Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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We have done a fair amount of cruising with an early Taswell 43 (before the model name change). These are moderate performance cruisers, perhaps on a par with a Valiant speed and pointing ability wise. I would not say that they are especially ''kindly''.
They have a wonderful interior layout for coastal cruising or for living aboard. There are several interior layouts available for these boats. The one that I knew best had a better layout for offshore work than a later models that I had seen which were totally unsuitable for offshore work. The early layout while less than ideal for offshore conditions could be made to work reasonably well at least compared to many newer designs.
That said, like many, if not most center cockpit boats of that size, there is a very efficient use of space down below for livability but that comes at the price of the necessary shortage for the kind of bulk storage for large items like light and heavy air sails, fenders, spare anchors, life rafts, bulk food stores, etc. That lack of bulk storage makes these boats less than ideal for long distance offshore cruising.
The deck layout works pretty well except that the cockpit is quite cramped and pretty high vertically. While a small cockpit is good for offshore safety, it is small for hanging out and socializing. Its high position gives it a quicker, larger rolling motion in a seaway.
These boats are generally well constructed. That said, in a general sense, I would never recommend an oriental teak-decked boat for extended blue water cruising. Beyond the need for considerably higher maintenance and the sheer heat underfoot in the tropics, is the short lifespan of this construction. Depending on climate and use, eventually, 15 to 25 years into the life of the boat the decks need replacement. This is a massive job, and in the case of oriental built boats, the teak decks are layed over plywood and screw fastened. With that construction, at some point before the decks are replaced, there is likely to be significant rot in the plywood sub-deck. Since the sub-deck is the structural deck and it can''t be inspected, I consider the teak decks to be a deal-killer when talking about an long distance offshore cruiser.