Pacific Seacraft 34 Sailboat
S/V Ubiquity at anchor before rounding the Brooks Pennisula,
Klashkish Basin, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada:
- See below (after sailing photographs) for more details and photographs of Ubiquity's specific equipment and outfitting. -
Ubiquity is a 1987 Pacific Seacraft 34 sailboat, hull #67.
Designed by Bill Crealock as a smaller successor to the Pacific
Seacraft 37, the Pacific Seacraft 34 is sometimes called the "Crealock 34".*
I am outfitting Ubiquity for my post-retirement cruising plans.
I bought her for her offshore cruising design, her good
construction quality, and the considerable cruising gear already
on the boat.
The Design Characteristics I Like about the Pacific Seacraft 34 for Cruising:
Cutter rig, which provides a flexible sail plan, especially for higher winds.
Ubiquity also has a quick-release staysail stay that is easily stowed,
so I can convert Ubiquity easily to a sloop rig.
Elongated fin keel underbody, including a slight bridge between the keel and
the skeg and with the propeller in an aperture. The elongated fin keel I feel provides
a good compromise between tracking stability and maneuverability.
The slight bridge between the keel and the skeg shifts the design slightly more towards
the traditional side of the full-fin keel continuum (compared to for example the
The skeg is heavily built.
The propeller in an aperture, combined with the slight bridge, protects
substantially against entanglements, such as with crab pots.
Seaworthy hull dimensions and design, with a maximum beam of only ten feet that tells you that Crealock
did not design her as a "dockominium", whereas the limit of positive stability of 144 degrees
tells you that Crealock did design her for serious offshore safety, stability, and seakindliness.
Canoe stern, which as Bill Crealock intended aids control in strong following seas.
Enhanced side-deck security, enhanced by the bulwark, outboard shrouds, and extra-high lifelines.
Ubiquity's lifelines are heavy 1/4" 1x19 stainless steel wire, and the stern pulpit is modified to extend further forward.
Good anchor platform, with stout bow rollers. The design of the anchor locker, windlass placement, and foredeck space and security
make for an excellent set-up for anchoring.
Stout opening portlights, providing both offshore security and ventilation
at anchor and in the marina. Older Pacific Seacraft models like Ubiquity have
oval bronze portlights, whereas newer models have rectangular chrome-plated
portlights. The newer portlights incorporate better drainage, but I like the
green patina of the bronze portlights, which also blends nicely with Ubiquity's
green accent color.
Size, which is small by today's standards for a cruising boat.
I decided on a cruising boat with the smallest size meeting my space and carrying capacity requirements.
Besides costing more, bigger boats and are harder to handle, especially when sailing short or single-handed.
My sailing experience with Ubiquity has impressed me with her virtues as an offshore
boat, including her excellent tracking ability and easy motion in a seaway, combined with
acceptable maneuverability in the marina.
Whereas more performance-oriented cruisers would prefer a lighter fin keel with spade rudder design,
and more traditionally-oriented cruisers would prefer a heavier full keel design,
for me S/V Ubiquity occupies the sweet spot for serious offshore cruising,
especially as an older person cruising with one crew member or perhaps by myself.
You can view video clips I took on Ubiquity
sailing around the Brooks Pennisula during a gale warning,
crossing the Columbia River Bar (view over the bow),
crossing the Columbia River Bar (view looking towards stern and helmsman),
broad-reaching off the Washington coast in heavy fog and 20+ knot winds, and
sailing south from Barkley Sound, Vancouver Island, in beautiful sunshine.
- 13,200 lb. displacement empty, 4,800 lb. elongated fin keel (external lead ballast)
- full-skeg rudder, propeller in aperture, slight bridge between keel and skeg
- 34' 1" overall length, 26' 3" water-line, 10' beam
- 4' 11' draft per original specs., but about 5' 1" when loaded for cruising
- 47' total air draft (vertical clearance)
- about 600 sq. ft. sail area in cutter configuration with working jib and staysail
- 6.9 knot, 7.9 mph hull speed
- Tankage: 75 gal. water, 30 gal. diesel, 16 gal. holding
- Yanmar 3HM35F diesel engine, 30 hp, auxiliary power
Cruising Sail Inventory:
Light-air sails keep her moving in light air--a large
asymmetric spinnaker (with dousing sleeve) and a drifter.
For higher winds she has the staysail, two deep reefs
(65%, 39%) in the mainsail, and a trysail (on a separate track) and storm staysail for
very strong conditions.
Her new mainsail is heavily made by Eric Taylor of Taylor Sails
in Port Angeles. Counter to current trends,
I decided on a battanless, roachless mainsail. Combined with Strong Track hardware for
the luff, the mainsail hoists and drops very easily, allowing me to dispense with lazy
jacks and instead of flaking the mainsail on top of the boom I roll it into a bunt and tie
it on the side of the boom, as my experienced cruising friend Dave Mancini--captain of
S/V Swan, a sister ship to Ubiquity--taught me.
Her standard cruising headsail is a new 110% genoa, heavily made by
in Port Angeles.
I also carry a high-clew 55% Yankee I sheet to the inner genoa track when sailing close
to weather in strong conditions, plus it looks great when sailing as a cutter with the staysail
(see photo below).
Anchoring: Her primary
ground tackle is a 44 lb.
Rocna 20 anchor (true weight 47 lbs.) on 207' of 5/16" high-test chain,
with 200' of 5/8" 3-strand nylon that I spliced directly to the chain.
The vertical Muir windlass operates either manually
or electrically. The manual mode using a winch handle works excellently, and I prefer
the exercise of manually retrieving the rode. I use 1/2" 3-strand nylon for snubbers.
A washdown pump I installed, with a hose connection near the windlass, allows cleaning of the ground takle
when hauling anchor, helping to keep the anchor locker and bilge clean.
Fortress FX-16 (10 lb. aluminum Danforth-type anchor with adjustable fluke angle)
stowed on the stern pulpit,
on 20' 5/16" high-test chain and 300' 1/2"
Sampson Super-Strong nylon double-braid,
serves as a stern, backup, and kedge anchor.
A huge Fortress
FX-37, with 8' of chain and 300' of 5/8"
serves as a storm anchor and another backup anchor.
The FX-37 Fortress anchor with the chain attached is in a Stowaway Anchor Bag
in the V-berth ready for quick assembly if needed.
Used on all anchors: 7/16" Crosby USA-made alloy shackles, 2.6t WLL rating,
breaking strength rating over 25,000 lbs.
*As an aside, my friend Dave Mancini,
an experienced cruiser and captain of Ubiquity's sister ship
reports that in a conversation he was privileged
to have with Bill Crealock, Crealock discussed what he had
learned from the 37 design that he used to refine the 34 design.
Pacific Seacraft 34 Further Information and Reviews:
Sailing on the Columbia River in light winds, March 2013:
Sailing on the Columbia River for a meetup introduction to sailing class outing, 2012:
Flying asymmetric spinnaker (left), and beating (right) in very light air with the drifter on the Columbia River, sailing class outing, 2014:
Two photos (on left) of S/V Ubiquity sailing off Port Angeles in 2011, before she received her new white paint job
(Photos taken by my friend Dave Mancini, sailing his sister ship,
plus one photo (on right) of S/V Ubiquity at the dock with Yankee and staysail hoisted:
S/V Ubiquity sailing as a cutter, early morning crossing of the Columbia River Bar, October 2012:
On the hard, showing her underbody design with elongated fin keel, slight bridge to the skeg, propeller in an aperature, skeg-hung rudder, and canoe stern:
Some Other Specific Equipment and Outfitting Details for S/V Ubiquity:
(Many with my photos, so click on the links)
Ship radio call sign: WDG5380
- Mainsail Reefing:
The two deep reefs reduce the sail area to 65% / 39% of the total area, from 233 sq. ft. to 152 / 90 sq. ft.
For cruising I prefer two deep reefs to the standard three-reef cruising setup.
- Headsail Furler:
a Schaefer System 2100 furler I installed myself.
- Running Rigging Choices:
I prefer working the halyards and setting the reefing tack at the mast.
I converted the headsail and mainsail halyards to internal, and added an internal boom topping lift / backup main halyard.
I added two Andersen 12 ST FS winches on the mast to work the halyards, plus a clutch for the headsail halyard.
The lines I run to the cockpit include the main outhaul, boomvang, main topping lift, and the two clew reefing lines.
- Standing Rigging:
I replaced all of the standing rigging myself, using
Hayn Hi-Mod terminals at the lower stay terminations
and standard swages at the upper.
Turnbuckles are Hayn, locked with stainless welding rod (a method I learned from a Brion Toss video).
I followed Dave Mancini's lead and used 9/32" 316 wire, except for 5/16" on the headstay.
Running backstays are 3/16" with block and tackle going to padeyes on the rear sidedeck.
- Mainsail Preventers:
Since Ubiquity has no aluminum toerail I could use for anchoring a mainsail preventer, I rigged
a line to one of the chainplates to provide a solid preventer anchor.
When not in use, bungie cords hold the preventer lines and blocks tight to the lifelines.
When in use in offshore conditions, I rig lines from the cockpit, through the blocks on the preventer anchors, and to the boom.
I tie the preventer lines off on horn cleats I installed just below the gunwale top, outside face, just aft of the primary winches.
- Mast Steps:
Mast steps make ascending the mast SO much easier and quicker. I find I go aloft more often, rather than putting it off.
A Monitor windvane steers the boat when sailing and consumes no electricity.
A below-deck hydraulic autopilot steers when motoring or for short periods when sailing.
- Feathering Propeller:
To reduce drag when sailing Ubiquity has a Luke Feathering 3-Blade Propeller.
The Luke propeller is not as well-know as the Max-Prop, but I think is more robustly built and more beautifully crafted.
See the P.E. Luke Boatyard's on-line information about
this excellent feathering propeller.
- Nav Table:
This shows the layout of the navigation station with the large chart table for charts and with storage below,
and with the electronics forward and to the right.
Left to right, this shows the small Garmin GPSMap 78sc chartplotter that also functions as compass and barograph,
the Raymarine e7d MFD that serves as the main chartpotter and the radar display,
the Garmin GPS 128 Marine Navigator connected to an external antenna.
Above is the high-frequency Icom 706MKIIg radio and Pactor modem,
and below is the Standard Horizon GX-2200 VHF radio with AIS receiver and GPS built-in.
Multiple GPS units provide redundant position fix capability. Four GPS units operate off of the boat's 12v electrical system. Three handheld marine GPS units, several iPhones running navigation apps, iPads connected to a Badelf sensor GPS running navigation apps, and laptop computers connnected to a sensor GPS and running navigation programs, provide more GPS redundancy. A sextant, nautical almanac, and sight reduction apps/programs provide non-GPS backup. Besides electronic charts, S/V Ubiquity usually carries paper charts and chartbooks.
- Electronic Equipment:
Enhancing safety at sea are digital radar, VHF DSC marine radio with AIS receiver fed to the main Raymarine chartplotter (MFD),
and AIS transceiver when transmitting position is desired.
The AIS chartplotter feed can be selected as from the VHF radio AIS receiver or from the AIS transceiver via a DPDT switch,
which avoids a problem of the vessel's own AIS target chasing the vessel and setting off alarms when the transceiver is operating.
Redundant GPS units are beside the main Raymarine MFD,
with the small Garmin color handheld unit mounted on a Ram Mount and with its built-in altimiter/barometer it serves also as a baragraph.
The chartplotter, radar, and AIS transceiver can all be viewed and controlled not only at the chart table,
but also above by iPads/iPhones via Wifi connections,
with the iPads/iPhones secured in Ram Mounts under the dodger.
- Binacle/Cockpit Electronics, Instruments:
A remote speaker-mike at the binnacle provides easy use of the VHF radio, including the AIS receiver, in the cockpit.
A Garmin GPSMap 76c handheld chartplotter in a Ram Mount is available at the helm.
Instruments beside the companionway display wind, depth, speed, and heading information.
The Ritchie compass at the binnacle has red LED lighting for night use, switchable below at the electrical panel.
- High-Frequency Radio:
A high-frequency ham radio and a Pactor modem at the nav station provide for long-distance communications, email, and weather information.
For the HF ground/counterpoise I installed a KISS-SSB. I find that the KISS-SSB works well and I was able to remove the old grounding plate on the hull and patch the holes.
The backstay has an upper Hayn insulator and serves as the HF antenna.
I got rid of the lower insulator and connected the GO-15 wire from the antenna tuner to the chainplate inside the stern locker,
which results in a more positive connection, less subject to corrosion, than
the common method of clamping the GO-15 to the backstay several feet up the backstay,
but does require awareness not to touch the backstay when transmitting with the HF radio.
flexible solar panels are sewn in and removable by zippers on each side of the dodger,
with a cover that zips over the panels
for protection when not in use.
Two separate MPPT solar controllers promote maximum output from each panel.
All lighting, interior and exterior, is LED to minimize electrical use. Red interior LED lighting is used when under way at night. A masthead tricolor light is used offshore instead of the bow/stern running lights. An LED strobe light is at the masthead for use in an emergency.
- Bilge Pumps:
An 800 GPH electric pump at the bottom of the bilge operates by a float switch. Partway up the bilge is a 2000 GPH electric pump operated by a float switch, with an audible alarm that sounds when operating. Cockpit manual pump serves as a backup.
To improve access to the bilge, I had shipwright Eric Bert in Port Angeles build an
extra-large bilge access panel in the cabin sole,
exactly matching the style of the other panels.
In the photo showing the bilge access you can see both the upper and the lower bilge pump switches.
- Washdown Pump:
A 6 gpm 70 psi washdown pump provides pressure seawater (through a strainer) to a hose connection near the windlass, allowing easily cleaning of the ground tackle when retrieving the anchor, and allowing hosing down of the side decks.
- Water Inside:
2 spigots, operated by footpumps or handpumps, provide both fresh water and saltwater at both the galley and the head sinks. Pressure freshwater is available at both sinks also, used mainly when flushing the water tanks. Seawater for the sinks, toilet, washdown pump, and watermaker goes through easily accessible and serviceable water strainers. Seawater for the watermaker goes through a 30 micron filter after going through the strainer. Fresh water pumped through the spigot at the galley sink goes through a 30 micron filter.
Here is the view below the galley sink showing the seawater strainer for the sinks and watermaker, and the filter for the fresh water at the galley sink.
A Pur (now Katadyn) PowerSurvivor 40E watermaker produces water from seawater when cruising extensively in dry cruising locales, such as the Sea of Cortez. See Gary Alber's website for the best information on these watermakers.
The watermaker is
installed below the quarterberth, just aft of the nav station, and is easily accessible by flipping up the top part of the quarterberth cushion.
- Water Tank Guage:
I built a simple guage for the stern water tank using a piece of clear vinyl hose with valves at both ends.
The guage is conveniently located beside the watermaker, which can pump water directly to the stern tank if desired.
I prefer the simplicity and elegance of this simple guage over electronic guages using sensors.
- Holding Tank:
Integral fiberglass tank can be emptied by a deck pumpout or by discharge overboard using a manual overboard pump.
Besides the two main hatches,
the 10 bronze portlights
all open and have removable bronze screens
for use when insects present problems.
Usually I do not use the portlight screens, so airflow is higher.
Ubiquity was made with 2 cowl vents on top of aluminum dorade boxes, fitted with Ventus clamshell vents.
I find that the cowl vents interfere too much with the rigging, especially the staysail sheets,
so I do not use the cowl vents and
fitted wide-mesh plastic screens in the tops of the dorade boxes.
I removed the fine insect screens in the mushroom vents to increase airflow.
I also repaired the mushroom vents to restore them to full working order.
For ventilation in the aft cockpit locker, where I store fenders and lines that sometimes get wet,
I added a Ventus UFO vent.
Inside Ubiquity 3 electric fans are available to increase airflow when desired in hot environments.
- Cabin Heater:
A Dickinson Newport Propane heater
works excellently and is an appreciated luxury when sailing in cold and wet weather.
Sometimes underway at night I keep watch sitting at the top of the companionway with the heater on below,
and besides making a difference in comfort the yellow flame provides the ambience of a campfire.
- Propane Storage:
Fiberglass propane locker is external, hung off of the stern pulpit,
which I prefer for safety to an internal vented locker. Propane is switched on at the main electric panel, opening a solenoid valve at the tanks. I installed a big red LED warning light, which is on whenever the propane is on, on the panel beside the switch.
An inflatable liferaft came with the boat, and is
stored in a hard canister forward of the mast.
I share the skepticism of some other cruisers that having a liferaft aboard increases safety.
In serious offshore weather conditions I think that successfully launching and getting into the raft would be unlikely,
and that trying to do so could distract from saving the boat and thereby lower survival chances.
Nonetheless, the liferaft provides some psychological comfort when far offshore, and I can imagine an unlikely scenario, such as hitting a whale and sinking in calm conditions, when deploying a liferaft would likely succeed.
- Survival Suits:
S/V Ubiquity carries two survival suits, bright red/orange with strobe lights.
- Equipment that I Removed:
I removed the refrigeration unit, and all of the associated wiring, and gave it to a friend.
This greatly reduces electrical consumption, freeing me from being a slave to recharging the battery bank. Plus it frees up storage space.
See Beth Leonard's A Voyager's Handbook if you think that you cannot cruise without refrigeration.
- Hot Water Tank:
I removed the hot water tank and gave it to a friend. This gets the tank and the associated hoses out of the way for working on the mechanics. The old hot water tank blocked access to the steering quadrant.
A Sunshower, plus hot water from the stove, serve as hot water sources for washing on S/V Ubiquity.
- Shower in the Head:
I removed the factory-installed shower in the head because I don't like taking a shower in the head and getting the head all wet,
and prefer taking a shower in the cockpit with the Sunshower.
- Cooler Drain Pump:
The cooler drain pump did not work well and was in the way in the engine compartment.
I removed the pump and routed the cooler drain hose directly to the bilge.
I placed a screen over the drain entrance in the cooler.
Now there is never any water build-up in the cooler.
My HAM call sign: KF7QCX
Ship MMSI No.: 367546050