While not the best boat for light-air sailing, the Union 36 is a good sailboat for the bluewater cruiser. It won't get you there fast, but it will get you there comfortably and in one piece. The boats teak decks and lavish use of interior wood is attractive but requires much upkeep and maintenance. A product of the Taiwan-U.S. boatbuilding industry, the Union 36 is a heavy-displacement, full-keel, cutter-rigged double-ender designed for ocean sailing. The Union 36 is nearly identical to several other boats built during the same period: the Hans Christian 36, Mariner Polaris 36, and the EO36. According to well-known naval architect Bob Perry, the Union 36 and its cousins are all based on the design of a 34-footer that Perry was commissioned to create back in the early 70s.
Cheoy Lee Shipyards of Hong Kong is one of the first molders of fiberglass boats in Asia. The Cheoy Lee Clipper 36 was built from 1969 to about 1988, if the BUC Research Used Boat Price Guide is to be believed. The Clipper 42 was introduced a year later, in 1970. Eventually both were replaced by the more contemporary designs of David Pedrick. We doubt that very many Clipper series boats were brought into the U.S. during the mid or later 1980s.
For better or worse, the Columbia 8.7 is modern in appearance, with a very straight sheer, pronounced forward overhang, and no overhang aft. The stern is decidedly unusual, with an exaggerated wineglass-section transom. This reduces the apparent size of the back end of the boat, which would otherwise look very ungainly since beam is carried well aft. From an aesthetic point of view, you either like the stern or you don't.
With more than three decades of hard use behind it-first in the charter trade and later in private ownership-the CSY 37 has very few secrets. All its warts are well exposed; as are its strengths. About two-dozen current and former owners responded to our survey, and we saw many consistencies in their comments. Most owners praised the boats rugged construction and stability and lamented its upwind performance. On the whole, the boat delivered what they expected of a cruising boat: namely a boat that would get them (and a fair amount of gear and provisions) safely and comfortably to their destination. Nearly all of the respondents had the owners version or B layout, and praised its livability. The following summaries and comments are representative of the majority of responses we collected.