability of his current boat, of course, only in a slightly smaller package. Oh, and he wants to race his new sloop with pals in the Spirit of Tradition races that are decidedly anti plastic.

If you’re designer Ted Fountaine, you put pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard, and come up with the new Friendship 36, a lovely looking little sister to the gorgeous Friendship 40.

The first Friendship 36 has just been launched by Rockport Marine, in Rockport, Maine, and after looking at the photos Fountaine sent along, she is a beaut.

To achieve a draft of just 32 inches with the centerboard up, Fountaine modified the underbody of the 40 and eliminated its stub keel. The hull and deck are made from cold-molded wood laminates over frames and bulkheads. Topsides, the new boat is thoroughly modern, with a carbon-fiber rig and in-boom furling, hydraulic bow thruster and mainsheet controls at the helmsman’s feet, and push-button winches and furler for the jib. Below decks, the gloss-varnished open saloon has a galley with electric fridge, microwave, sink and gourmet coffee brewer, an electric head, and hot and cold shower. There’s even room for a double berth forward of the table.

Fountaine reports seatrials went well, a key step in turning a faithful old customer into a happy new one.

Click through to see more photos!