Design Lines #84 – Fall 1984

TAYLOR 38's Make a Quick IOR Splash

The final delivery dates were typically perverse; SPIRIT hurtled east along the Mass Pike and flashed past me as I headed west, for a June commitment in Philadelphia. ARGONAUT arrived 10 days later while I was again away, this time in Rhodc Island. Both boats were launched within hours, but I returned in time to fine-tune the floatations and supervise the IOR inclinings. The ratings came back right on target, last- minute Edgartown Race Week entries were ?led, and the ?rst 2 TAYLOR 38’s hit the starting line! This was not exactly the 6-week speed timing program we had planned so carefully last fall, but it certainly made for a dramatic debut! No rehearsal, no warmup, just DO it, sink or swim!

The class was 25 boats strong and hotly competitive, including two well-prepared PETERSON 37’s, a FARR 37, two FRERS F-3’s, a NELSON/MAREK 36, and 7 one-off racers. The biggest suspense was over almost immediately, however, when despite falling near the middle of the rating ba.nd, SPIRIT and ARGONAUT shot into the lead and rounded the first weather mark one-two, boat for boat! Vicious thundersqualls and a missing mark eventually scrubbed that first race, but both TAYLOR 38’s had shown definite boatspeed on the entire class, regardless of rating. They were certainly “fast out of the box,” but it still remained to be seen whether they were just solidly competitive, or truly exceptional

As the week went by, the results confirmed that the TAYLOR 38’s were much more than just “good!” We did not see the light to moderate air they were designed for until the very last race, which SPIRIT won handily. The “Around the Island” race began with a nasty, lumpy #3 beat down the Chappaquiddick beach, but both boats roared back from early blunders to round the weather mark one-two again, not bad for untuned “light air boats!” In the end, SPIRIT’s impressive 3-4-2-1 series scores left her second only to ROBIN, whose aberrant “old age” rating is almost literally unbeatable. (ROBIN’s rating, a Illa loophole, is treated as a grim joke by her competitors, and does not do justice to the vast talents of her skipper, Ted Hood). Unofficial scorers gave SPIRIT a 2-3-1-1 series, and a “lst “”‘ for the repttal Subsequent race results this season have simply made the developing picture even clearer. Final results at both Buzza.rd’s Bay and Monhegan were “mixmastered” by very trying conditions, but not before both SPIRIT and ARGONAUT demonstrated their raw boatspeed by leading a NELSON/MAREK 41 around the course (B.B.R.) and duking it out boat~for-boat with a J-41 (Monhegan). The TAYLOR 38’s finished one-two in each race of the Chandler Hovey Regatta, one day in a heavy air slop, the next in a light air glide. They finished 1-3 in the James Hodder race, with SPIRIT crossing the line first (ahead of four 41-footersl), and winning by a startling 14 minutes corrected! The (page 3, IOR Splash)