1981 Young Sun 35 Cutter

The beautiful canoe stern. Lovely!


I’ve always liked the looks of this kind of boat with plenty of wood trim. This boat just looks like it would be happy at sea. Although it has the signature canoe stern, apparently this boat was not designed by Bob Perry. (I’ve never seen a Perry boat I didn’t think was pretty. And I do love a canoe stern. They just seem very romantic to me, very graceful.) Seems like this boat is always attributed to him, but we stand corrected in that he didn’t actually do this boat. I’m relieved. Read on to see why.

This boat is one of those that has all the teak inside and looks like a tiny ship both inside and out.

This is what I call “EQUIPMENT”

Sturdy mast pulpits, and belaying pins that are out of the way.

It’s hard to tell in the photo, but those safety lines are hip height, taller than most. Very nice!

Nice wide side decks. The Allied 36 was short in this area due to the angle of the shrouds and the placement of the belaying pins. One had to step up onto the coach roof to go to the foredeck. This isn’t okay with me.


Awww. I can imagine Mike and me cuddled up here behind the wheel, gazing off into the horizon. Unless it is raining. 

So far, I’m liking this boat. Very good ‘bone’ structure, classic lines, this is a boat that I would probably forgive a lot of flaws, including how heavy it is. Know what I mean? Let’s go inside.

Fabulous wood work. Would take a lot of care, but it’s warm and inviting.

At first glance, I like this interior. the table is low, but is easily raised. The settees are deep. No worries about the missing cushion. That kind of thing always needs replacing on older boats anyhow. So far, so good.

Looking from the base of the companionway.

Full navigation table and quarter berth

First impressions of the interior of this boat were that it would be a beautiful boat when cleaned up and with a few cosmetic fixes. First impressions can be dangerous with boats, though. I’d like to know a little more about what they were thinking when ‘they’ designed this boat interior. Look more closely at the photos, starting with the table. It’s a very nice table, very sturdy and executed well. You can raise or lower it easily. But you cannot get past it to sit on the settee. Nope. No way. You have to step over the table to get to the settee. I’m not kidding. Frankly, I think this is just unreasonable. Had they made the table a wee bit smaller, it would have been no problem.

Likewise, take a look at the photo of me at the nav station. There is about 10 inches of space between the corner of the nav station and cover for the engine. I literally had to SSQQQUUUEEZE into that space and then out again. There would be no ‘quick’ checking of a chart at that table, I can tell you. And I’m sorry for anyone who has to sleep on that berth. They’ll never get out of it without hurting themselves if the seas are high.

Then there are the many doorways from the head to the v berth and then from the passageway into the v berth. Too many doors for such a small space and it feels almost claustrophobic getting through them. It’s really too, too bad. The impression is that they took a 40 foot boat interior and squished it into a 35 foot boat. Something has to give, people! I’m relieved to know that Perry was not responsible for this travesty. His pedestal remains intact.

So we aren’t buying this boat. But I did learn that I do love this KIND of boat, the heavy boats built in the far east by skilled craftspeople. The teak is really lovely, and cabinetry does make the boat feel like a home. So far these heavy boats seem to have the best settees. This pair was the best pair since we saw that Spencer 44 in Seattle. I still like that boat.

We had to look at this boat because when thinking of giving up our house, it helps to imagine a boat that feels as sturdy as an actual home. Unfortunately it’s unlikely that this boat would do much sailing around here since it’s very heavy and our winds are generally light. We probably need to pass on these heavy displacement, teak boats. But they are beautiful and fun to look at.


19 thoughts on “1981 Young Sun 35 Cutter

  1. Hey Melissa. I just found your boat reviews! I’ve eyed a few of the same. Check out the Tayana 37 at Shilshole. (CL) Mia and I fell in love with it, you guys may too. I’m not sure what your budget is but I had to say farewell when I realized even with a hefty loan it would be too tight. (It is the perfect live aboard)


    • Hi Laura and Mia! Nice to hear from you on the blog. We haven’t looked at that Tayana 37, but I know the one you are talking about. Mike and I are probably not going to look at boats with a full keel because we want to be able to sail easily in this area. We’ve been on a Tayana, though, and they are really nice boats. Yes, it would be a perfect liveaboard. It seems to be the case that if we find a boat that is perfect for living at the dock, it’s not so great for sailing, and vice versa. Very frustrating. But at the end of the day, we still have Moonrise and might just keep her. We’re still on the fence about that, as is reflected in the fact that she is still on the market.

  2. Hi thankyou so much for this interesting review.Have been looking at the Youngsun 35 for some time..This as helped me a lot…

  3. Hi Steve, and thanks for stopping by the blog. I’m glad this review met your needs. That is a really lovely looking boat and if I wanted a heavy displacement boat like that, I would be giving it another look. The irritations I had with the interior could all easily be addressed, I think, and not everyone would agree that they are irritations. It’s a matter of opinion.

  4. Hi Melissa,

    I was the Owner of ‘Clear Horizon’, just finalized the sale today. I wish I could have talked to you before you made your decision not to buy her, I could have explained some things that maybe would have made her more attactive to you. First of all, you rarely see Young Sun 35’s with stancions near the mast. These are particulaly great because you can lean against them if you are working at the mast. She has a full canvas enclosure for the cockpit. This was particularly nice when I lived on her at Shileshole for two years. I had brand new upolstered cushions for the quarter berth made at Seattle Canvas, never been slept on. There is more room in there than you would think. Yes, it’s a bit of squeeze to get by the chart table. The settee table when in the upright position is easy to get by, but it turned out it was more practicle to leave it down most of the time. In that position, it’s the same height as the seats, so you can lay foul weather gear, etc. on top of it and it’s not going anywhere. No, she’s not a tuperware boat that will win races, but she is solid, has good rigging and the best engine in the world.
    I grew up in a fishing family and this is the safest boat I’ve ever been on, I’d go anywhere on her.

    • Hi Brad. I’m glad to hear that you’ve sold your boat! I feel lucky to have been able to view the boat, considering that the broker knew we couldn’t really make an offer at that time so he was showing it out of the goodness of his heart. The problem with looking at boats through brokers is that the owner can always tell you a lot more than the broker can. Usually you don’t get to meet the owner unless you are serious about the boat, though. That boat had a lot going for it and felt really solid. We looked at it very early in our search and before we had narrowed down what we wanted. We aren’t racers ourselves, so we wanted to look at some of the beautiful teak boats out there and yours was one of them. Yes, I can imagine that it would take you anywhere in the world safely. In the end, I know that if it had been the kind of boat we were looking for, we could have worked around the issues we brought up in the review. No boat is ever perfect for everyone. I’m glad you found a buyer and hope they sail off into the horizon and love the boat as much as you obviously do!

  5. Hello Melissa and Michael – This is a year after your review of the Young Sun 35, and a year after Brad’s reply (a former owner of “Clear Horizon”). I’m not sure who purchased her from Brad, but I just put an offer on her, and it was accepted. I was told that the owner passed away and she was up as an estate sale. We literally fell upon her accidentally while looking at other boats in the area.

    Her name had been changed to “Amiga” … but we could see the faint lettering of “Clear Horizon” on her stern quarters. We looked at her with the wind howling, and the rain pouring … and she is a very nice, snug and cozy little boat! Yep, there are certainly some cosmetic items that can (and will) be addressed, but she sure does suit our needs and expectations … she’s going to go places, that’s for sure!

    If at all possible, and if you still have contact info, I’d love it if you could pass my contact info on to Brad, the previous owner … I’d love to chat with him about the boat!

    She’s definitely not a family cruiser, but for a couple, or some close friends, I have no doubt that she’ll deliver the goods!

    Hope to see you guys out there on the water someday! We’ll likely be messing around the Northwest Washington area for a couple of years, getting to know the boat, but then it will be time to head south!


    • Phil,

      Congratulations on your new boat. I will send Brad’s email address directly to you and he can reply if he wishes. She is a sturdy boat and cozy. I cannot recall if the bulkhead heater is propane or diesel but I can well imagine feeling about as content as a human can be in her snug saloon with a warm fire.

      Will you be keeping the name Amiga or do you have other ideas? We probably won’t be sailing Salish sea till next summer but we will certainly keep an eye out for you.

      • Thanks Michael … I’m not sure about keeping the name “Amiga”. Somehow, it just doesn’t fit her. But as to what to name her, I honestly don’t know right now.

        Yes, she seems very snug! I was smitten as soon as I set foot onboard. She has fine lines, a tidy cabin, and seems like a very sound boat. We’re thinking about keeping her in the Seattle area for the time being (maybe for the next couple of years), and then taking her to more southern areas. I have a special love for the Sea of Cortez, and I suspect she’s going to see a lot of time down there eventually.

        Thanks again for the info, and we’ll keep an eye out for you guys!


  6. And by the way … Andromeda is a very sweet vessel!! Congratulations!! And really, a four burner stove??!!! Have you guys gone all “high class”??!!! Honestly, looking at the photos, and reading your blog, she looks and sounds like a fine vessel … how very excellent!


  7. How interesting to find such a group of Young Sun enthusiasts! I must say I understood that it was designed by Bob Perry and he sold it to Mr. Young Sun. I understood that he then added 2’ to the design, and sold it to Mr Tayana. Mr Young Sun apparently objected and refused to pay Mr. Perry any royalties. Ever since then, Mr Perry denied having anything to do with it, but I was told by the person I bought mine from that he hs the plans, for I think $300. I don’t know whether that is true or not, but that’s what I was told, and I have heard that from others as well!
    I bought my Young Sun 35 in 2001. She was a Canadian Registered Vessel, and had been left in North Carolina. I had her trucked to Vancouver BC. What a mess she was in! Named Finnisterre II, I worked long and hard on her, changed her name to Odyssey as a Registered Vessel in Canada, and sailed her single handed to Oahu and back, with winds up to 60 knots! Not great in that, but there’s very few boats I would rather be in of that size. A wonderful boat. Never had a problem with the table, and the quarter berth is very comfortable. Once you attach a bronze handle to tha nav. station, you can pull yourself out very easily, and for sailing single handed, it is the best!
    Have now had her for 15 years, and wouldn’t dream of parting with her!

  8. Hi. Are there any of you Young Sun 35 owners or ex owners still out there. I would like some info if possible please.

  9. hi all.. zephyra is a 1981 young sun 35 cutter laying at Bowen Island just outside Vancouver BC.. When we purchased her in 1995 see had the nav stn and awkward gulll wing table.. both were corrected by Dennis a true shipwright of the British order.. the navy stn was rebuilt reduced in size and lays down when not in use allowing easy access to quarter berth and the table was replaced by a custom unit that fit on the original legs. If I could figure out how to include photos or if anyone wants them I can send along.

    She has plied the waters of the pacific northwest down to Costa Rica..and the med for 7 years out of Malta. Back here in Canada.. next trip back to the sea of Cortez in 2022.. lovely craft.. smooth seas all. Jim Bach
    svzephyra @hotmail.com

    • I just reviewed that post after reading your comment. Young Sun’s are sure beautiful boats and a great boat for passages. We are heading back to the Northwest but are making plans to return south in 2022 as well. Maybe our wakes will cross one day.

  10. HI All,
    Another Young Sun caretaker here with s/v Vegvisir. I purchased her in 2016 from someone in Marquette, Michigan (Lake Superior), then know as Lady Slipper. The previous owner had sailed her back from Massachusetts where he purchased her to Lake Superior. He then sailed her down to Florida where he lived on her for several months. I sailed her down from Marquette, MI, to Milwaukee, WI where we have done a ton of work on her. The progress has been slow and steady, but sailing has been great fun and she always inspires confidence when in a seaway. Planning to do more Great Lakes cruising in the near future.

    I wish there was still a Young Sun Owners group, since I’m sure that many of us have similar challenges with maintenance, re-coring, chainplates, etc. There is a really nice Facebook page called Young Sun 35 that documents many Young Suns with photos and information. Just thought I’d spread the YS35 word!

    Kevin Petajan
    kpetajan at gmail dot com

    • Thanks Kevin for giving other aspiring Young Sun owners additional resources. Research, maintenance and repair of older boats is can be a full time undertaking.

  11. I purchased my young sun Freelife in 2005 in Brisbane Australia Freelife having sailed from Sanfransco and not returned. Financial needs caused me to sell her 5 years later. I recently found her in a boatyard on a hardstand looking fairly tired.I now own her again refurbishment is underway. The hulls on these boats are 13/8 thick round turn of the bilge the interior leaves other boaties shocked at the volume of teak etc.She sails slow safe and steady,but is very able when the going gets rough.I can see why the previous American owner chose her to sail halfway around the world. This is more than a very good boat. john

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