Having owned a 1985 Sunshine since new here are my observations. I have the
Regatta version with a fractional rig.
The boat is structurally very stiff, well built and of moderate displacement
for the era it was built in. My boat has actually been weighted for IOR
and, outfitted with all sails etc and no crew came in at~13,500 pounds.
The boat sails well on all points of sail and accelerates quickly out of a
tack. With the fractional rig it especially fast on reaches and will sail
boat for boat with most 40+ footers of the same era.
The boat is sensitive to weight management and will slow down noticeable if
there are people on the foredeck.
The boat is very well balanced over a wide range of wind velocities and
maintains a quite neutral helm.
There are aluminum screws that hold in the stanchions into the stanchion
sockets that should be replaced. I removed them and use fastpins.
The upholstery is of very high quality in the main cabin. The backs on mine
began to deteriorate and I toyed with the idea of replacing the cushions.
When I took them to the upholstery guy he said that it would be better to
just replace the backs as the blue material that Jeanneau used originally
was of extremely high quality and would last for many more years.
I have had no problem at all with the engine, Yanmar 3GMD, I have replaced
the water pump twice in 2000 hours and adjusted the valves. With a Gori
folder the boat will motor all day (& all night) at ~7 knots while burning
3/4 gallon per hour.
You will need to replace the flexible watertanks, if so equipped. I
understand some of the later boats had monel tanks.
The teak battens in the cockpit can cause water infiltration problems into
the balsa core. There are at least a hundred screws holding them down. At
some point these need to be replaced. I replaced them with a Dutch product
called Marinedeck 2000 - held down with Simson MSR-CA, no screws.
The heads of the keel bolts/studs and nuts are covered with gelcoat. You
should remove the material and expose them. This allows you to retightened
and inspect on the regular basis.
I have had trouble with the wiring connections, located above the headliner,
for the main cabin lights. Jeanneau used slide on spade connectors and,
over time corrosion built up and did not provide a good ground for the
circuit. Again easy to fix but you have to take down the headliner.
I understand that leaks around the windows in later models with single
window frames has been a problem. I have the continuous windows and have
had no problems.
The hull liners and the headliner in the aft cabins do fail after about ten
years. They are relatively easy to replace but a messy job. The headliner
in the main and forward cabin are mounted on luan mahogany plywood and are
quite sturdy These headliners are easy to remove and provide excellent
access to the underside of the deck.
I had corrosion problems early on with the 25mm bronze shaft. I replaced
with a stainless steel shaft and have had no problems since.
This may sound like a long list of issues however the boat has over 20,000
miles on it and is 18 years old. I long ago decided that this boat is the
perfect size for what I use the boat for, I can single hand the boat, my
wife and I can cruise for a month in relative comfort, and I can race the
boat competitively with a crew of six. Best of all, it was paid for years
Hope this helps
Dave Campbell's Sloop