Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 193 Times in 158 Posts
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New Tayana/Vancouver 440 Pilot
Thanks for emailing me the address, I was able to visit the site. Mr. Harris is a well known and respected designer of offshore boats. His original V42 was a very highly regarded distance cruiser. I had hoped to find a serious upgrade to this highly regarded earlier effort. This Vancouver 440 Pilot is no upgrade in any way that I can find other than having perhaps more room in board.
To me this appears to be a very poor design. My criticisms are that the boat is extremely heavy. As I have said here before, weight in and of itself adds nothing positive to a boat. It does not make it stronger, or more seaworthy. It does not give the boat a more comfortable motion or more carrying capacity. It only slows a boat down, increases stresses and breeds the need for more weight and more sail area. More sail area makes a boat harder and more tiring to sail in all conditions.
Looking at the drawings and statistics, the boat has a generous sail plan to push that weight through the water but lots of sail area does no good if the boat does not have the stability to stand to its rig. The Vancouver 440 has less than 33% of its weight in ballast, very little form stability (accoding to the on-site information narrow beam and "No saucer shaped hulls for us!" ) and a very high center of gravity caused by the extremely high freeboard and pilot house.
There are a lot of factors that affect comfort at sea. Navy tests suggest that angle of rotation and rate of rotation both have equal affects on comfort in a seaway. This would appear to be a very rolly design and would also be quite tender in a breeze. (high center of gravity, low ballast weight)This means a large angle of rotation albeit perhaps a comaparatively slow rate. Adding to the uncomfortable rolling motion, the short waterline length would suggest a higher degree of pitching as well.
I don''t know what you hope to do with this boat but it is not my idea of a boat that I would want to take offshore. When you look at the designs of boats designed for serious sailing, you find generally low windage and smallish openings. Ideally you find a high ballast ratio (approaching 50%). In my humble opinion this boat is a cartoon of an offshore pilot house boat designed around maximum accomodations. In that regard it would make a great liveaboard for a big family. But to me this appears to be a design focused on maximizing berth count at the expense of sailing ability and the kind of useful storage that a boat with 11 berths really needs.
Coming from the respected boards of Mr. Harris, and the respectable builder, Tayana, this is very disappointing.