Overview

Tayana 37 Sail Plan The Tayana 37 is perhaps the most successful semi-custom cruising yacht to be built. It was designed by Bob Perry and introduced in 1975 as a response to the Westsail 32 which were selling in enormous numbers. Today looking back, with the boat still in production with a boat count of 588, most still sailing, and an active and owners community, it’s very apparent that Perry has succeeded.

One could say the yacht was designed to ignite imaginations of tropical sunsets in exotic locations; think oodles of teak and a beautiful custom interior, wrapped into traditional double-ender hull with a full keel. Beneath the alluring romance, you’ll find a boat that is solidly built, and indeed many Tayana 37s can be found on the blue water cruising circuit around the world.

History

When in June of 1973 Time Magazine featured a four page spread on the “cruising life” with a photo of the Westsail 32 it was clear that this diminutive boat had caught the imagination of a generation. They sold like hotcakes and the cruising life came out of the fringes and into the mainstream. Meanwhile, fresh from the success of his groundbreaking Valiant 40 and having more recently designed the CT 54 Perry was approached by Bob Berg, former owner of Flying Dutchman Yachts in Seattle, to design a boat to capitalize on the success of the Westsail. It is said that the success of the Westsail was not that it was the right boat at the right time, it was also the right style; it was exactly what Americans thought a cruising boat should look like. This may explain the Tayana’s copious amounts of teak, her traditional full keel, and double ender style.

The boatyard that was originally selected to build the boat was Ta Chaio Brothers of Taiwan, builders of CT yachts. Interestingly, they declined thinking the boat would not be a commercial success. Thus the contract to build the boat was passed to Ta Yang, another high quality Taiwanese boatbuilding concern.

The boat, which was first known as the “CT 37″, was introduced in 1975 and offered as a semi-custom boat, with all manner of internal options and layouts. The rig was offered with options of cutter or ketch, however cutters were the fashion of the day and only 20 boats were built as ketches. In 1979 the CT 37 name was discontinued, instead boat inherited an offshoot of the Ta Yang name, changing to the Tayana 37.

Ketch rigged S/V Sea Gypsy The Tayana 37 continues to be in production today in very low numbers, they have declined in sales as buyer tastes have favored boats with more expansive interiors, stern entry, and avoidance of higher maintenance teak on the exterior. However the Tayana 37 remains popular in the used boat market, at the time of writing the Tayana Owners Association reports the latest hull number is 588 or 589.

Boat Configuration

The Tayana 37 is a classic full keel double-ender which when we look back today marks the start of modern design philosophy for full keel boats. Perry took a very traditional Atkins 1930s inspired design and worked his “boatspeed” magic firstly by cutting away forefoot of the keel, a common technique to reduce wetted area with gains in maneuverability. He then connected the keel to the bilge of the hull as a distinctly separate surface without the traditional wine-glass blend, which tends to help with close-windedness and form stability. Other deviations to the Archer theme included his own flavor of a canoe stern which had worked well in his radical at the time Valiant 40 design as well as opting for a modern inboard rudder over the traditional aft hanging rudder that Archer used.

Most boats are configured with cutter rigs carrying a lot of sail area with the help of a bowsprit. Those with a keen eye may notice the mast position quite far aft from the usual position on most yachts and this has been the cause for some windward helm issues which in the early days was corrected by raking the mast forward. It’s rare to find a Tayana 37 sporting the optional ketch rig which Perry notes is a pity as he thought the ketch examples were particularly fast and well balanced.

On deck, you will find lots of teak, some owners have removed the teak in order to reduce maintenance. The side decks are wide. There are two deck versions, the first being designed by Perry, which was later revised by Ta Yang which according to Perry is far nicer, more aesthetic, with a better cockpit. Most boats have the original Perry designed cockpit. Both versions sport small volume cockpits well suited to mitigating the risk of the cockpit flooding from large following seas. The cockpit has been described as safe secure with high coamings. Visibility forward from the helm is usually impeded by on most boats by butterfly hatches, boom gallows, and mid boom sheeting.

Tayana 37 Layout
Going below deck you will find a high quality interior reflecting some of the best boatbuilding craftsmanship to come out of Taiwan. The interiors are all semi-custom and it’s unlikely to find two boats identical. While some interiors were well suited to blue water sailing others were not so functional. Blue Water Sailing Magazine writes, “We have seen some interiors that were simply inappropriate for a seagoing boat. Truth is many people who ordered new Tayanas did not have the knowledge to make the choices that were required of them, and either made bad choices or tried to fit too much into a hull already restricted by its design”.

Of note is the location of the fuel tank. In the original design, Perry located the 90 gallon tank below the saloon settee, but Ta Yang relocated them forward to in the fore peak, with the idea of creating more stowage space in the saloon. A full tank weighing 700 pounds so far forward has resulted in trim problems and hobby-horsing. It’s reported a some owners have relocated their fuel tank back to the original spot that Perry intended.

Construction

The Tayana 37 hull is built from solid GRP, generous amounts of glass is used, the hull is 3/8″ thick at its sheer. Perry has been quoted as saying there has never been any consistent structural problems with the boat. The deck is balsa cored to save on topside weight. The ballast is cast iron and internal to the keel cavity and glassed over. The hull-deck join is built into a strong hollow box section, which forms a high standing bulwark.

Sailing Charateristics

One would not expect the Tayana 37 to progress with much vigor from a fleeting glance, however the Bob Perry makeover of the traditional Atkins configuration gives the boat a new lease of life. The boat performs faster than similar boats of this period, especially in a fresh breeze.

The Tayana is relatively tender initially. The first reef is usually thrown in at about 18 knots, in 20-25 knots it’s usually a staysail and the single reefed main. The boat tracks well to windward, but its forte is off the wind, particularly in a broad reach; ideal for the trades.

The cockpit is dry, Tayana 37 owner Rolland Hartstrom writes of a passage between from San Francisco to San Pedro in Mar 2009, “I surfed down 20 footers in this boat doing 14 knots, and they were breaking about 3 feet of white water on top; never took a drop of water in the cockpit”.

Probably the most common bugbear of the Tayana 37 under sail is its often cited weather helm in boats configured with cutter rigs. Many of these problems have been corrected through the years by their owners, some by raking the mast forward. Harvey Karten from the Tayana Owners Association notes, “When properly rigged with a good adjustable traveler and well made sails, rather than their original factory configuration, the much reported weather helm is no longer a problem.”

Specifications

Lmax: 42′ 0″ (including bowsprit)
LOA: 36′ 8″ (excluding bowsprit)
LWL: 31′ 0″
Beam: 11′ 6″
Draft: 5′ 8″
Displacement: 22,500 lbs.
Ballast: 7,340 lbs.
Sail Area Cutter: 861 sq. ft.
Sail Area Ketch: 768 sq. ft.

Fuel: 90 US. Gal
Water: 100 US. Gal.

Designer: Robert H. Perry
Builder: Ta Yang, Taiwan
Year Introduced: 1975
Total Built: 588

Also Known As: CT37

Buyers Notes

There is an enthusiastic and active owners association with a wealth of information and tips to share, well worth contacting prior to purchase. Particular areas for inspection are listed below:

  • Teak decks have proved high maintenance, many boats have had their teak removed which is considered an advantage.
  • Look for delamination around through deck fitting, the balsa cored deck is susceptible to abuse.
  • Water tanks are made of black iron and are prone to rusting over time, check for leaks.
  • Some boats have fuel tanks relocated back into their proper amidships intended location, its a recommended modification.
  • Glaring inconsistencies between boats have been noted
  • Boats before 1981 should have their wiring and standing rigging inspected closely.
  • Early boats had spreaders made from spruce which can be susceptible to dry rot, alloy spreaders on later boats are an advantage.
  • There have been reports of leaking from the scuppers and hawsepipes, this problem has been solved in later models by glassing the bulwark from the insides.

As of 2010 asking prices range from $55k-$115k USD.

Similar Boats

Hans Christian 36

Links, References and Further Reading

» Tayana Owners Association, information, discussion group and links.
» Tayana Owners Association Google Group, discussions on Tayana boats
» Tayana UK Corporate website, Tayana 37 brochure and pictures.
» Good Old Boat Magazine, Mar 2005, Tayana 37 review by Karen Larsen. Boat comparison by Ted Brewer.
» Blue Water Sailing Magazine, Jun 1997, Tayana 37 review.
» Used Boat Notebook: From the pages of Sailing Magazine (p118-121), review of the Tayana 37.

Thanks goes to Harvey J. Karten and the Tayana Owners Association for their assistance on this review.

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14 Responses to “Tayana 37”

  1. Bill Lucas says:

    I have hull 540 cutter and am at the point where I need new sails. I am especially interested in Harvey’s comment of sail modifications reducing weather helm. Can someone elaborate on the specifics? I am finding from sailmakers where the basic sail dimensions are not matching my rig, specifically the foot length and luff measurement. I am not even sure of which aluminum mast & boom I have – supposedly the discontinued one made in Japan. All of this is making it uncomfortable to order a new set of sails. I would have been happy to order factory replacements if possible but after reading this I just don’t know.
    Thanks, Bill

    • RichH says:

      The Ty37 has a minor yard error in the execution of its design, as so stated by Bob Perry. The mast is too far aft by about 18-20″, and when translating that to sail design it means that a mainsail derived/ordered from a sailmakers data base will have its ‘point of maximum draft’ also too far aft. There are 2 remedies for this (as well as NO rake in the mast):

      1. have a (woven dacron) mainsail made (to cookbook specs.) but with sufficient ‘pre-load’ in the mainsail luff boltrope. When setting up such you additionally stretch out the luff boltrope by about 4″ and which will bring the ‘point of maximum draft’ forward …. and you will get a ‘dead fish’ neutral helm, so then ease off the halyard tension until you get enough so-called weather helm that you desire (with mast raked ‘straight-up’). “Pre-loaded” boltropes is an old fashioned means of constructing mainsails, typical ‘plain vanilla’ dacron mains for ‘cruisers’ are no longer made with such boltrope ‘preload’. Here’s how to set up a ( an old-fashioned designed) mainsail with a ‘pre-loaded’ boltrope: http://forums.sbo.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=120970 see post #1
      2. alternate. Go to a sailloft that ‘knows’ about the ‘aft set’ Tayana mast error. Design (ALTER computer design output !!!!) the sail so that ‘point of maximum draft is ‘more forward’ (12″) to compensate, other than with a plain vanilla design … and less need to apply lots of halyard strain to control where the max. draft occurs. Youre not going to get such from an online loft. Most of todays dacron mains are sold without boltrope ‘pre-load’, you just raise them – that’s it, no shaping …. all due to the use of
      ‘high aspect ratio’ sail cloth. A precise sailor will always adjust for ‘weather helm’ by halyard tension …. FIRST.

      My personal preference would be for a mainsail with a boltrope that has that ‘pre-load’ included. All of my mainsails now also have ‘over the top’ leech line control ….. adjust leech tension from the aft end of the boom OR from the gooseneck / base of the mast where its ‘safer’. I dont like doing chin-ups from a boom that’s fully swung ‘outboard’. 😉

      Other- To make a Ty37 point like a banshee and at full speed, and with some surprising additional lift to windward from the keel: Set up the boat with only 5% tension in the forestay (the stay immediately forward of the mast). With the forestay ‘soft’, most all the tension from the backstay, etc. will go to the *headstay* – the one in front of the forestay …. and it wont sag off to weather which will cause the boat to heel over and skid off to leeward (and with the skid mimicking ‘weather helm’ to the rudder/helmsman). Control further headstay sag with the running backstays. When not beating/pointing, retighten the forestay.
      Here’s the details of how to control that headstay/forestay tension (any boat) for max. pointing ability: http://www.ftp.tognews.com/GoogleFiles/Matching%20Luff%20Hollow.pdf

      Other … a lot of the Ty37 owners erroneously cut off the end of their booms to compensate for sail max. draft location error (insufficient halyard tension), mast placement error and sagging headstay. If your boom seems ‘too short’, this is probably the cause. I’d get a new boom (and one with 6:1 or 8:1 ‘outhaul’ control already ‘inside’ and run back to the cockpit/helm).

      hope this helps.

      • RichH says:

        If your present mainsail …. seems …. to be ‘baggy’ and with a ‘hooked-up’ leach (will vastly increase so-called weather helm), I would strongly suggest that you take the old mainsail to a sail loft and have the sail evaluated for a *shrunken luff boltrope*.
        Luff boltropes progressively become shorter and fatter with age and sail use, which slowly decreases the luff dimension of the sail as the boltrope shrinks in length. This ‘progressive shortening’ is what causes the ‘draft-aft’, baggy draft, and ‘hooked up’ leach.
        An ‘easing’/re-adjustment of the luff boltrope by a knowledgeable sailmaker will usually 99% of the time restore the original design shape of the mainsail … and reduce the so-called ‘weather helm’.

  2. Kevin says:

    Love the T37s. I’m always amazed at the amount of variations I see from sloops to ketches, teak decks vs. FRP, custom interiors, and more. Regardless of the varieties of T37s out there in the world, I’m confident that they make an excellent platform for cruising.

  3. […] 37. Rather than go through the song and dance about the boat itself I’ll direct you over to Blue Water Boats Article on the Tayana 37. I finally found the boat that had the quality, looks, and price point that was in my budget. I […]

  4. Aeventyr says:

    We made the 3000 mile plus passage from the Galapagos to the Marquesas in just under 21 days. That over 150 miles a day on a 31′ waterline! If you want to go bluwater sailing at an affordable price in comfort and safely then the T37 is the boat for you.

  5. any Tayana owner over there ?

  6. nancie park says:

    Sailcovers for a Tayana 37. I was a canvas maker and have the three sailcovers for the boat. New. Never used. Customer wanted a different color of green. Covers are green with white binding and lines. Make offer. 301-602-0246.

  7. josh shepard says:

    nice review. however, the following: “cutting away forefoot of the keel and connecting it to the bilge of the hull without the traditional wine-glass blend. Both features reduce wetted area.” is not true. cutting away the forefoot does indeed reduce wetted area, by virtue of reducing the overall surface. pulling the garboards in tight (i.e. a small radius in the curve between the keel and hull) INCREASES wetted area. one can easily prove this to oneself by drawing the midship section of the two hull types and measuring the length of the lines. the “traditional” wineglass form with slack bilges and garboards has less wetted area for a given beam and depth. the form that Perry chose, with a distinct hull and keel, has many benefits (greater form stability, a “real” hydrofoil keel which is much more weatherly etc etc), but less wetted area is not one of them.

    josh

    • Will says:

      Thanks Josh, that was insightful. I should have known better now that I read it again. Whole section has been updated.

  8. Rollo says:

    These boats are really designed for crossing oceans and can take probably more than there crew. Having said that, I would not hesitate to cast off to the far reaches of this small planet to any destination of my choosing full well knowing that these boats will take you and your crew if so inclined to do so, safely and in comfort. They have an absolute wonderful sea kindly motion from which all that have been aboard our boats have commented on. Having sailed in some pretty heavy weather I can attest to that fact as many others will agree, they are just comfortable to journey in. Whether it be a nice day sail or long passages, they are, and will continue to be, a bench mark for all that have followed as a true blue water cruiser.

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