"Sea Orchid" Cromarty 36 Lying Essex
I had sailed wooden yachts for most of my life, but they needed a great deal of maintenance. When we married in 1989 I realised a different approach was needed if my wife was to remain onside! In 1991 we bought the Cromarty 36, which met all our requirements and in particular would be a comfortable start to sailing for my wife. The Cromarty is very well built to a very high standard, and is much more luxurious than anything I had owned before.
Sea Orchid has proved to be a very comfortable vessel in all sorts of weather conditions, from calm to Force 8. We have cruised extensively each year on holiday, and very few weekends are missed. She particularly comes into her own in wet conditions, when the deck saloon is a perfect haven. I can honestly say that foul weather gear is hardly ever worn! There is also the individual seat in the aft cabin to which my wife sometimes retreats in bad weather.
The galley area is well equipped for use both in harbour and at sea, the Force 10 cooker being gimballed. There are two fridges and plenty of storage space, and the whole work area is tiled.
As for the accommodation generally, it is spacious and comfortable. The two toilet and shower areas are functional and easy to keep clean. Effectively there are two cabins with ensuite facilities, with occasional sleeping in the deck saloon. There are curtains to cover every window in such a situation, so privacy is ensured.
All in all Sea Orchid is an excellent motor sailor, with a more than adequate performance under sail. We are now purchasing a larger yacht, and therefore she is available to a buyer who looks for a well maintained and luxurious yacht. Because she is kept, summer and winter, outside our house we have been able to look after her to an extremely high standard.
If you enjoy cruising in supreme comfort, entertaining in style or just soaking up the sun, the Cromarty 36 is tailor made for you.
Gordon Wyatt and David Freeman, designers of the renowned Fisher Class of motor sailers, have excelled themselves with the Cromarty 36. She is an exceptionally strong, superbly finished three-cabin, six berth cruising masterpiece.
Emphasis throughout the yacht has been placed on space, function, light and comfort. Step aboard and you immediately feel at home.
The Cromarty 36 has an easy to sail ketch rig. Wide side decks with low bulwarks, robust stanchions and the split rig with manageable sail areas, enable alterations to be made to the sail plan with consummate ease and safety.
Add a furling system and sailing the Cromarty 36 short-handed becomes simplicity itself. Whether steered from above or below deck, she is well balanced and responsive making sailing a delight whatever the weather. (Note: Sea Orchid has Sailspar headsail reefing and Kemp in-mast mainsail reefing)
The reliable, well proven, Volvo Penta 43hp diesel engine with a fuel capacity of 100 gallons gives a range of over 1000 miles at approximately 5-6 knots. (NOTE: Sea Orchid is fitted with a Volvo MD22A 59hp diesel engine!)
Add some sail and the Cromarty 36 comes into her element. All you have to do is decide where to go and at what speed. Once in harbour the three bladed propeller and 2.4:1 reduction and reverse gearbox make manoeuvring into the tightest berth easy. (Note: Sea Orchid is fitted with a Brunton Auto-prop and a Vetus 6hp bow thruster!)
Two sumptuous double cabins (one with a double berth) each with en-suite WC and shower compartment; a luxurious raised deck saloon with panoramic views and comfortable settees (one converts into a double berth); a spacious dining table seating six and a gourmet galley with double sink, fridge and gas cooker. There is even space for a microwave. (Note: Sea Orchid has two fridges and a microwave)
Combined, these all add up to the comfort and convenience of your very own home away from home.
Yachting Monthly boat test
The attributes of this yacht add up to an interesting and successful package with a distinct and discerning niche in the market. The accommodation is practical, extremely well put together and fully equipped. We felt that the overall design was a bit cluttered but this only emphasised her rather country-cottage type of charm.
Sailing and power performances are well matched. She can be a genuinely powerful motor-cruiser when conditions dictate but she also has a rewarding performance under sail, which will encourage more than the occasional downwind run. She is, as Blondecell say, an all-weather, multi-purpose cruiser which takes a lot of the strain, stress and discomfort out of going to sea.
Classic Boat magazine
..... The design concept of the Cromarty places maximum emphasis on creating a feeling of spaciousness. This was apparent when moving around the decks where Treadmaster coverings and double guardrails on 6” (150mm) bulwarks also give a feeling of security and whether alongside or under way, I always had the feeling of being on a much larger vessel. An impression which was reinforced by the large combined deck saloon and wheelhouse, much like those of northern European craft which have to contend with the rigours of the colder climate.
One of the lasting impressions of the Cromarty 36 is that it is possible to walk the full length of her decks without ever having to step down into a cockpit. An outside on-deck steering position and seats aft — which double as cavernous lockers for stowing fenders, buckets and warps — cater for those who like their sailing in the fresh air. The general layout makes certain that whether sailing, anchoring or securing alongside, it can all be done with the minimum of fuss. The sheets and control lines are all led to the outside wheel position so that the yacht can be sailed single or short handed. .....
...... The system of sail control is just one example which illustrates the considerable thought that has clearly gone into designing and planning the 36. The result of this attention to detail is that after very little practice, handling the Cromarty under sail is quite simple. The directional stability of the long keel meant that tacking was a steady and predictable affair with everything under control, rather than the boom—clatter—crash that can be typical of a boat with a narrow fin keel. .......
Equally at home cruising the Western Isles or the Mediterranean, the Cromarty 36 is a well found motor sailer ideal for the owner who demands equal measures of comfort and luxury, combined with sailing and power performance. I didn’t expect to be surprised by her performance under power but her sailing qualities certainly exceeded my expectations.
I have always admired Sea Orchid and, in the past when sailing in company with her, have turned down opportunities to have a look around because I knew how much it would upset me.
I have now had to go aboard! She is very close to being my dream boat, she is gorgeous!
Her owner, who had her equipped by Blondecell Marine to his detailed specifications, has maintained her in 'as good as new' condition.
She has almost every conceivable accessory and everything fitted has been the very best available. But she has also been used, for everything from day and weekend sailing to long holidays around the coast and on the continent.
The ships towels and bedding have the Sea Orchid logo!
Sea Orchid has been laid up ashore outside the owner's home under cover every winter and whilst general maintenance has been done by the owner, sails, engine and generator set have been professionally serviced every winter.
Sea Orchid is seriously for sale as the owner has now bought another (larger) boat.
Adrian Espin, Astonbury Marine.