Rupert Holmes gets the inside line on the latest collaboration between Brooklyn Boat Yard and designer, Jim Taylor, the Brooklin Boat Yard / Jim Taylor 44

The Brooklin Boat Yard in Maine is a giant in New England’s Spirit of Tradition scene. Once again they are teaming up with designer, Jim Taylor to produce a new boat, the Brooklin Boat Yard / Jim Taylor 44.

Of the 10 yachts in the class racing in last year’s popular Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, nine had been built by the Brooklyn Boat Yard. Among them was the winner Rascal, a Jim Taylor-designed 50-footer launched only three days before the event.

Rascal is a 50-footer designed by Jim Taylor and built by the Brooklin Boat Yard. Photo: Billy Black

The latest collaboration between Taylor and Brooklin is Equipoise, a stunning 44ft performance dayboat. Her design draws on a long line of previous craft, including Rascal and the slightly earlier 49-footers Dreadnaught and Blackfish. Indeed, the new vessel will be for the owner of one of these boats who sails in southern California during the winter months.

Equipoise’s hull is of an engineered timber/epoxy construction, with two diagonal 3/16in (5mm) paulonia veneers sandwiched in the middle of twin layers of tongue-and-groove larch planking.

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The Brooklin Boat Yard / Jim Taylor 44’s deck has two skins of okoume plywood with Corecell foam between them, while keel loads are distributed by a grid of laminated floors, capped with unidirectional carbon fibre. Taylor says this construction “results in high strength and toughness relative to weight and also provides very impressive acoustic and thermal insulation.”

Displacement is little more than six tonnes, despite a hefty 44% ballast ratio. This allows a large rig to be carried without the L-shaped bulb keel needing an excessive draught.

“Throughout, the focus is on performance,” adds Taylor, “with hull, appendage and rig detailing that is state of the art, as she’ll be club raced frequently.”

This approach extends to the systems on board, which includes custom carbon spars, CZone digital switching and electric auxiliary propulsion.

The Taylor and Brooklin 44 is a Spirit of Tradition daysailer with the emphasis on performance

Much thought has also gone into making the boat effortless to handle for short-handed daysailing. The in-boom mainsail furler and under deck headsail furler are both electrically powered, as are the winches. Similarly, the mainsheet traveller is controlled by a Harken Flatwinder 250 line driver and the hydraulic backstay pump is electrically-driven.

Accommodation is crafted in a classic Herreshoff style with off-white and varnished highlights. The layout includes a spacious saloon with two settees, plus a quarter berth, and a decent size heads offset to port ahead of the mast. There’s also a navstation and small galley aft near the companionway.

At the time of writing the boat was at an advanced stage of build and is scheduled for launch spring 2021.

Pricing has not been revealed, but is understood to be roughly in the region of US$1.5 million.


LOA: 13.50m / 44ft 5in
LWL: 11.00m / 36ft 2in
Beam: 3.70m / 12ft 0in
Draught: 2.40m / 7ft 10in
Displacement: 6,120kg / 13,500lb
Sail area: 89.5m2 / 963ft
Builder: /

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