1982 CE Ryder Southern Cross 35

South Carolina, United States
$55,000 USD
Condition: good


UPDATE: I have completed all renovations and have uploaded new pictures. I fully restored the following: All exterior & interior teak, topside gel coat, non-skid on cabin house top & cockpit, brand new dodger, constructed new rub-rails out of solid teak, engine serviced & much more. Video Link

This Sothern Cross 35 is hull #9 out of the C.E. Ryder factory in Bristol Rhode Island. It was designed by the renowned Thomas Gillmer and is a true blue-water boat. The SC 35 is a exceedingly robust and seaworthy construction of these boats that far exceeds the craftsmanship in other, often lower priced, kit boats boasting the same name. The kit boats are built by owners and the quality can vary greatly.

Nellie is wide (11’5”) beamed, canoed stern, and a lovely sweeping sheerline that keeps it dry and stable in rough conditions. It has a fully encapsulated lead fin keel–making for surprisingly nimble performance and an aperture-enclosed skeg-mounted rudder. An Airex foam core between two very generous layers of glass keeps sound/cold out & heat in and keeps you safe in the event of an object strike. She has a rugged deck hull seal with two 90 degree forms joined under and solid teak cap rail and inboard mounted shrouds for easy passage on the deck. She has a 90 gallon freshwater capacity (an additional 25 gal on deck) & 35 gallon fuel capacity.

I am her 4th owner (2013) and have sailed approximately 7,000 miles throughout the Southeast U.S. and Bahamas. When I purchased Nellie, she had been neglected by an owner who “bought the dream.” I have put over $30,000 into bringing her back to life.

I have lived on Nellie and sailed her for 5 years only putting her in dry storage twice for a few months. I am a commercial captain, professional rigger and apprentice boat builder. I sail from job to job using Nellie as my home. She has to be sea worthy and all systems both sailing and home amenities must be fully functional at all times, so when it breaks, I fix it.

Equipment: I replaced the 30 year old Navtec Rod rigging with 3/8 1x19 stainless (2015), installed new mechanical Sta-Lok terminals (deck and aloft), Hyan open-body chomed bronze turnbuckles, and Hyan chromed bronze deck fittings, purchased a Profurl furling for the inner jib/staysail, and replaced all running rigging.

In 2017, I rebuilt the deck on the bow with new 3/8 marine ply-wood, 15 layers of glass, sealed with west systems epoxy, installed a new Lofrans Kobra1,900lb instant/380lb working load ($2,000 /-) windless with all new wiring, solenoids, etc, installed over-sized backing plates for all cleats/windless with Garolite G10 composite and a new 4 1,000 cu-ft/hour Nicro stainless solar vent, and repainted all lower decks with kiwi grip.

Other replacements and renovations include, 150 of new 3/8 G4 chain (2016), new sail covers (2016), new Mastervolt 20amp battery charging systems (2015), 4 new Trojan T-105 batteries (2016), new SSB antenna, new stainless 1 prop shaft (2014), factory refurbished 16 self-feathering MaxProp from PYI (2016), new PYI prop shaft seal (2016), replaced all plastic throu-hull fitting with new solid bronze fittings (2015), new port-light gaskets (2017), 3 new Caframo 3 speed fans (2017-5 in total), all interior lights have been updated to LED (2016), new Dometic CU-100 air cooled cold machine refrigeration and new Dometic horizontal evaporator (2017), new alternator and starter (OEM 2016 and had the old ones rebuilt as backups), new Johnson water pump for engine intake (2017 had old one rebuilt for backup), new mixing elbow and heat exchanger (2014), 2 of the 6 sea-cocks have been replaced with new ball-valve models (2015), new 10amp 3.5gal/min Jabsco freshwater pump (2018), new faucets/showerhead in galley and head (2016), new water heater element (2018), new Jabsco head pump assembly (2016), new propane solenoid, hoses, and 2 Worthington rust free vertical orientation tanks (2015-4 in total with old ones having new valves installed), new Jabsco 480GPH belt driven diaphragm bilge pump (2017), and countless others.

Also on board: -Yanmar 3GM30F (meticulously maintained) -Backups for most major equipment (Freshwater/bilge pumps, alternators, starters, intake pumps, etc…) -2 Mainsails (1 custom made fully battened and the original in storage) -2 Genoas (120-150%) -Asymmetrical Spinnaker -3 Staysails -A 35lb Bruce, A 35lb Delta, and an 18lb steel fluke (Danforth style) -iCOM IC-M710 SSB -iCOM IC-M604 VHF -Furuno GPS Navigator GP-31 -Garmin 3205 GPS Maping -Monitor windvane auto helm -Raymarine Type I Linear Drive (missing computer and head unit) -4 Winds wind generator -Furuno radar (not sure of model. Its old, but works) -Power Bright 600watt pure sine inverter (12V DC-110V AC) -Force 10 Propane heater (mounted on bulkhead) -Achilles 810 self-locking aluminum floor dinghy -Countless other parts, lines, fenders and anything else you need for a completely self-contained blue-water cruiser.

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About the Southern Cross 35

Thomas Gillmer
C. E. Ryder
# Built
Hull Type
Fin with rudder on skeg
FG w/airex core
Also Known As
Gillmer 35


Length Overall
35 2 / 10.7 m
Waterline Length
27 11 / 8.5 m
11 5 / 3.5 m
4 11 / 1.5 m
17,700 lbs / 8,029 kg
5,750 lbs / 2,608 kg (Lead)

Rig and Sails

Reported Sail Area
627 ft2 / 58.3 m2
Total Sail Area
626.6 ft2 / 58.2 m2
Sail Area
246 ft2 / 22.9 m2
39 11 / 12.2 m
12 3 / 3.8 m
Mast Height
49 0 / 14.9 m
Sail Area
380.5 ft2 / 35.4 m2
45 3 / 13.8 m
16 9 / 5.1 m
Forestay Length
48 3 / 14.7 m

Auxilary Power

Fuel Type
Fuel Capacity
35 gal / 132 l
Engine Hours


Water Capacity
90 gal / 340 l
Holding Tank Capacity
6 3 / 1.9 m


Hull Speed
7.09 knots
Sail Area/Displacement
under powered
less stiff, less powerful
Comfort Ratio
moderate bluewater cruising boat
Capsize Screening
better suited for ocean passages


From BlueWaterBoats.org:

The Southern Cross 35 is a ruggedly built, double-ended cutter intended for blue water passage-making with safety, comfort, and speed. She was designed by Thomas Gillmer, the professor of naval architecture at the Naval Academy in Annapolis who also penned the first fiberglass boat to circumnavigate the globe, the Allied Seawind 30 Ketch. The Southern Cross 35 is wide-beamed and graced with a sweeping sheerline that keeps her exceptionally dry in a rough seaway. At the same time, a relatively high-aspect rig along with a fin keel and skeg-mounted rudder allow her to combine impressive sea-worthiness with surprisingly lively performance.


Thomas Gillmer’s career was a life-long love affair with traditional boats. He drew the plans for the topsail schooner Pride of Baltimore and, following the tragic sinking of Pride in a microburst squall in 1986, designed her replacement, Pride of Baltimore II. He took part in the recreation of the 17th century Dutch merchant ship Kalmar Nyckel, now the tall-ship ambassador for the state of Delaware. Restoration of USS Constitution was carried out accordance with Gillmer’s studies. That traditional orientation informed his designs of pleasure craft, including his early Privateer series and the Colin Archer-inspired Southern Cross 31, with its full keel, tiller-steered outboard rudder, and bowsprit. For both the Southern Cross 35 and 39, however, Gillmer blended a traditional sheer, canoe stern, and cutter rig with a modern fin keel and skeg-hung rudder. The result was a pair of true sea-going boats with significantly improved speed and handling.

The Southern Cross boats were built by the C. E. Ryder Company of Bristol, Rhode Island, a firm with a long-established reputation for sturdy, high-quality construction with great attention to detail. Ryder also built the Sea Sprite line, including the 23, 28, and 34. The first Southern Cross 35 was launched in 1978, the last in 1990 when the company closed its doors. Sailboatdata.com lists a total of 95 hulls built over that 13 year period. Some of them, sold as Gillmer 35s, were owner finished. The factory complete boats were marked with a circular bronze plaque indicating the hull number.


The hull of the Southern Cross 35 is Airex foam core sandwiched between generous layers of handlaid fiberglass, a design that provides overall structural integrity, thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as an extra measure of security in the event of a collision with a floating object at sea. Decks are fiberglass with molded nonskid areas, cored throughout with end-grained balsa. The relatively shallow draft keel of 4’ 11’’ is fully encapsulated lead. The hull to deck joint is strong and dry, with double ninety degree joints topped with a rugged teak caprail. The sturdy and durable Navtec rod rigging is anchored securely into special aluminum drums, glassed into the hull. A 35 gallon fiberglass fuel tank is located midships beneath the cabin sole while twin 45 gallon plastic water tanks lie beneath each of the main cabin settees. Two cabin interiors were available, one finished in white oak with teak trim and another done completely in teak and teak veneer. The joinery work in the main cabin is exceptionally well finished, with care taken throughout to avoid hard edges and sharp corners.

Layout and Configuration

Beneath the waterline, the Southern Cross 35 boasts an aperture-enclosed, skeg-mounted propeller and a fin keel for speed and ease of handling. Gillmer extended the beam fore and aft for stability in a seaway. Above decks, there are other features that well outfit the boat for off-shore sailing. Her rising sheer, ample bulwarks, and wrap-around cockpit with broad combing keep her very dry even in heavy seas. At the same time, her relatively low freeboard, augmented by a cut-away of the bulwarks on either side of the cockpit, treat the crew to an exciting proximity to the passing water. The wide beam, with shrouds mounted well inboard, allow for easy passage fore and aft. In the crotch of the canoe stern, a specially molded, ventilated locker neatly houses twin propane tanks.

The mast is keel-stepped and is rigged with a club-footed staysail, secured by permanently dedicated supplemental shrouds. Factory finished boats came in two versions, one with a portside quarterberth and the other with an aft-facing navigation station, fronted by a good-sized wetlocker. A U-shaped starboard aft galley and twin facing main cabin setees with a large folding table mounted on the mast trunk were standard. Three cabintop hatches (one in the main cabin, one in the head, and one in the forward V-berth) as well as eight opening ports keep the Southern Cross 35 well ventilated. Ample interior storage space is provided with a very large main cabin closet, a V-berth closet and drawers, and stowage outboard of the port and starboard main cabin setees. The original power plant was a 30 hp Universal diesel, perhaps a bit underpowered for the Southern Cross 35’s 18,000 lb. displacement.

Under Sail

The relatively high aspect rig of the Southern Cross 35 allows her to point reasonably well, tacking within 75 degrees, and gives the boat surprisingly respectable light air performance. PHRF New England rates her at 174. Her sail area to displacement ratio is 14.83. The cutter rig and mounting of the mast almost midships enables the Southern Cross 35 to remain well balanced on all points of sail. As a result, self-steering gear, electric or wind-driven, easily handles the rudder with proper sail trim, even in heavy weather. At the same time, the hull design affords a forgiving motion in a seaway. As Gillmer himself reported with some pride, “one owner told me it was the smoothest boat he had ever sailed in the ocean. That’s quite a lot to say about a 35-foot boat.”

Links, References and Further Reading

» Southern Cross Owners Association
» Ryder Yachts
» Review of the Southern Cross 35 by Cruising World Magazine, Sep 2008


Original article submitted by Richard Boothby.


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