Impala 35| History of Your Classic Boats
More than 200 of you have sent us stories and images of your Classic Boats, enriching the online archive dedicated to them and making so many of these great designs of the last century available to all. Keep up the good work! Now, however, after recounting dozens of them through your words and descriptions, it is time to also see the history and details of some of these great projects. So here is the Impala 35, a 10.45-meter mid-1970s boat that is highly regarded as a solid, elegant and extremely seaworthy boat.
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Impala 35 | Origins
The Impala 35 first saw the light of day in 1969, the first hull to be built in fiberglass by Cantieri Navali 71 (Niccolo Puccinelli). The signature is Olin Stephens, one of the top names in 1960s ship design. It was thus born in a period poised between “classic” design and more radical innovation, a design season still split between the binomials of traditional and mass production.
It is a transitional period in which, almost suddenly, the water lines and shapes of the hulls change, the maximum beams begin to grow, “fattening” and lengthening the live work at heeled boat, paralleling an important change in the appendages, increasingly tapered, away from the traditional long keels. And the Impala 35 is definitely a child of this change. And of another project at the same time, the S&S 34, just earlier and also signed by Stephens and his studio.
Impala 35 | The Project
Born just a year earlier, the S&S 34 is a fast, seaworthy and very elegant boat, featuring late 1960s lines with wide sweeps and tapered appendages, and performing masterfully in racing, with an overall win at the Sydney-Hobart in 69. The Impala 35 is not far from this philosophy; in fact, it is almost the same boat, pantographed larger (10.21 x 3.07 vs. 10.45 x 3.08 m) and with some technical differences, such as a more pronounced profile in the deckhouse and a different arrangement of the engine, no longer at the mast foot but under the hatch, with the shaft coming out half a length between the centreboard and skeg, instead of just behind the aft coupling of the centreboard, as is the case on the S&S 34. Armed with a sloop, the Impala is a boat designed for offshore sailing, marked by high course stability given by a large displacement, fairly pronounced water lines, and a semi-long fin design, followed by a skeg-equipped rudder.
Shifting attention to the interior, a quarter berth engages the port broadside behind the entrance, immediately engaged by the charting station in front of it and, to starboard, the galley. In the dinette, the classic 1960s and 1970s layout takes shape, with sofas and center table ready to be used as additional berths, a solution that increases in no small part the number of berths on board, otherwise limited to the quarter berth and forward V berth.
Impala 35 | Yours
Fast and a good bowler, like its shorter sister, the Impala 35 also proves to be a good design for the high seas, with several built and great market success. Also notable was Ida Castiglioni’s 30th place at the 1976 Ostar where, just with a 35, she managed to hold her own against more than three-quarters of the fleet (30th vs. 125).
As for the Classic Boats in our archive, however, several Impala 35s among the photos you have seen are yours. They are in fact
, from 1972, 1973, ’73 again, and 1974, respectively, and, of all of them, by clicking on the link on their names you will find the sheet with history and details.
Impala 35 | Data Sheet
|Length Over All (LOA)||10.45 m|
|Length at Waterline (LWL)||7.80 m|
|Baglio Massimo||3.08 m|
|Sail Area||47.94 square meters|
|Year of first launch||1969|
|Sleeping places||3 + dinette|
|Construction site||Shipyards 71|
Three “tidbits” about Classic Boats
- Want to learn more about the world of Classic Boats (1967-1998), the iconic boats of the period, the legendary designers, the stories and races of the “golden age” of sailing? Check out our section dedicated to Classic Boats!
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