SailNet Community - View Single Post - Tayana 55 1988/90 is she good for serious oceans crossing???
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post #7 of Old 06-05-2009
Jeff_H's Avatar
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I tried to ignore this as best I could but curiosity got the best of me. I guess I need to ask, “why are you considering such a large boat?”

I see inquiries like this and it really raises my curiosity. I think what is this person planning? I know you can buy these boats pretty cheaply for their size and they are far superior than some of the other boats of this size and age, but takes a lot of very strong folks to sail a boat like this and a lot of money to keep one of these old girls in operational condition (maybe 15%- 25% of purchase price per year in operating costs for one that hasn’t been updated and had all long term maintenance performed. For example, a new mainsail designed and built for offshore use and some standing rigging, costs almost as much as I paid for my 38 footer) Boats like these take a huge amount of skill to handle safely, and at some level, I find myself thinking, if a person had the experience to handle a boat like this, they would also probably have the experience to know whether a boat like the Tayana 55 made sense for them without coming to a forum predominantly populated by, relatively speaking, small boat sailors.

I think my esteemed friend, Cam glossed over the sheer manpower that it takes to sail and properly handle a boat this size safely and reliably. The loads increase exponentially with length and displacement. This is after all a 48,000 lb boat

To couch this in the simplest form, without power winches or really high tech manual (i.e. coffee grinder type) winches and a lot of strength and endurance, simply tacking the jib and traveler will grind a normal person down. (Most of the early Tayana 55's do not appear to have electrically driven winches or coffee grinders.) And with the double headsail rig, dragging the Genoa through the slot precludes the type of timed tacks that make tacking a big boat manageable.

It is the sheer forces involved and the size of the crew needed that make this a questionable choice as a globe trotter, except in the case where the boat is being used as some kind of training vessel for young adults or where there will be professional crew managing the boat.

Its not that properly set up, a very talented and experienced skipper could not handle a boat this size in most conditions, and it’s just that when something goes wrong, the forces are overwhelming and things are likely to escalate.

So while my question, "What do you have in mind?" is just curiousity, to get a meaningful answer I suggest that it might be helpful to formulating an answer if you provided more information.


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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay

Last edited by Jeff_H; 06-05-2009 at 05:00 PM.
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