Jim Taylor has been sailing since childhood. Born in 1949, he was soon “messing about in boats” on the Delaware River and on a Rhode Island salt pond. He earned a B.A. from Haverford College, (Haverford, PA), and a graduate ‘degree’ from what wags called the ‘Ted Hood School of Yachting Technology,’ where he worked for five years on a variety of ocean racing, America’s Cup 12-meter, and production cruising designs. He is married to Anne, has an adult son, and has been a professional yacht designer for since 1974.


Jim Taylor Yacht Designs was formed in November of 1978. For 35 years, the office was located in historic Marblehead, Massachusetts at the foot of State Street, overlooking the scenic harbor that once laid claim to be the ‘yachting capitol of the world.’   During the covid pandemic, the business went full circle, and returned to a home office across town in what is still an active and prominent East Coast yachting center.


The firm’s first project was Blackjack, a lightweight 23-foot daggerboarder that was drawn, built, and very successfully campaigned by the designer, winning 12 of 16 races sailed. Its first outside design commission was from Peter Rosenberg for Sabra, a 34-foot IOR racer/cruiser that is still going strong (as Chaika) to this day. A string of successful IOR racers and production cruisers followed in the 1980′s. Taylor began to concentrate on the IMS rule in the late 1980′s, and the Taylor 40 pioneered ‘grand prix’ IMS racing with a flood of wins, including two Corinthian 200′s, the Manhasset Bay Fall series, the Corum Cup (Japan), Chicago ‘Boat of the Year’, and the Marblehead-Halifax Race (1st & 2nd).  In 1991 the T-42 Drumbeat started a successful string of IMS racer winners that continued for almost 15 years, highlighted by the T-49 Numbers, that topped the IMS 50 field at Key West, Block Island, the Admiral’s Cup.  Blair Brown’s T-44 Sforzando carried a remarkable 10 year run of victories in IMS, PHRF and IRC well into the new millenium.  Most recently, the T-49c’s Dreadnought, Blackfish and Rascal have dominated the Spirit of Tradition division in east coast Classic racing.


Through the years, Taylor designs have won:

  • 11 of 12 Mass Bay Season championships
  • Four straight Block Island class wins
  • Two NYYC Herreshoff Trophies
  • Six straight PHRF N.E. championships, (9 in 11 years).

Class Wins

They have earned class wins in:

  • Six Block Island Race Weeks in 9 years
  • Two Key West Race Weeks
  • the SORC
  • the Commodore’s Cup
  • the Chicago-Mackinac
  • the Bermuda Race
  • an Onion Patch overall team trophy

America’s Cup

Taylor joined Bill Koch’s America³ design team in 1990. The team’s breakthrough USA 23 design convincingly beat Italy’s Il Moro 4-1 to win the 1992 America’s Cup. Taylor returned with the core of that team for the 1995 Cup. Hampered by a lack of development time, Koch’s Women’s Teamnarrowly missed winning the defender series in the team’s Mighty Mary.


Taylor designs have won recognition off the race course as well:

  • Sabre ‘Spirit’Cruising World ‘Boat of the Year’
  • Sabre 362Cruising World ‘Boat of the Year,’ Best Mid-Sized Cruiser
  • Sabre 402Cruising World Overall ‘Boat of the Year’
  • Colgate 26Cruising World ‘Boat of the Year,’ Best Small Cruiser
  • Sabre 452Cruising World ‘Boat of the Year,’ Best Full-Sized Cruiser
  • Sabre 426Sail ‘Top Ten New Boats’
  • Precision 185Sailing World ‘Boat of the Year’ Best Value/Performance Dinghy
  • Sabre 386Cruising World Overall Domestic ‘Boat of the Year’

Career Highlights

  • Five years (’74-’78) with Ted Hood, designing offshore racers and production cruisers.
  • 1977 America’s Cup; Responsible for Hood’s upgrade to Cup winner COURAGEOUS.
  • Started JIM TAYLOR YACHT DESIGNS in November, 1978
  • Designed, built and successfully campaigned Mini-IOR/MORC/PHRF racer, 1978-1981
  • String of successes in both IOR racing and production cruising markets, 1981- 1987
  • Began focus on IMS racing in 1987; TAYLOR 40 pioneered “grand prix” IMS racing
  • Joined America³ America’s Cup design team in 1990; A³ beat Italy’s IL MORO 4-1 in ’92 final
  • Designed SABRE 362 and SABRE 402, both Boats of the Year, with Sabre Yachts design team
  • Designed COLGATE 26, Cruising World Boat of the Year, selected by Naval Acadamy sailing program
  • Racing designs continue to win in top level competition from New England, to “Olde” England, to Japan.
  • Member of ’95 America³ design team, this time for The Women’s Team (MIGHTY MARY)
  • IMS 50 NUMBERS a winner at Key West & SORC, helmed by Russell Coutts at Admiral’s Cup
  • Designed SABRE 452, yet another Boat of the Year with Sabre Yachts
  • Asked to join the Offshore Racing Council’s International Technical Committee
  • IMS racer SFORZANDO a 2-time winner of the New York Yacht Club’s prestigious ‘Herreshoff Award
  • SABRE 426, chosen by Sail Magazine as one of their ‘Top Ten’ new boats for 2002
  • Precision 185 selected as Sailing World Boat of the Year
  • International 8-meter class sloop PLEIONE featured in Wooden Boat and Sailing World magazines
  • Designed SABRE 386, still another Boat of the Year in collaboration with Sabre Yachts
  • Designed SABRE ‘Spirit’, yet another Boat of the Year as a successful daysailor.

Racing Highlights


  • NYYC Annual; T-44 yet another class win.  Six wins  (and one 2nd) in 9 Annuals
  • EYC Annual; RIVAL (T-39c) 1st in class
  • Youngstown Level Regatta; Sabre 386 2nd in class
  • Buzzards Bay Regatta;  Taylor 40 and Sabre 402 1st and 2nd in class
  • Paneria Classics; RIVAL wins ‘Classic Plastic’ in Marblehead, PLEIONE wins series in class


  • Stamford-Vineyard ;  Sabre 362 1st in class
  • EYC Annual; T-44 AFRICA (SFZ) and T-39c RIVAL both 1st in respective classes
  • Castine-Camden Wooden Boats; PLEIONE beats W-76’s and W-37 boat-for-boat
  • BYC Evening; REMAIN SILENT wins 5th in a row
  • Korea Cup; T-47 ‘DIVA’ (ne NUMBERS) takes first in all four races


  • Bermuda Race; T-44 TEMPTATION (ne SFORZANDO) 1st in Class 7, 4th Overall
  • EYC Annual; 8m PLEIONE 1st in class
  • Buzzards Bay Regatta; Sabre 402 WILDFLOWER 1st in class (yet again!), 4 wins in 6 races
  • PHRF N.E. Championships; Sabre Spirit REMAIN SILENT 2nd in class over Alerion Exp 38
  • Sabre Spirit wins Boston YC season series for 4th straight year


  • Boston YC; a ‘three-peat for Sabre Spirit, spring, summer, fall & season
  • PHRF N.E. Championships; T-41 repeats in Class 2
  • Maine Wooden Boats; PLEIONE takes 1st OA, des;pite ‘winning too often’ rating penalties


  • NYYC Regatta; SFORZANDO repeats, 4-1-1-1, winning incredible 12 of last 16 Annual Regatta races sailed
  • Bermuda Race; T-42 wins Class 4, 3rd OA; Sabre 402 and 452 go 1-2 in Class 13. Sabre 386 5th doublehanded
  • NYYC Summer RW; SFORZANDO wins by 14 pts over Farr 395 and touted IRC Mills/King/Summit 40
  • Maine Wooden Boats; PLEIONE takes yet another Castine-Camden Classic
  • BYC Season; Sabre Spirit repeats season championship
  • PHRF N.E. Championships; T-41 wins Class 2, PLEIONE returns to podium in Class 3
  • American YC Fall Series; T-42 CABADY (ex-NUMBERS) wins class.
  • NYYC Herreshoff Medal; SFORZANDO wins unusual 2nd time, for exceptional performance


  • NYYC Annual; SFORZANDO goes 3-1-1-1 over Ker 11.3 and Melges 32
  • Block Island Race Week; T-42 wins class for remarkable 5th time.
  • Maine Wooden Boats; PLEIONE takes two 2nd’s in spite of huge rating penalties for previous wins
  • BYC Season; Sabre Spirit REMAIN SILENT wins overall in first season
  • PHRF N.E. Championships; Sabre Spirit takes 4th over J-100 and E-33 in competitive Class 4


  • NYYC Annual Regatta; SFZ opens with DNF, then returns to form, 1,1
  • Bermuda Race; New Taylor keel and rudder lift IMX 45 CYBELE to big win in Class 7
  • NYYC Summer Race Week; SFORZANDO 2nd
  • Maine Wooden Boats; PLEIONE takes clean sweep of Castine-Camden, Camden-Brooklin, & Eggemoggin Races
  • PHRF N.E. Championships; PLEIONE takes competitive Class 3 with straight bullets in 7 races


  • NYYC Annual Regatta; SFORZANDO dominates 1,1,2,1,1
  • Chicago-Mackinac; Sabre 402 1st in Section, 4th in fleet
  • 8m NA’s & Worlds; PLEIONE 3rd and 5th, respectively in first international 8m competition
  • Chesapeake Screwpile Regatta; T-401 MERIDIAN and Colgate 26 BOB win classes


  • NYYC Annual Regatta; SFORZANDO 2nd in IMS C/R
  • Bermuda Race; ORION 1st of 15 in Class 4, 10th in fleet
  • Maine Wooden Boats; Pleione goes 1-2 in first season
  • PHRF N.E. Championships; Taylor designs sweep 3 of top 4 places in Class 3
  • Mass Bay Champion: K-2 takes 5th straight. Taylor designs have won at least 20 of last 24 seasons


  • NYYC Annual Regatta; SFORZANDO 2nd in IMS C/R to IMX 45 TEMPTRESS
  • NYYC Summer Race Week; SFZ 2nd by 0.25 pt
  • Sabre 402 2nd in Class, Chicago-Mackinac classic
  • PHRF N.E. Championships; NUMBERS and TEMDEH both repeat, Taylor designs win class 6 years in a row
  • Mass Bay Season Champion: Taylor 40-3 KATABATIC (K-2)takes yet another


  • New York Yacht Club; SFORZANDO wins prestigious Herreshoff Medal for overall excellence
  • Bermuda Race; T-41 ORION 2nd in Class 4, Onion Patch trophy winner
  • Chesapeake Screwpile Regatta; Colgate 26 BOB wins class
  • PHRF N.E. Championships; NUMBERS, ALLANAH and TEMDEH all class winners
  • Mass Bay Season Champion: Taylor 40-3 KATABATIC takes 3rd straight


  • PHRF N.E. Championships; ‘DZ’ repeats (T-47 2nd) in Class 1; Taylor design wins class 4th year in a row
  • Mass Bay Season Champion: Taylor 40-3 KATABATIC repeats


  • New York Yacht Club Regatta; TAYLOR 44 SFORZANDO wins, 1-2
  • Block Island Race Week; Taylor 40 SCHERHERAZADE a close 2nd in B Class
  • IMS Worlds; SFORZANDO 3rd in grand prix international fleet
  • PHRF N.E. Championships; DANGER ZONE wins (T-40 2nd) in Class 1, TEMDEH wins Cruising Class 1


  • PHRF N.E. Championships; SFORZANDO repeats, Taylor designs take 4 of top 5 in Class I
  • Mass Bay Season Champion: T-401 SCHERHAZADE


  • NYYC Regatta; NUMBERS bests N/M 48, Farr 46, Farr 47
  • Eastern July 4th Regatta; radical T-32 DANGER ZONE wins
  • PHRF New England Championship; Taylor 44 1st, Taylor designs take 3 of top 4 places in Class 1
  • American YC Fall Series; Taylor 42 wins easily in class.


  • Key West Race Week NUMBERS wins debut regatta over SWING, SEAGOON, INFINITY, VIRAGO & IDLER
  • SORC; NUMBERS 1st over top Farr and N/M IMS boats
  • NYYC Regatta; NUMBERS 1st with straight bullets over new Farr designs FLASH GORDON & NOON
  • Block Island: NUMBERS 2nd
  • Admiral’s Cup: NUMBERS dominates inshore races, but suffers in drifting matches.


  • Block Island Race Week; T-42 wins class for 4th time
  • Edgartown Regatta; SHERHERAZADE wins in gear buster
  • Eastern Yacht Club Season Champion: NUMBERS 94


  • YRA-LIS IMS Championships; AVANTI finishes 2nd
  • PHRF N.E. Championships: NUMBERS repeats class win, Taylor designs win class third year in a row.
  • Mass Bay Season Champion:


  • Doyle-Saucony “40 Something” Regatta: SCHERHERAZADE and COALITION 1st & 2nd in IMS
  • Pilot’s Point Regatta: Newly launched TAYLOR 47’s top Farr 44, N/M 43 and N/M 45 IDLER
  • Block Island Race Week: T-47’s NUMBERS & DRUMBEAT 1st & 2nd in Round Island race
  • EYC July 4th Regatta: TAYLOR 41 ORION 1st OA, topping J-44’s and N/M 40 boat-for-boat
  • Lymington (England) Berthon IMS Regatta: NUMBERS tops new Farr ILC 40, plus Tripp, Dubois & Farr 50’s
  • NYYC Sesquicentenial: T-47 DRUMBEAT 2nd in Queen’s Cup, 9 seconds behind INFINITY
  • LTYC Harbor Springs: V-MAX first overall, beats R/P 70 WINDQUEST
  • Commodore’s Cup (England): NUMBERS wins Class 1 in “IMS Admiral’s Cup,” over FALCON & Farr 50
  • Chicago YC Offshore Championship; TAYLOR 40 V-MAX is untouchable, 1-1-1-2-2
  • PHRF N.E. Championships: NUMBERS takes Class 1, 2-1-1, TAYLOR 41’s 2nd & 3rd in Class 2
  • Chicago Boat of the Year: V-MAX wins convincingly, counting remarkable eight 1st’s and two 2nd’s in ten scored
  • Mass Bay Season Champion: SCHERHERAZADE closes in on 11th TAYLOR design win in 12 years.


  • Key West: TAYLOR 42′s 3rd & 5th racing under ’92 IMS rule. TAYLOR 40′s 2nd & 3rd in class
  • Pilot’s Point Regatta: T-42 NUMBERS gets 6 straight bullets over Farr 44 and Farr 40
  • Chicago N.O.O.D. Regatta: Evergreen TAYLOR 40 V-MAX repeats ’92 win, takes 3rd NOOD in 4 years
  • Block Island: TAYLOR 42 1-1-4-1-3-1-1 in “threepeat”; Taylor design wins IMS class 4th straight year
  • Marblehead-Halifax: TAYLOR 40′s ARBELLA and AVANTI 1st and 2nd OA in IMS fleet in offshore classic
  • Edgartown: DRUMBEAT beats new INFINITY in IMS 3-1-2-2-1, COALITION wins 1-4-2-1-1 in PHRF
  • Hyannis: New design TAYLOR 41 SHEERNESS runs away 1-1-1-1 shortly after launch
  • NYYC Cruise: DRUMBEAT wins week over INFINITY and new Farr 39; wins coveted Herreshoff Medal
  • Golden Week Big Boat Champ: (Japan) BE-ONE (TAYLOR 43) 1st, downs Tripp 43 and Farr 44
  • PHRF N.E. Championships: TAYLOR 42 and week-old TAYLOR 41 take 1st & 2nd over N/M 40
  • Manchester Fall Series; Taylor designs 1st, 2nd and 3rd
  • Mass Bay Season Champion: TAYLOR 40 wins 5th in 6 years, TAYLOR design wins 10th in 11 years


  • Key West: NUMBERS blows chute in finale, TAYLOR 42 drops to 2nd overall by scant 7 seconds
  • Block Island: TAYLOR 42 repeats IMS class win, TAYLOR design wins 3rd B.I. Week in a row.
  • Chicago N.O.O.D. Regatta: TAYLOR 40 V-MAX takes 40′s class 1-1-2 for 2nd win in 3 years
  • Commodore’s Cup (England): NUMBERS top scoring boat in fleet over last 3 races, beats Farr 40 OA
  • Kenwood Cup (Hawaii): TAYLOR 43 2nd in class despite broken main halyard, bests Farr 44 OA
  • NYYC Cruise: TAYLOR 42 DRUMBEAT dazzles fleet,
  • NYYC IMS Championships: TAYLOR design wins class 4th year in a row (NUMBERS 1-1-1)
  • Mass Bay Season Champion: TAYLOR 40 wins 4th in 5 years, TAYLOR design wins 9th in 10 years!


  • Corum Cup (JAPAN): T-40 MkIII sweeps IMS class 1-1-1-1-1-1, remains undefeated!
  • STC Block Island: TAYLOR 42 debuts with IMS win, TAYLOR design wins second straight B.I. Week
  • Chapman Bowl; Taylor 40’s 1st and 2nd
  • Edgartown Race Week; T-42 DRUMBEAT follows Block Island with another win in debut season
  • NYYC Cruise: TAYLOR 42 wins every race she sails, besting everything from Tripp 36′s to N/M 50
  • Newport N.O.O.D. Regatta: DRUMBEAT domninates 40’s Class, 1-1-2
  • Boat of the Year (Chicago IMS): V-MAX takes well-earned season IMS championship


  • Chicago NOOD; Taylor 40 MkII V-MAX cruises, 1-1-3
  • Block Island Race Week (Yachting); Taylor 40’s 1st and 2nd
  • Corinthian 200; COALITION repeats in this biennial offshore challenge
  • Annapolis-Hampton (VA); Taylor 40 1st in IMS class and fleet
  • Buzzards Bay Regatta; Taylor 40 repeats, 2-1-2-1
  • PHRF New England Championship; SCHERHERAZADE wins Class 2
  • Chesapeake Bay IMS Championship; Taylor 37 WAHOO (ex-SPIRIT) dominates class
  • Mass Bay Season Championship; SHERHERAZADE repeats


  • Chicago Queens Cup; V-MAX starts her run in IMS
  • Eastern Yacht Club Regatta; TAYLOR 40’s 1st, 2nd and 5th
  • Buzzards Bay Regatta; T-40 MkII SHERHERAZADE wins 1-2-1
  • Monhegan Island Race; ARBELLA (T-40 MkI) wins offshore in IMS
  • Seawanhaka IMS Regatta; T-38 CALIENTE sweeps, 1-1-1
  • NYYC IMS Championship; TAYLOR 38 wins Class III, 1-1-3
  • Mass Bay Season Championship; SHERHERAZADE wins this time


  • Corinthian 200; COALITION wins class and IMS fleet in distance race
  • Manhasset Bay Fall Series; Taylor 40 dominates a hot IMS class 1-3-1-5
  • Mass Bay Season Championship; COALITION picks up for SPIRIT


  • IOR 50 NA’s; PIONEER wins with a lift from a Taylor keel
  • Block Island Race Week; SPIRIT wins in IMS 1-1-5-1-1
  • Mass Bay Season Championship; SPIRIT, this time in PHRF


  • SPIRIT wins in Mass Bay for the fourth year running


  • SPIRIT wins Mass Bay Season Championship third year in a row


  • Mass Bay Season Championship; SPIRIT repeats


  • SPIRIT wins Mass Bay Season Championship in IOR


  • BLACKJACK wins 12 races of 16 sailed
  • SABRA wins Mass Bay Season Championship