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Sun Fast 3600

2014 February 1

This new Jeanneau Sun Fast model was designed by Andrieu Yacht Design. Is this a sportboat? I'd say no. It has too much interior and its D/L is a bit too high for a true sportboat. The 3600 is about 4 feet longer than the 31R and weighs more than twice as much. This design seems to be designed for the family who wants to race and cruise. That generally means that one side of the equation has to be tempered or compromised but in this case there is a good balance of features. The racer will be happy on deck and the cruiser should be happy belowdecks.

Looking at the plan view of the hull it appears that max beam is right at the transom corner. I don't think it is but there can only be about 2 inches of taper to this hull in plan view. The D/L is in what today we would considerate "moderate" and the L/B is 3.05 indicating a beamy boat.

Overhangs are pretty much nonexistent, and there is a chine that terminates about halfway up the transom. I wonder if someday we'll look back and say, "What was with all those chines?" Kind of like the way we look back now at IOR boats and say, "What was with that tumblehome?" It turns out that the tumblehome was not important, but at the time it had a lot of people convinced.

The specs list the standard draft keel drawing 6 feet 11 inches. The keel is an L-bulb configuration with a large trailing edge fillet at the hull. There are twin rudders. Think of how many twin-rudder boats we see today. Not so long ago twin rudders were reserved for the most exotic racing machines.

The interior has everything two couples need for comfort. I suppose a third couple could sleep on the saloon settees. The settee tops extend outboard to the hull underneath the short backrest. This provides reasonable width to the settee/berth at the head. There are mirror image double berths port and starboard aft. There is a generous nav station to port with a comfortable seat. To starboard there is the same comfortable seat and a mini galley.

I grant you the galley is not ideal for cruising. It's small and tight. But maybe the owners of this boat will eat ashore at night so they don't need an elaborate galley. The finish of the interior is handsome but has a stark almost clinical feel.

While not having the SA/D of a sportboat, the Sun Fast has a SA/D of 25.28 with an oversized headboard on the main. The standing backstay uses a batten to pull the backstay out of the way during tacks and jibes. This is a powerful rig that will keep the boat humming along in light air. The bowsprit length can be optimized to suit the rule you will race under. There is a longer IRC sprit available. A carbon rig is optional.

The deck is laid out for racing efficiency. There are short seats forward in the cockpit with low seatbacks but most of the time you will sit on deck. The twin rudders have twin, linked tillers. The mainsheet traveler is just forward of the tillers and spans the entire cockpit sole. This will give very good mainsail control. Foot holds break up the cockpit sole for good footing when heeled. This is a very clean deck layout.

The Sun Fast 3600 represents a type of boat that is very popular in Europe today: the fast family racer-cruiser with the emphasis on race or at least on high performance. This boat would be a lot of fun to sail.