Let's add 9 feet, 3 inches of DWL and 11,000 pounds of displacement to the Oyster 485 and give it to British designer Bill Dixon to manipulate. The result is Ta Shing's Taswell 56. A quick look at the interior will tell you that the additional LOA really helps spread out the interior components. This design comes in three different interiors: A, B and C. They all share the expansive owner's stateroom aft, with minor variations in the head and dresser components. I like layout B, which has three staterooms, each with a double berth. Both heads have their own shower stalls. Layout C features the biggest galley. You will be absolutely comfortable in either of these layouts. Ta Shing does an excellent job with all joinery details and really set the quality standard for all Taiwan builders with its early Babas.

The Taswell 56.

The Taswell 56.

The hull form is moderate in plan view and has a D/L ratio of 212, which is on the low side of medium. The ballast to displacement ratio of the Taswell is 40 percent, while that of the Oyster 485 is 32 percent despite the higher D/L ratio. This should lead you to believe that the Oyster is the boat with more weight in structure. Ballast is internal in the Taswell's GRP fin and external in the Oyster. The Taswell's rudder is on a partial skeg, which allows for a midpoint bearing and the subsequent reduction in rudder stock diameter. The benefit is that with the smaller diameter rudder stock, the rudder itself does not have to be so thick. I think it is clear that the most efficient rudder is a spade type, but this compromise, which combines a partial skeg with a clean blade below the middle bearing, is to my eye the best approach for cruising boats.

Fiberglass decks are fun and challenging to design. They are exercises in sculpture, and in maintaining enough draft angle to surfaces to release them from the mold. The 56 is a beautiful example of deck sculpture. The effect is almost that of a flush-deck boat, with a small, raised doghouse. The trunk starts forward as a low wedge that features a sunken area forward of the mast. The raised portion of house aft allows the cockpit to sink into the structure and not look piled-on, wedding cake-style.

The rig is drawn as a cutter. The SA/D ratio of this design is 16.71. While mainsheet traveler placement is always a battle on aft cockpit cruising boats, it is simplified on these center cockpit boats. End-of-boom sheeting is by far the best way to go.

Boat Specifications
Draftstandard 7'6", shoal keel 6';
Displacement48,500 lbs.;
Ballast19,600 lbs.;
Sail Area1,389 sq. ft.;
SA/D ratio16.71;
D/L ratio212;
AuxiliaryYanmar 4LH-TE diesel;
Fuel152 gals.;
Water288 gals.


SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.