When you first see this boat, either in the water or on paper, the two things that immediately strike you are the sheer and bow. Edmunds put the low point of the sheer at the right place, about two-thirds of the distance aft from the bow. But the bow seems awfully high. In fact, when you walk forward along the sidedecks, you have the definite sensation of walking uphill. Too much, we think, though the look certainly sets the Princess apart from boats with flatter sheers (again, the Pearson 365 comes to mind).
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.
The Islander 36 is a fairly light-displacement boat. The hand-laid hull is an uncored, single skin, with polyester resin and fiberglass furniture components adding rigidity. The hull and plywood-core deck are bolted together at close intervals through an aluminum toerail.
As is typical of C&Cs, owners give the boat high marks for quality of construction, and in general, their enthusiasm is justified. The boat does, however, have a potential weak point. Hull: Like most C&Cs, the 40 was built with a balsa-cored hull. The result is a hull that is extremely stiff for its weight, but balsa coring is not without its potential for problems. In the event of delamination or rupture of the hull skin, the balsa coring can absorb moisture. Moisture penetration of the outer laminate could ultimately reach the balsa coring. It is imperative that a balsa-cored hull be carefully examined by a knowledgeable surveyor before purchasing a used boat.
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.