The Tayana Vancouver 42 was the result of a collaboration between the legendary Taiwanese yard Ta Yang and the equally well-known designer Robert Harris. She followed on the heels of the prolific Tayana 37 design by Bob Perry and was one of a series of “Vancouver” designs including 27 and 36 footers. Production started in 1979 and ostensibly continues to this day though it makes much more sense to look at the brokerage market. She has a canoe stern, solid teak joinery, and three different deck plans. This 42-footer is a practical, offshore cruiser on which to cut the dock lines and head for the horizon.
Ta Yang made their bones with the Perry designed 37, but Tayana 42 solidified their reputation for quality construction and fine teak interiors. Production started in 1979 and in total about 200 Vancouver 42 hulls have been built. The early Tayanas, from 1979 until 1985 while not overly prone, do have an association will gelcoat blistering. After 1985, the yard switched to an isophthalic gelcoat to resist blistering and, after 1992, laminated the hulls with vinylester resin. Though Ta Yang will make a new one if you want, they have not produced one in some years.
The deck configuration comes in three versions – pilothouse aft cockpit, regular aft cockpit, and a center cockpit. Of the 200 about 130 are aft cockpits while the other 70 are center cockpits. The center cockpit is more prized by cruisers for the separate stateroom down below. It is hard to generalize about the interior accommodations because, Ta Yang produced these on a semi-custom basis. Variations include three staterooms layouts, one head with a separate stall shower, two heads with combined sink-shower spaces, a centerline island queen aft, swivel chairs in the saloon, etc. Even the bulkhead positioning could vary. No matter the layout, across the board, the spruce vertical slatting and solid teak trim makes for an exceptionally fine interior.
Oddly for a serious offshore boat of this vintage, the Tayana 42 features a deck-stepped rig. At least when I think of a bluewater boat I think of a spar stepped on a massive I-beam tied between frames. Though I know there is no difference in safety between properly engineered deck and keel stepped spars. As well Harris’ unique diamond stay at the upper spreaders, supported by an aluminum arc, which some call the cowcatcher, eliminates the need for running backstays. Most have teak decks with all the benifits and pitfalls. The hull is of solid fiberglass. Early decks were cored with plywood while later ones are balsa. The 11,800 pound ballast is a single cast iron insert encapsulated in resin inside the fiberglass keel. These were not only overbuilt but also underpowered with 33hp Yanmars though most have been repowered with 4-cylinder Yanmars generally in the range of 44hp to 75hp.
With her fin keel the Tayana has a more modern underbody than many comparables and sails surprisingly well. She has a double spreader main and cutter rig for 1,000 square feet of canvas. Combined with her heavy displacement of near 30,000 pounds, she is a stout boat that can handle heavy weather, shake off 30 knot winds and make good progress. There is a pronounced sheer for a fair bit of freeboard up forward and a moderate overhang that makes especially the aft cockpit versions pretty dry.
The earliest models from 1979 to 1985 are more prone to gelcoat blistering though these days have probably been barrier coated. They may have a plywood cored deck that is less resilient to water saturation. The teak decks are worthwhile to take a close look at. On a few examples fuel and water tankage is of black iron (most have stainless steel water tanks and black iron for fuel), these tanks and more susceptible to rust. Shoddy stainless steel is possible on Taiwanese boats of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
» Jordan, Richard. Vancouver 36 Review: Smaller Version of 42 Tayana. Waves.
» Kretschmer, John. “Tayana 42.” Used Boat Notebook. Pages 198 – 203.
» Rohde, Bill. “Vancouver 42: A Stately Passagemaker.” Crusing World. March 19, 2009.
» TOG News. The Tayana Owner’s Forum.