We purchased and commissioned this 1983 O’Day 34, new, in 1984. The boat is very well maintained and is in excellent, clean condition. We added a long list of well designed and executed, custom modifications and the boat is extensively equipped for long-term cruising. These features are detailed below and in the accompanying photos.
The O’Day 34 is an exceptionally comfortable cruiser for this size range. In addition to the generous interior accommodations, the O’Day 34 offers good performance on all points of sail. Although she is not a flat-out racer, the 34 is a good all around performer that is capable of doing well in club and PHRF events. Her feathering prop not only improves her speed under sail but also her handling when docking.
O’Day 34 and 35 designs are nearly identical. Most notable is that, when the molds were rebuilt for 1986, a small transom scoop was added and the 34 became the 35. Other minor design changes were in the interior and involved cost reduction and small storage changes.
The design features a “T” shaped cockpit with high coamings, large cockpit locker and three storage lockers. The cockpit is fitted with custom, Phifertex-covered, closed-cell foam cockpit cushions with coordinating throw cushions.
The port aft locker is dedicated to a single, 8-pound, aluminum propane cylinder. We use the one on the starboard side for dinghy fuel storage since it, like the one to port, has a bottom vent.
There is also a cold-water cockpit shower that works great for warm weather showers or a handy cockpit cleanup.
Forward is an anchor locker and bow roller. There’s the Bruce-style main anchor as well as a Fortress, both ready for immediate deployment. Each has a rode consisting of 15 feet of chain and 200 feet of rope. Of course there’s a wash-down pump hose right inside the anchor locker.
Included in the deal are two, 50-foot lengths of 5/16 chain should you decide to head for the Bahamas or other locale where a chain rode is recommended. There is sufficient room inside the anchor locker to accommodate both lengths of chain as well as the rope.
Below decks she offers berths for up to 6 adults. Forward is a very large, private, double V-berth.
The main salon features a large, double drop leaf centerline table, “L” shaped port settee that converts to a queen berth, a long bench starboard settee, that converts to a single berth and a navigation station.
Forward is a very large, private, double V-berth. There is a large hatch directly overhead for excellent ventilation.
Depth sounder and speed transducers are easily accessed through a custom hatch under the head of the vee.
Aft is a spacious quarter berth.
The head includes the usual toilet, sink and shower. The 1983 design included extra, bi-fold doors between the head and the vee berth which makes for much improved privacy arrangements than later designs.
We doubled the size of the original holding tank since that was the item that most frequently required us to stop at marinas. Installation of a second holding tank vent virtually eliminated the odor problems that plague most installations.
The galley consists of a 2-burner propane stove with oven, double stainless steel sink, hot & cold pressure water, ample storage shelves with sliding doors and refrigerator space.
We added large storage cabinets port and starboard in the main salon and converted the hanging lockers to shelving units for greater storage.
A custom refrigerator replaced the original aft icebox and storage cabinet in the aft side of the galley.
And the customary forward icebox was converted to storage space.
The refrigeration compressor is located below the storage area to keep it out of the hot engine space. Easily serviced through a removable bottom in the storage area, fresh air circulation is assured by ducting the air flow through the space.
Refrigeration, when the boat will be cruised extensively, requires battery storage and charging capacities far in excess of the original two group 27 batteries supplied with the boat. Several big changes were made toward that end.
One of the original batteries was replaced by a dedicated bank of three, group 31 AGM batteries. They are located under the quarter berth. The other original battery was replaced with a group 24 AGM battery that is dedicated to engine starting.
The traditional “OFF-1-Both -2” battery switch was replaced by a special panel that controls the two batteries independently and allows for emergency cross-connection.
Dockside battery charging is accomplished using a 75 amp, 3-stage charger/inverter that also provides 1,500 watts of 120 V power when needed.
A 130 amp, heavy duty alternator was installed to charge the system when the engine is running.
Both the charger/inverter and the engine alternator are controlled by an integrated battery management system. The system also provides “echo” charging for the starting battery.
The battery system worked flawlessly during an eight-month cruise to the Bahamas during which time the boat was nearly always at anchor.
As with most boats of the era, the stock electrical panel on the boat was abysmal. Behind the simple electrical panel lurked a terrible rat’s nest of wire. That had to go in order to add the controls and management stuff described above. Oh, yeah, we also needed space for a galvanic isolator and bus bars to replace the world’s largest wire nut that originally connected the 12 volt ground wires. So the original panel was junked, the panel hinged, the wires untangled and nearly all the elements replaced.
While making those changes, I also added several 12 volt outlets (great for phone charging and running the 12 volt, flat-screen TV) and a few additional 120 volt outlets with GFCI capability.
It took a long time for us to decide that air conditioning was worth the trouble and expense. But we finally made the leap a few years ago. The unit was installed in the bottom of the locker opposite the head. Removable shelves above the unit make it easy to service. Condensate empties to a dedicated bilge with its own pump. The nearby, dedicated thru-hull makes for short hose runs and the ducts to main salon and vee berth are very short, taking up very little space and delivering high air-flow.
Instruments, chartplotter, autopilot controls and a remote for the VHF radio are all mounted at the helm. Although they aren’t the latest models, they all work flawlessly and get the job done.
This deal includes a dinghy and motor. This lightweight, inflatable-floor Achilles model accommodates four adullts. The 2-stroke cycle, 8 HP, Tohatsu motor will easily plane the dinghy with loads a bit over 300 lbs. There are no leaks or repairs on the dinghy. The motor starts easily and runs reliably and smoothly. And, of course, no one really wants to drag a dinghy behind their boat. It slows the boat down and makes the dinghy more subject to theft. Dinghy davits are the answer. The ones on the boat are the cleanest, best design we could find.
We choose to dismount the motor from the dinghy when it’s on the davits. Rather than add a dedicated crane to lift the dinghy motor we specially reinforced the bimini frame to carry the weight and put a 4-part tackle in place to help with the load.
Finally, the dinghy obscures the original, factory stern light when it’s on the davits. So a new stern light was mounted along the backstay, just above the bimini where the visibility is excellent and it doesn’t mess up your night vision. The GPS antenna for the chartplotter is mounted beside it.
Sun is the enemy when cruising. A dodger and bimini setup are part of the answer. Detachable, zip-on Phifertex shades help complete the solution.
I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of features and improvements. I’m glad to answer any questions you may have!