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Yachtsnet's archive of boat details and pictures

The following information and photographs are displayed as a service to anyone researching yacht types. HOWEVER THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COVERED BY COPYRIGHT, AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF YACHTSNET LTD. Details and photographs are normally based on one specific yacht, but could be a compilation. No reliance should be placed on other yachts of the same class being identical.  Where common variations exist, we have endeavoured to indicate this in these archive details. 

Rival 34

Brief details


Hulls mostly moulded by Marine Construction (Woolston) Ltd., many fitted out by Southern Boatbuilding.

The Rival 34 is a classic cruiser, with an impressive history of long-distance cruising and ocean racing. She has a moderate fin keel and skeg hung rudder. Two keel options were available, the deeper keel version having better performance, although for a pure cruiser the shallow keel versions also perform pretty well.


34' 0"

Sail area

560 sq ft


24' 10"




9' 8"




4' 8" or 5' 10"




11,900 lbs




4,700 lbs


20 - 40

Keel type

Fin and skeg

Designed By Peter Brett, the Rival 34 was an extended version of the already very successful Rival 32, the Rival 34 having a a slightly deeper afterbody and longer overhangs to give steadiness in a seaway. There were two basic hull versions, one with a deep keel at 5ft 10ins, and a shallow one at 4ft 8ins draft. 174 Rival 34s were built in all.

The designer's own boat, 'Wild Rival' won the OSTAR singlehanded transatlantic race in 1976, and many other Rivals have gone on to cruise long distances. The design has a distinctive sheerline, and the interior, although small in comparison with most modern 34-footers, is particularly well fitted out for serious seagoing.


In around 1977 the Rival range expanded to include the Rival 38 and 38A, and the 41 and 41A, the A indicating versons with an aft cabin under the cockpit. In 1980 the Rival 36 was also added to the range. Although earlier Rival hulls were moulded by Marcon, Southern Boatbuilding took over the work in 1979, when Marcon ceased trading. How long Rival 34s continued to be produced is not known but a few were still being launched in the late 1980s.

Rival 34

Rivals have an almost instantly recognisable sheerline

Rival 34

The heads compartment usually has a hinge-down washbasin above the marine WC. Opposite the heads is hanging locker space

The various photos here illustrate different fitouts, in general (but not always) the earlier the boat the plainer and simpler the fitout.

Yachts seen here are no longer for sale - the data is online as a free information service for buyers researching boat types. THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COVERED BY COPYRIGHT, AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF YACHTSNET LTD.

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Some Rival 34 hulls were fitted out by amateurs, or by other yards than Marcon or Southern Boatbuilders, in which case the layout my vary slightly - a common variation was to have storage lockers under both the side-decks in the saloon instead of a pilot berth to one side. Berth numbers were made up by canvas pipe cots above the saloon settees.

Rival 34

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