Tayana Annapolis 64: A Reason to Celebrate
Anxious to stretch their cruising legs in style, longtime sailing and legal partners ready their new Tayana Annapolis 64 for trial. A "Yachtstyle" feature from our April 2010 issue.
Povich also disliked having the engine's exhaust exit amidships. "I just think an exhaust belongs in the back of the boat," says Povich. So, a rather complex redesign of the exhaust system required reworking part of the aft cabin to allow for the extended run of the larger-diameter exhaust hose, but as Noyce put it, "Our job is to build what he wants."
The impressive aft stateroom is Sullivan's, and it features a separate head and shower and a large island berth. Quite unusual throughout the yacht is the treatment of the teak wood, which looks more like dark walnut than teak. "David saw something in a book of megayachts that he liked, and we did our best to reproduce the look," says Noyce. "It was a multi-step process of staining the solid teak and creating lighter-colored veneers for contrast."
Since the owners often sail shorthanded, the sail plan and rigging were designed accordingly. The mainsail is fully battened and utilizes a Leisure Furl in-boom furling system from Forespar that's hydraulically controlled. A modified solent rig features double headstays set one behind the other. On the inner stay, a 100-percent jib is self-tacking and sheeted to a deck-mounted track. It's easily reefed with its electrically controlled Profurl furling system, and the single sheet is run under the deck to the cockpit. On the forward stay, a 180-percent, lightweight, asymmetric screacher is set, also on an electric Profurl furler, and used for reaching or downwind sailing in up to about 17 knots of apparent wind. When tacking, the screacher is furled and reset. In the right conditions, it would be possible to fly both headsails downwind for more power. And if the breeze really comes on, canvas can be shortened quickly, using an inner forestay and storm staysail. Celebration's sails were built by North Sails' Chesapeake loft.
The polar plot and sail plan indicate that Celebration is a powerful yacht that will move well in a variety of conditions. Still, the 82-foot-tall rig and versatile sail plan are easily tamed with push-button adjustments to sheets and furling systems, ensuring that the helmsman can maintain good control in changing conditions.
"Both David and Brendan are very confident and capable sailors," says Noyce. "In fact, I'm sure Brendan will sail Celebration singlehanded."
Indeed, the aft cockpit clearly focuses on the art of sailing, with its two identical helms and ready access to all sheets, lines, and controls. Forward of the wheels and thoughtfully out of the way are matching cockpit settees separated by an elegantly constructed dining table. The layout works especially well for taking out those not necessarily into crew duty. Povich tested it out by taking his children, grandchildren, and their friends-a total of 20-for a sail just before the yacht was fully commissioned. Even with a number of grandchildren scrambling over the decks and a cockpit full of guests, Povich had no trouble handling the boat.
Sailing in five to 10 knots of wind and on calm seas off Annapolis, I found Celebration surprisingly responsive for her size. Noyce, David Sullivan-Brendan's brother-and I took her for a spin around the buoys just before she was scheduled for delivery to the Annapolis sailboat show. The beautiful fall afternoon found us in a busy outer harbor full of Naval Academy sloops and small racers. Tacking and jibing through all this activity was less stressful than I would've imagined, and we were able to maintain a steady six-plus knots, sailing closehauled to a broad reach, even in these light winds.
Construction of Celebration began in April 2007, and the boat was shipped from Taiwan in September 2008, arriving in Annapolis in December. During the build, Noyce spent a total of three months at the Tayana yard overseeing the work and making sure that Povich's requests were being followed. Per Ladd's design parameters, the Tayana 64 is constructed using a low-density, closed-cell core and knitted E-glass laminates in the topsides and deck that together help to reduce weight. A lightweight, high-tensile strength S-glass skin coat is used to enhance the hull's finish and minimize print-through.
Commissioning got under way in the spring of 2009, culminating in a festive celebration and christening party at Sullivan's home. The party was attended by scores of friends and family members who'd sailed on Confrontation, including Oliver North, who was looking forward to finding time between Fox News assignments to crew on Celebration. Also seen walking the docks and checking out Celebration's deck arrangement and interior accommodations was another sailing friend of Povich and Sullivan, Bob Woodward of Washington Post fame.
At the christening, Noyce was all smiles, although he seemed to be mentally checking off the last-minute details that remained before Sullivan left for his first offshore voyage. Ladd stood nearby listening to words of approval as the savvy crowd got their first look at this sleek, curvaceous beauty. Speeches were given, the champagne flowed, and toasts were made celebrating the success of this all-new Tayana and to the unique partnership that brought it to fruition.
Shortly after Celebration's final commissioning, Noyce received a call from Sullivan, who'd arrived in Newport, Rhode Island; except for an autopilot gremlin, he was reportedly extremely pleased with the yacht's performance and impressed with its power under sail. Povich was making plans to meet him there and sail to Bath, Maine, where the Tayana would be based for the summer before heading to stops in Annapolis and the Caribbean. After 40 seasons, the partners were ready for the next adventure. Indeed, it seems to me that their era of Confrontation is over and their time for Celebration has begun.
Annapolis resident George Sass Sr. is a veteran cruiser and marine writer.