History of the Crown 34

The Crown 34 was the first boat designed by Hein Driehuyzen (pronounced "Dry-hue-zen"). Hein was working as the manager of Calgan Marine in North Vancouver, BC when they decided to add a larger boat to the existing Crown line which included 23 and 28 foot models. The boat was designed in 1974 more or less to the IOR rule, with a large fortriangle, tall mast and narrow transom. A large, skeg-hung rudder yielded a very seakindly helm, uncharacteristic of many other IOR boats of that time. In a recent conversation with Hein, he was justifiably still quite pleased with the Crown 34 and it's longevity. He told me that the design of the Crown was influenced by Peterson designs of the day such as the Ganbare 35, as well as a Cal T2 on which Hein was racing at the time, and the Scampi 30 which he admired. In it's design, the Crown attempted to marry the performance attributes of an IOR design while still providing a comfortable cruising platform.

The first Crown 34, Tri Kaya, launched in June of 1975 to owner John Ruffelle. Tri Kaya was actually hull number 2, hull number 1 (the plug for the mold), was sold and later launched by Don Cliburn. Hull number 3 was launched in August of 1975, as Moody Too, and it is a testimony to the boat that Jim Pine of West Vancouver still owns and actively races the boat today. Tri Kaya was the boat used in the 1975 review by Pacific Yachting. The original price was CDN $39,500.00, sans sails and electronics.

Somewhere around 30 boats were built by Calgan, before the molds where sold to GlassFab of Monroe, WA. GlassFab built the boat, essentially unmodified, and sold them as the "Sun 1030" through a marketing agreement with Sun Yachts of Vancouver. There were various marketing and financial problems between the two companies, and after one or two years, the molds were repossessed by Calgan and in turn, sold to Dave Clark of Clark Boat Co. in Federal Way, WA. Less than a half a dozen Sun 1030 boats were built, including my own boat, Escargot, which I believe was the last.

Clark was known for their line of San Juan boats, most notably the San Juan 24. The Skeg was removed, the galley layout redesigned, one set of portlights removed, mid-boom sheeting added, and the San Juan 34 was born. The largest sailboat in the San Juan line, around 50 San Juan 34 were sold between 1980 and 1988.

Crown 34s have been very active in the Northwest PRHF racing scene for many years. Hein himself owned and raced hull #16, Gretel as some of you from the Vancouver area may recall. Aside from many club races, Crown 34s have placed well in races such as the Swiftsure Lightship Classic and the Sloop Tavern Victoria to Maui Race.

After leaving Calgan in 1976, Hein went on to create design the Sceptre line of yachts. The first in that line was the Sceptre 36, which was based on and elongated Crown 34 hull. Sceptre eventually grew into a line of popular blue water cruising boats, all designed by Driehuyzen. Like the Crown, the Sceptre line has foster strong owner loyalty.

Here's an link to an interesting history of the Clark Boat Co. (courtesy of the San Juan 28 home page):

Clark Boat Company (in PDF format, requires Adobe Acrobat to view)