A woman who has been cruising Europe on a small sailboat with her partner contacted Margaret on Women Who Sail. The cruiser had some questions about Bear, because they are contemplating purchasing a Tayana 37 and there are few Tayanas in Europe for them to get aboard. We thought we would share my answers below. Her partner is 6’2”, which explains the questions about my height.
How reliable is our engine?
We have a Yanmar 3JH4E. Our engine has worked extremely well. Obviously there are regular oil, filter, and coolant changes. And we just had a valve adjustment and alignment as part of our 1000-hour service. Our only real problems have been a few electrical issues with the harness.
Yanmar ships our model with a 60-amp alternator and offers an 80-amp upgrade. The previous owner put on a 125-amp alternator. I wish we had the 80. The 125 puts a lot of pressure on the standard Yanmar belt, causing it to slip. We switched to a heftier Gates belt that has eliminated the slippage. But I fear we are shortening the life of our water pump with the new tighter belt.
How tall is Jeff?
I am 6’1″.
I sleep on the open side of the v-berth. It is tight, but, on the whole, comfortable. I sometimes have to move my body up (aft) a couple inches so my feet can lay out all the way when I sleep on my stomach. At that point, my head is still on the cushion.
I never notice an issue with headroom in the cabin. Of course, I have hit my head lots of times on things, but always when I am reaching into a locker, trying to go up the companionway without it being fully open, etc.
The one place where height does come in is on our settees, which are what we make into sea-berths. Our starboard one is just about 6’2″ or 6’3″. Straight out on my back, I fit, but I wish I had more room. On the port side, the settee is shorter still, and I cannot lie flat out on it.
Everything on Tayanas was “custom,” and our Tayana is unusual in some ways. I imagine that other people have different dimensions for different parts of the boat. We also do not have an aft cabin or quarter-berth, so I cannot comment on how I fit in those places.
How comfortable is the boat at anchor and underway?
I think the boat is very comfortable for the two of us at anchor. Our layout, without the aft cabin or quarter-berth, makes it a great two-person boat. But things become cramped quickly with another person or two aboard. We really love our layout, though.
Motion-wise at anchor, we always comment on how relatively still the boat is. But I assume that is true of any full-keel boat as heavy as she is.
At sea she is also comfortable. The motion seems quite natural. And, as we have learned how to sail her, she feels even more under control. We still have to really dial in the downwind sailing. We don’t (yet) have a pole or an asymmetrical. Thus, the sails tends to back and fill above about 150 degrees, accentuating the rolling motion. But that is not the boat’s fault.
Is there anything we do not like or would change about the boat?
We wish the chain locker was accessible from the deck. And Margaret does wish she could get in and out of the v-berth easier. Depending on where I am sleeping, she has to climb over me. Fortunately for me, I usually sleep right through it.
How close to the wind can you sail?
There is how close we can sail our Tayana 37, and how close we do sail. We have not spent too much time going to weather. But I would say we typically find that about 60 degrees makes the sailing easy and 55 degrees is working it. And when we replaced our chainplates, we made them external, making her worse to weather. We did have her charging through some steep Chesapeake Bay chop at about 60 degrees in 35 knots. I have seen a number of folks on the owners’ group say they can tack through 100 degrees or less. That has not been our experience, but I am sure you could put a Tayana in better trim than we do, not to mention our older sails.