Taylor 20 Blackjack
DESIGN #20: 23 ft LOA M.O.R.C/MiniTon Racer:
Built by: Jim Taylor/Little Harbor Boatyard
LOA 23.0ft Sail Area (RSAT) 231 ft^2
LWL 17.1 ft ‘IM’ 23.6 ft
Max Beam 8.00 ft ‘J’ 7.8 ft
Draft (Brd Down) 4.50 ft ‘P’ 24.8 ft
Disp (Meas Trim) 2,170 lbs ‘E’ 9.0 ft
Ballast 925 lbs RMC 114 ft-lbs
Spar: Schaefer single swept spreader aluminum mast; aluminum boom
Rigging: 5/32” 1×19 SS wire
Winches: 2 Housetop, 2 cockpit
The hull was built over a male mold, starting with 3/8” thick ‘Airex’ foam laid over the plug. An outer skin of e-glass mat, roving, and 10 oz finish cloth was then laid over the foam, and the laminate was faired with polyester filler. This partially completed but fully faired and primed shell was then pulled from the plug and turned right side up, so that the inner skin could be laminated onto the core. Unidirectional Kevlar was laid at 0 degrees down the centerline, stem to stern. The deck, house, and cockpit were all fabricated of marine plywood, overlaid with 10 oz e-glass cloth. The finish work was all done with AwlGrip primers and top coats. The boat was built in a corner of a Little Harbor Boatyard shed, generously provided by owner Ted Hood. The construction was done primarily by the designer, with important volunteer contributions from LHBY workers at various critical points.
BLACKJACK was Jim Taylor’s first independent design, developed while he was working in Ted Hood’s Little Harbor Boatyard design office. The project was conceived in collaboration with Jeff Neuberth, a friend and America’s Cup colleague during Ted Turner’s victorious COURAGEOUS campaign in 1977. In some ways, the design was the designer’s ‘senior thesis’ at what was often referred to as Hood’s ‘Graduate School’ for the sailing industry. Taylor ‘graduated’ to open his own design office in 1979, and BLACKJACK was a remarkable success story, both on the race course and as a very sexy ‘client lure’. During the 1981 and 1982 seasons, she won 17 of the 26 races she sailed, (12 first to finish), and came second in 6 more. The designer recalls learning five critical lessons from the BLACKJACK project:
– Crew weight is critical in light, beamy boats! For BLACKJACK 700 lbs was about right.
– Fin area and draft have threshold values; her ‘board down’ draft was 4.0 ft as launched, but 4.5 ft was much faster.
– Transom drag is HUGE; launched as a 21 footer, she was transformed by a 2ft transom extension and inboard rudder
– Preparation matters (5 P’s); Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
– That he belonged among peer yacht designers; BLACKJACK was a good all-around boat that achieved her goals