Jim Taylor Yacht Designs (JTYD) offers yacht design services including custom and production designs, both racing and cruising. We also provide a broad range of yacht optimization, yacht alteration, and yachting consultation services. To date, over 1,000 boaters have owned and sailed boats designed by Jim Taylor Yacht Designs. You can learn more about working with JTYD.

Sforzando completes a no drama gybe
Sforzando completes a ‘no drama’ gybe in 25 TWS on a day that saw several recent IRC designs spinning out all over Narragansett Bay.(Photo courtesy of Amory Ross)

Jim Taylor Yacht Designs was formed in November of 1978. It is located in historic Marblehead, Massachusetts at the foot of State Street, overlooking the scenic harbor that once laid claim to be the 'yachting capital of the world.'

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Fast Boats in the ‘Spirit of Tradition’

March 19th, 2009



There has been a wonderful resurgence of wooden boat racing in New England over the last few years. Much credit is due Steve White, of Brooklin Boatyard, for getting the ball rolling, and to Wooden Boat Magazine, also of Brooklin, Maine, for their continuing support. The main event is the annual Eggemoggin Reach race, but the Castine-to-Camden and Camden-to-Brooklin feeder races are now well established and popular as well. The racing has a vintage car racing feel, part competition and part parade, and in most classes the sweep of the sheerlines and the depth of the varnish are as important as the finish places. However, in the ‘Spirit of Tradition‘ class the competition is a bit more, well, spirited. This class is open to contemporary boats that are built primarily in wood, and most show a classic, long overhang style above the waterline. Below the waterline, however, modern fin keels and spade rudders are the norm, and carbon rigs and high tech sails are allowed. The raison d’etre for the class is to encourage the continued development of new wooden boats that, over time, can replace the older ones that inevitably sail off to that great boat shop in the sky. The more immediate result is a diverse class of attractive boats, and some very competitive racing.

Read more at our ‘Spirit of Tradition‘ page

The Sailing Bug and Coping with Tough Times

March 19th, 2009

The one-two punch of unprecedented turmoil in the financial markets and the related economic slump has hit everyone especially hard since the middle of 2008. Most of us no longer have the financial resources that we thought we had, some no longer have jobs, and we all feel the anxiety and uncertainty of being in uncharted waters. The sailing world has been severely effected; current boat owners want to cut costs (or even sell), prospective new boat buyers are understandably cautious, and boat builders are caught in a very nasty squeeze between nervous customers and nervous banks. The storm will pass eventually, but for now, we need to cope with unusually rough seas. Read the rest of this entry »

Jim Taylor: Fast Boats & Rating Rules

December 8th, 2008
Sfozando at NYYC Annual Regatta 2008
Rating rules come and go, (along with their inevitable type-forming and loopholes), but good all-around boats are always fast and fun, and they keep right on winning no matter what rule is in vogue. Two of our designs drove this point home with huge exclamation points this past season.

T-44 Sforzando

Sforzando had an amazing season that was all the more remarkable given that she is an IMS design that is now winning convincingly under IRC, in her 11th year of top level competition. Always well sailed and impeccably maintained, she dominated this year’s NYYC Annual Regatta, [2008 Results] going 4-1-1-1 in IRC 3, and easily turning back a Corby 41.5, a Melges 32, and a Swan 45. (In fact, she has won an astonishing 10 of the last 13 Annual Regatta races she has sailed, dating back to 2005!). She next won the club’s Summer Race Week by an eye-popping 14 points, over a Farr 395 and a highly touted new King 40, a focused IRC design. This year’s Race Week opened and closed with squalls over 30 kts that overwhelmed several of these contemporary designs, but Sforzando was always under control, suffering no knock-downs or spin-outs, upwind or down. Bookended by the big breeze, the rest of Race Week featured a full range of conditions, from light air and huge lump to more typical Newport southerlies, and Sforzando excelled in each. She then scored well in the annual Cruise, topping a R/P 55 and 65, and earned the prestigious Herreshoff Medal, awarded by the NYYC only when merited, for exceptional overall performance during a season. The fact that this is the second Herreshoff Medal earned by Sforzando, (and a remarkable third by her owner, all in Taylor designs), is a tribute not only to the boats, but also to the dedication, energy, and talent of their owner, Blair Brown.

T-42 Cabady

Designed to the ‘pre-1994′ version of IMS, Cabady was launched as the first Numbers, just in time for Key West Race Week in 1992. A blown outhaul and a blown chute cost her a win in her debut event (by 7 seconds in the final race!), but she has been winning under various handicap systems (IMS, PHRF, IRC and ORR) ever since. She and her virtual sister Drumbeat II have won their class at Block Island Race Week four times, including three in a row in the early 90’s. (Drumbeat II’s 2nd owner has recently said, shaking his head mournfully, ‘I never should have sold that boat…’). The Taylor 42 won a NYYC Championship under IMS, a New England Championship under PHRF, and most recently this fall’s American Yacht Club Fall Series under IRC. But her biggest win was arguably in this year’s Bermuda Race, where she won her class and was a remarkable 3rd overall under IRC (and 8th OA under ORR). Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that she was the top scoring boat in the Onion Patch competition, which might be called a decathlon of big boat racing, in that it combines intense short course buoy racing with a 635 mile blue water marathon. Congratulations to owner Randy Baldwin, for adding still more luster to the resume of a design that has proven to be comfortable, seaworthy, versatile, and fast for 17 seasons, no matter what the rule.

Taylor’s Sabre Spirit named ‘Boat of the Year’

January 14th, 2008

Jimspirit2.jpg Taylor Yacht Designs’ Sabre ‘Spirit’ design recently earned an extraordinary ‘double’ by winning Boat of the Year awards from both Sailing World and Cruising World magazines. It is rare, if not unprecedented, for a boat to be judged as a Boat of the Year by both journals in the same year. Jim Taylor Yacht Designs is pleased and proud to have contributed to yet another Boat of the Year from Sabre Yachts.

The lean, stylish ‘weekender’ was selected as ‘Best Daysailer‘ of the year by Sailing World, winning out over the Alerion 33, CrossCurrent 33, and J-122. Judge Alan Andrews, an accomplished designer in his own right, wrote

“Sabre has put together a polished product that sails well and is easy to handle, both shorthanded and fully crewed…a sharp-looking, well-performing daysailer that not only works as a weekender, but a racer as well.”

Cruising World did not have a Daysailer category, but saw such merit in the Spirit that they gave it their ‘Judges Choice Award.‘ Judge Steve Callahan said

“I saw no other boat in the show that was as consistent in quality from the concept of the design to the execution of that design, the construction, the detailing, and the fun of sailing.”

It is especially gratifying to have such a distinguished group of judges, with such a wide variety of experience and interests, recognize the objectives of the designer and builder so specifically and endorse their execution so enthusiastically.

Taylor’s Spirit successful fresh out of the box!

August 25th, 2007

spirit_remainsilent.jpgThe Sabre ‘Spirit’ is intended as an easy-to-sail daysailer with weekend capability, but the reality is that whenever two sailboats are in the same piece of water, there is a race. The owner of Hull #1 is enjoying the best of both worlds. Just as promised, he finds his new ‘Spirit’ to be a lively, comfortable shorthanded ride, and fully crewed he went 2-1-2 in his three Wednesday Night race series, and won that season overall in both class and fleet. He also won a race, and finished a creditable 4th overall, in a very tough class in the PHRF New England Championships. Not bad for a fresh out of the box production boat!

Click here for full results.

Taylor 44′ Sforzando Still a Winner in her 10th Year

July 11th, 2007

sfz_amoryross.JPG‘SFZ’ was launched in 1998, just in time for the Bermuda Race. Custom built by Eric Goetz, she was designed to race under the IMS rule in its Cruiser/Racer (owner-driver) division. She won her share in IMS, including a great run in the very tight IMS-40 class, and a podium place in the 2003 IMS Worlds. As IMS faded from the scene in the US, ‘SFZ’ went on to be a consistent winner in PHRF, including a class win in the New England Championships. NYYC events have always been an important part of her racing season, and in recent years the Club has scored their races under IRC. Undaunted, Sforzando has won an incredible 10 of the 12 NYYC Regatta races she has sailed since 2005 under the new and unfamiliar rule, and has earned the Club’s prestigious Herreshoff Trophy, given for exceptional overall achievement. In the 2007 Regatta, she dominated her IRC class 1-1-1, having no trouble whatever with a Ker 11.7, a purpose-built IRC design. A remarkable 10-year run for an especially strong all-around performer.

Click here for full results.

Cabady takes Class at Block Island Race Week 2007

June 22nd, 2007

birw2007_cabady.jpgBlock Island, RI –

Cabady managed to win the IRC5 Class by 4 points after 8 race. Jim Taylor Yacht Designs would like to congratulate the team for their hard work and success.

Taylor 42’s have been consistent winners for a remarkable 16 years. Drumbeat II, (Hull #1), won her debut series at Block Island in IMS in 1991. Her near sister Numbers earned two more class wins under IMS, and Drumbeat II (as Picante) won again three years later under PHRF. In 2007, Hull #2 was on her third name (now Cabady) and fourth owner, but was still going strong with yet another BIRW class win, now under IRC. The Taylor 42 was carefully optimized for light air, smooth water New England conditions, and she continues to excel in them after all these years.

Click here to view full results.

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