Taylor 44 Sforzando

Design # 99; SFORZANDO

Built by: Goetz Custom, Bristol, RI

Launched: 1998

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Photo by Amory Ross

DESIGN #99: 44.6 ft LOA ‘IMS’ Cruiser/Racer 10/24/06


LOA 44.6 ft                                                                   Sail Area (RSAT) 1,084 ft^2

LWL 37.7 ft                                                                   ‘IM’ 57.5 ft

Max Beam 12.4 ft                                                         ‘J’ 16.7 ft

Draft 8.6 ft                                                                    ‘P’ 50.5 ft

Disp (Meas Trim) 14,500 lbs                                       ‘E’ 18.4 ft

Ballast 7,800 lbs                                                          IRC 1.172

RMC 1,630 ft-lbs                                                         PHRF NE 9 sec/mi


Spar: Carbon 4-spreader masthead rig; Carbon boom and pole.

Rigging: Discontinuous Navtec rod, Kevlar runners

Winches: Genoa=2×60/30; Spin/Hal’s=2x44ASTsr; Main=2x440STOR; Runners=2x44ASTR

Electronics: Ockam

Engine: 46 hp Yanmar 4JHCE Diesel w/SD31 Saildrive

Construction Details:

The Hull is laminated of FRP reinforced skins (pre-impregnated S-glass and KEVLAR) over aircraft grade ‘Baltek’ balsa cores. The deck is a similar laminate of FRP skins over balsa core, with additional laminate in way of all deck hardware. Epoxy resins are used throughout. Both hull and deck are locally reinforced with unidirectional KEVLAR to minimize the longitudinal deflections resulting from the headstay, backstay and mast compression loadings. Methodical weight control is a high priority, and all moldings and components are carefully weighed before assembly.

Concept: 44-foot Grand Prix racer

SFORZANDO was designed for a recidivist ‘knowledgeable New England yachtsman’, a long time client and friend, who wanted a more contemporary version of his earlier IMS winner, the T-42 DRUMBEAT. Race wins were an obvious priority, but so were aesthetics, so the new design gave the boxy, short overhang raceboat look a wide berth. ‘The visuals’ were developed very carefully, starting with those of DRUMBEAT, and the resulting profile boast overhangs that are considerably longer and more stylish than those of most contemporary racers When not racing, the SFORZANDO was to be suited for daysailing with family and friends, so her interior favors wide open social space over privacy in individual cabins. It is elegantly finished ‘Herreshoff style,’ with most surfaces carefully faired and painted eggshell white, with varnished cherry trim, and a teak and holly cabin sole.

  • Optimized for IMS racing in light to moderate air and smooth water New England, but with an additional focus on comfortable and practical shorthanded day sailing in Buzzards Bay. This implies a significantly higher Sail Area/Wetted Surface Ratio, but generally similar performance parameters, compared to those of of our IMS winners NUMBERS and SCHERHERAZADE; long sailing length, narrow beam, generous area foils, and high stability.
  • A special emphasis will be given to very high quality acoustic engineering, with an eye towards keeping both the mechanical noise down and the sound system’s music uncompromised.
  • Another special emphasis will be placed on aesthetics, both exterior and interior. The overhangs will be longer and more graceful than most contemporary IMS racers, and the interior will be simple and functional, but elegantly finished “Herreshoff style,” with teak and holly sole and varnished cherry trim.


SFORZANDO was designed to the ‘Cruiser/Racer’ requirements of the IMS Regulations, because the owner wished to race against his ‘owner-driver’ peers rather than hired gun professionals. These regulations mandated seats and coamings in the cockpit, and specific cruising requirements below. The ergonomics and style of each element had to be appropriate for both racing and daysailing, which made developing their details a challenge, but they have contributed to SFORZANDO’s long lasting appeal. A special emphasis was given to very high quality acoustic engineering, which was successful in keeping both the mechanical noise down and the sound system’s music uncompromised. Her 50 hp Yanmar Saildrive auxiliary give her unmatched speed under power, and her a sophisticated four spreader HallSpar carbon rig drives her equally far ahead of the pack under sail. SFORZANDO has been optimized for IRC with a new keel that significantly increases her stability, makes her even easier to sail, and increases her straightline speed upwind.

Racing highlights:

  • NYYC Herreshoff Medal

    SFORZANDO has won this medal for a remarkable second time in 2008, having won it previously in 2002. The Club makes the award only when merited, for exceptional overall performance during a season. The original trophy was given by Captain Nathanael Herreshoff in April 1926. The permanent trophy is a tablet retained by the club and inscribed with the name of the winner year. A suitable ‘keeper’ is awarded to the yacht. It is a very select group that can lay claim to one Herreshoff Medal, let alone two.

  • NYYC Annual Regatta

    SFORZANDO won her IRC class in this event 3 of 4 years, and had five wins and two 2nd’s over nine years. She went 4-1-1-1 in one year, following a 3-1-1-1 win a year earlier, capping an incredible run of 12 wins in 16 Annual Regatta races she sailed. She has consistently turned back top competitors such as the Corby 41.1, Ker 11.3, Farr 40, Melges 32, IMX 45, and Swan 45.

  • NYYC Summer RW

    SFORZANDO won this biennial event handily in 2008, by whopping 14 pts over Farr 395 and highly touted IRC Mills/King/Summit 40, earning Blair Brown a well-deserved Rolex for his top overall performance. SFZ was a close 2nd 2006, and a hard luck 2nd in 2002 due to a jammed halyard. (She was a DNF in 2004, after being disabled by a port-tack competitor)

  • PHRF NE Championships

    SFORZANDO has two 1st’s and a 2nd in the three years she has competed.

  • IMS Worlds

SFORZANDO 3rd in a hotly contested grand prix international fleet.

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