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Old 21-11-2009, 21:43   #1
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Ta Chiao-Built Boats

Some Taiwan built boats such as Formosa, Vagabond, and Hudson Force 50s, have a reputation for poor quality structural timber that can be costly to repair.
Has anyone got information/experience with Ta Chiao built boats? Do they fall into the same questionable construction category? I haven't found anything that indicates this, and I like the look of Perry's CT 54 and CT56.
Any comments would be helpful.
Vic
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Old 22-11-2009, 01:23   #2
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Hi Vic, I recently did some repair work on a CT 56 and during my behind panel delving, I came across some suspect untreated wooden cleats which had rotted because of poor quality untreated wood and leaky teak deaks. This said, the owner of this yacht is never the less extremely happy with his purchase.
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Old 22-11-2009, 01:32   #3
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Thanks for that. As long as you can find out pre-purchase so it is taken into account in the price you manage to get the boat for.
By the way, good name... I'm a Durban boy from way back. Where are you?
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Old 22-11-2009, 02:03   #4
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I live in Knysna. I didn't think of Fishtong (dried yellowfin tuna preferably) at the time. Have you come across an American registered Westsail 32 , Estrela ?
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Old 22-11-2009, 04:15   #5
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The name is familiar, not quite sure why.
In another life I had parents-in-law who lived at Woodburn Caravan Park.
I pulled up a lot of lead snorkelling off the northern headland.
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Old 22-11-2009, 08:04   #6
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Originally Posted by biltong View Post
I live in Knysna. I didn't think of Fishtong (dried yellowfin tuna preferably) at the time. Have you come across an American registered Westsail 32 , Estrela ?
I have followed Estrela's travels as we also have a W32... we live in Oregon but I used to live in Durban.
Did you do any work on her while she was in Knysna?
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Old 23-11-2009, 06:33   #7
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Hi GWD, I did not do any work on her as Doug and family took care of that, and did it well. They would have left Cabadero (?) Brazil today en route Dominica. She is a great yacht and they have done the Westsail name proud.
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Old 23-11-2009, 07:37   #8
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I have a CT 48 that I have been doing a major refit on for several years now…
(See my pictures)

I had a rotten bulk head behind/under the companion way that leaked for 30 years.

I had some delamination of the end grain/cut deck core with the top and bottom glass where deck fittings leaked.
(This was very easy to repair from the inside)

I had rot around about 30% of the raised salon windows, but was isolated to a very close proximity of the leaks.

Most of the original SS was ****.

I have helped two different friends rebuild different areas of their late 70s Formosa's...they were very much less build quality.
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Old 23-11-2009, 08:11   #9
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Hi Vic. Sorry about these non CT interjections, but you must admit that this cruisers forum is an awesome site where paths cross unexpectedly.
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Old 25-11-2009, 03:55   #10
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Not a problem. This site is an amazing resource. The collective knowledge and experience is mind-blowing, and it's free!
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Old 25-11-2009, 08:00   #11
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Although I can't speak for all CT's our Tanton 44 (CT 44) seems to me to be well built. I do keep having those wow what craftsmanship followed shortly after with a wow what were they thinking but I haven’t found a lot of issues that I haven't seen on other boats. At 26 years old it certainly has had some issues to resolve but none of them IMO were related to the quality of the construction.
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Old 25-11-2009, 08:21   #12
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We have a Transworld 41. Built in 1979 in Taiwan, same hull as the CT 41, Formosa 41 etc but with a center cockpit. She's still in her original condition with no major flaws. A few leaks around the skylights in heavy weather (wind pressing water throught the seals). As the teak deck is 30 years old but restored in 2005 I imagine there was some leaks before. Then again, any teak deck with 30 years behind it is prone to leaks. Stainless seems fine but she's been sailed in the Baltic since she was new and the water here is not very salty. We'll sail her down to the caribbean next year though and we'll see if everything starts rusting away.

Tanks have been changed to stainless and I had to repair a rotten mast after we bought her in April. I looked especially for rot and delamination when I surveyed her prior to buying but found none. All laminated glass seems to be in excellent condition. Hull is heavily built and there's 1" och solid GRP in the freeboards! The layout of the rig is kind of old fashioned, everything is done from the mast and having the main sheet running through the cockpit and interfering with the winches for the fore sail is a pain in the bu**.

The quality seems to vary a lot depending on when and where they were built, at least 3 different yards built them.

we love her though and wouldn't trade her for anything. Pictures here: Gone sailin'

Link to William Garden ketch forum: Formosa41 : Formosa41

Opinions on these boats vary greatly depending on who you ask. Some hate them (they are nicknamed Leaky Teaky and Taiwan Turkey), some love them. They are not fast, but comfortable and IMHO, oh so beautiful.

As for sailing characteristics I can only speak for the 41' model. She's a joy to sail, not fast but nowhere near as slow as some claim. some say they won't go to wind at all, this isn't true, they will. Not like a modern design, but they will. They are a wee bit tender at first and the low freeboards make it quite easy to take water on deck on the leeward side. They are very easily balanced with the ketch rig. I still havn't sailed her in more wind than around 30 knots of wind and 10 ft waves (on the north sea), but that ride was smooth and comfy. Despite the full keel (I've only owned full keel boats and have a lot to compare with) she is surprisingly easy to maneuver.

My conclusion is that william Garden really nkew what he was doing. Build quality varies and each boat must be considered unique. PO maintenance is the key to present quality. You get a LOT of boat for the money.

/Hampus
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Old 25-11-2009, 08:32   #13
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We have been owners of a beautiful CT54 for 4 years now.
The quality of construction on our boat was very good. I believe each boat was built semi-custom and we have seen other CT54's of the same year as ours with lower quality stainless, teak, joinery, etc. The original owner of our boat spent alot of time in Taiwan while the boat was laid up which may explain some of the variance in quality that I have seen.
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Old 24-02-2013, 19:27   #14
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Re: Ta Chiao-Built Boats

This may or may not revive this thread, but my wife and I recently purchased a Ta Chaio CT34 and we are hoping to find other owners out there that may answer specific questions about these hullls as our refit gets under way. She needs a bit of work (the boat) and we are excited to set our plans into action. Let us know about your experiences with your CT34 and any known weaknesses.
Thanks in advance, Tony
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Old 26-02-2013, 02:03   #15
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Re: Ta Chiao-Built Boats

Welcome to the forum Tony G....
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