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baba 38 sailboat

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baba 38 sailboat

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  • Sailboat Reviews

Fifteen years after the last Baba was built in Taiwan, the sailboat's traditional styling, large interior and heavy weather performance make it a favorite of cruising couples. Its principal liability is poor light air performance.

The Baba line of boats was conceived in the mid-1970’s by Bob Berg, a Seattle yacht broker who with two business associates formed Flying Dutchman International Ltd. to import traditionally styled cruising boats from Taiwan.

Bob Perry was commissioned to design the boats, which Berg envisioned as a smaller version of the Tayana 37, one of Perry’s most popular designs. Though it is a full-keeled boat, the Tayana 37 has a greater turn of speed than most traditional yachts.

“Our objective was to produce a boat that was faster and less expensive than the Westsail 32 and the Valiant 32,” Berg said. He personally designed the boat’s interior for long­distance cruising. Two versions were offered: a V-berth model, which was popular on the West Coast, and the double berth model that was popular in the East.

Berg chose a propitious time to enter the market. Production began during the heyday of the sailboat industry in 1978 and continued until 1985. More than 230 Baba 30’s were produced. During the later stages of its history, the company produced two stretch versions of the boat-theBaba 35, of which more than 50 were built, and the Baba 40, with more than 150 built. The design of the Baba 40 was reworked twice, first as the Panda 40, and later as the Tashiba 40.

The boats were built in Taiwan for three reasons, Berg said. “Ta Shing boatbuilders were among the best in the world, and the best in Taiwan. Labor was inexpensive. And we enjoyed a favorable exchange rate.”

Ta Shing also built or builds the Mason, Panda, Tashiba and Taswell yachts.

The Baba 30 was introduced with a sticker price of $38,500 in 1977. A subsequent change in the value of the dollar resulted in a price jump to $49,500. That was followed by a 40% devaluation of the Taiwanese dollar and another increase in price.

Two other factors influenced pric­ing: The builder switched from Volvo engines, installed on early models, to Yanmar, and spruce spars were replaced by aluminum. The last boats sold were priced at $78,000.

In addition to pricing issues, the demise of Flying Dutchman International was accelerated by two other factors: a general slump in the purchase of new boats, and a shift in buyer sentiment. During the mid-1980’s, purchasing patterns shifted to a preference for lighter, faster, sleek­er-looking designs.

The Baba 30 continues to have one of the highest resale values in the marketplace. Twenty-year-old boats sell for $55,000 to $60,000; newer models for $60,000 to $65,000. Because Flying Dutchman had dealers on both coasts, the Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes and Canada, it is possible to find used boats in most areas.

Perry’s design reflects a self-described disdain for the belief that “if it’s a traditional design it will be slow.” His objective was to take a relatively heavy, traditional double-ender and work with the hull lines to “ring every tenth of a knot in speed out of the design that I can.”

He gave the boat an easily driven hull with a prismatic coefficient of .50, “which should take care of performance in light air,” he said. The hull has considerable flair to the top­sides, which enhances stability and provides a dry ride when sailing to weather.

He also flattened the bottom more than a typical Colin Archer design in an attempt to avoid hobby horsing and enhance performance. The boat has a full keel with a cutaway forefoot, so it tracks well. One owner, however, described backing up under power as “an adventure,” a typical characteristic of full-keeled boats.

Owners give the boat high marks for its sea kindly motion in all types of sea conditions. They generally agree that it suffers in light air.

Perry was equally attentive to the needs of cruisers in the design of spaces belowdecks. That concern, coupled with a pinched stern, produces a rather smallish cockpit. Its seats are 60″ long and 20″ wide, so realistically has comfortable seating for four adults. The footwell is 44″ long and 28″ wide, but useful space is diminished by the introduction of a steering pedestal. The cockpit is not large enough for sleeping comfort­ably, but its small size is a safety feature in the event of boarding waves. Also, there are two 2″ scuppers.

The flip side of the minimalist approach to the cockpit is an increase in space belowdecks.

“Anything shorter than 30′ is too small for a long-distance cruiser, un­less you are willing to make serious compromises. At 30′, the designer still can create a workable galley, at least four full length berths, and an en­closed head,” Perry said.

The boat has 6′ 4″ headroom and a lot of stowage, even when compared to more recent 32- to 34-footers, but the price of stowage areas is a dramatic increase in displacement. The boat displaces 12,000 lb. on a 24′ 6″ water­line. Perry said that at the time he designed the Baba 30, the average 30- footer displaced about 7 ,000 lb.

“But,” he added, “you will find that the light yacht is short on stowage space, which is fine for short week­end trips and day sailing. I chose a rather beamy double-ender with a healthy displacement-to-length ratio(D/L) of 3 79, which afforded the interior volume to do a comfortable layout.”

The Baba 30 has a tall cutter rig. The sail area-to-displacement ratio (SAID) is 14.97. “While this may be viewed as a rather low figure,” he said, “it is my contention that at this size the use of a 150% genoa is not prohibitive. My aim was to design a rig compatible with the hull I had designed in terms of deriving maximum performance.”

During our test sail, we discovered that a large genoa or light air drifter contributes significantly to downwind speed in winds under 10 knots. Above 15 knots, the boat can be sailed at hull speed with a jib and staysail.

One owner told us that the boat is easily driven to weather, and will point to within 35 of apparent wind when sails are properly trimmed.

“The result of my design is not a cute cartoon,” Perry concluded, “but a really capable offshore cruising yacht.


Berg, two professional surveyors, and owners who responded to the PS Boatowner’ s Questionnaire agree that the Baba 30 is a well-constructed, blue-water vessel.

The hulls were constructed of uncored, hand-laid fiberglass using alternating layers of 1. 5-ounce mat and 24-ounce woven roving.

There are six layers in most places, and 10-12 layers in the keel area,” Berg recalled.

The interiors of early boats were smoothed and sprayed with gelcoat, and covered with a quilted vinyl material. Later models were sprayed with a foam that provided insulation and sound deadening.

Newer boats we inspected also have hulls lined with teak battens in the saloon and forepeak, which improve noise insulation and add to the boat’s traditional feel. The cabin sole is teak and holly. Cabinetry and joinery are of a quality typically associated with high-end custom yachts.

Berg disclosed that some of the hulls experienced minor blistering problems, “usually within 12″ of the waterline,” he said.

Ron Reisner, a Seattle-based surveyor and construction consultant with Reisner and McEwen, Inc., oversaw construction of Baba yachts during the 1970’s on two trips to Taiwan. He has since surveyed several used Baba 30’s, including two in 1998.

“The boats were substantially built, and have held up well,” he told us. “The only problem we have discovered is that some chainplate bolts have corroded.” Because the bolts are visible from below, their condition is easy to monitor.

Jerry Edwards, a surveyor with the same firm, concurred. Edwards sold, commissioned and performed sea trials on several boats during three years as a yacht broker, and has surveyed seven since becoming a surveyor.

“The construction is on a par with almost any quality production boat,” he said. “The electrical systems are excellent; the company used high quality wire, which was tagged and bundled. The plumbing system is also good. The blisters we saw were usually 1/8″ inch in size, and usually in small clusters near the waterline. They probably were a function of the company using isophthalic resins, rather than orthophthalic. But my main criticism of the boat is the use of a steel fuel tank.”

We inspected boats constructed in 1979 and 1983, both of which had completed trans-Pacific passages, and found no evidence of cracking or crazing on gelcoat surfaces, or of water leaks around the mast or ports. One still has a good non-skid surface on deck. On the other, its teak decks showed little wear.

The first boats produced were equipped with only one set of shrouds, Berg told us. However, after one owner’s boat was dismasted, fore and aft lower shrouds were add­ed to the single spreader rig.

Later models in­corporated a boom gallows.

Deck Layout

One of the Baba 30’s most prominent features is the 4′ bowsprit. It is surrounded by a stainless steel pulpit, and also houses two bow rollers and a large bronze winch.

Most boats were equipped with self-tending staysails, but two we inspected had been retrofitted with furlers on the jib and staysail stays, which simplified sail handling during double-handed passages across the Pacific Ocean.

The rest of the boat’s on-deck systems are rather ordinary; halyards are led to Lewmar 30 two­speed winches mounted on the cabin top, and jib sheets through blocks to Lewmar 40 two-speed winches in the cockpit. Sail tracks, port and star­board, on the coachroof, are for the stay sail sheets. The side decks are 18″ wide. The toerail is 3″ high.

Though tiny, the cockpit is functionally organized. Stowage space includes a port lazarette, two elevated, oval­shaped compartments aft that also provide a backrest for the helmsman and crew, and another vented compartment for a propane tank. Two 14″-wide cubbies with teak covers are good for stowing winch handles and other small items.

Two hatches and four bronze opening ports on each side of the cabin were standard. Two opening skylights over the saloon are 34″ long and 18″ wide; a second 24″ square hatch is located over the forepeak. Additional ventilation is through two 6″ Dorades installed in fiberglass boxes forward of the mast.

One owner mounted a spinnaker pole on a sail track on the front of the mast, which takes no otherwise usable space and eliminates the need to drill holes in the deck.


A number of Baba 30’s have made trans-oceanic passages, carrying adequate provisions for a crew of two. One couple spent 27 days sailing from Hawaii to Seattle.

The layout is fairly straightforward with the galley to port below the companionway, the nav station opposite, and a quarterberth to starboard. An almost triangular-shaped head is to starboard, forward of the saloon, and the V-berth fills the bow. With the exception of countertops in the galley, all of the surfaces are teak, which has aged well on the boats we saw.

The nav table is 28″ wide, and 17″ deep. A cabinet 26″ wide, 14″ high and 12″ deep is on the forward edge of the nav station and provides adequate room for VHS, GPS, ham radio or single-sideband and weatherfax. An additional 50″ x 9″ shelf provides room for books and other instruments.

The quarterberth aft of the nav station is 68″ long (plus 12″ of the nav seat) and 30″ wide and has stowage below it.

We found two interesting stowage areas under the companionway-a hanging locker immediately to starboard of the engine compartment that is large enough for two sets of foul weather gear, and another 18″ wide and 12″ high into which one owner had mounted a small microwave oven.

The engine is accessible by removing the companionway steps and cover, though some owners complain that changing oil filters is an acrobatic challenge.

The galley is a typical U-shaped affair with the ice box aft, a gimbaled two-burner stove and a dry locker and sink forward. Countertops are as large as those found on bigger boats.

Living spaces are equally spacious, partially attributable to the boat’s 10′ 6″ beam and 6′ 4″ headroom. The port settee is 6′ long and the starboard settee is 50″. Three storage compartments measuring 20″ wide, 21″ tall and 16″ deep are located on both sides of the boat, above which are enclosed cabinets more than 24″ long.

Water and fuel tanks are located below the settees.

The head is large enough to be functional but has little elbow room. It measures 31″ deep and 42″ wide, and is equipped with a circular stainless sink. The medicine cabinet is large enough for some toiletries, but too small for a cruising medical kit.

The hanging locker to port is 43″ high and 18″ wide-adequate for a small amount of clothing. We think most clothes will be stored in cabinets below the 77″ x 60″ V-berth. The chain locker/forepeak is accessed through louvered teak doors. A drawback is the water that can come aboard with the ground tackle, not to mention the smell of mud.

In our opinion, the spaces below­decks on this boat are well-organized and adequate for couples planning extended passages, especially com­pared to newer production boats.

Some owners, however, report that tankage numbers are inaccurate. One told us that the fuel tank holds just 2 7 gallons, not 40 as advertised. Another said the two 40-gallon water tanks hold only 50 gallons combined.


Our experience aboard the Baba 30, corroborated by PS readers, found that in very light winds she’s an under-performer; above that, she performs on all points of sail, is sea kindly and has an easy helm.

The most cogent comments came from a couple in their mid-50’s who sailed a 1976 model from Hawaii to Seattle. After cruising Hawaiian waters for 18 months, they began the upwind route to the mainland, which took 27 days. The boat was not equipped with a spinnaker, so they used a 150% genoa in light air.

In less than 10 knots of wind the boat made 1-2 knots, steered to within 5 of its intended course for three days by an Auto-helm wind vane. When winds picked up to more than 10 knots, boat speed increased to 5 knots while sailing under the vane on a close reach. Three days from port the boat was struck by a 30-hour storm, during which winds built from 20 to 50 knots.

“The wind vane wasn’t operating properly, so we disconnected it, and steered by hand,” the skipper said. “Aside from general fatigue, we had no problems because the boat was easy to sail and the helm well-bal­anced; we just tied off the helm and hid behind the dodger, sailing under a double-reefed main and staysail. The ride was very comfortable. It seems as though the more the wind blew, the stouter the boat became.”


We think the Baba 30 will be pleasing to the eye of any sailor with an appreciation for traditional yachts. The construction methods are among the best used during its era, and have aged well; recent surveys of aging boats show them to be structurally sound. Accommodations are spacious and the joiner work is of very good quality. Performance is about what we’d ex­pect for a boat with her displacement, so it’s no surprise that she’s sluggish in 5-10 knots of wind.

The Baba 30 has held its value well; used boats are still commanding prices nearly as high as they were 10 years ago.


I’ve never seen a 30 – or any baba – with a self tending staysail, nor have i ever heard of it anywhere else. I don’t know where the number of hatches came from either : companionway, forward hatch, and 10 opening windows (all of them). Most 30s have one inline and one aft lower (though a few moved the inline lower shroud forward). Otherwise, this seems mostly accurate. Oh, several dozen hull numbers were skipped so there’s about 150 30s produced i believe.

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Baba 35 vs Tayana 37 vs Hans Christian 38

  • Add to quote
  • Baba 35 - asking $90,000
  • Tayana 37 - asking $120,000
  • Hans Christian 38 - asking $110,000
  • Value for money given the asking price
  • Resale value.
  • Popularity (also for resale)
  • Which would be fastest ( i know they are all slow)
  • Maintenance upkeep. (I know they all have lots of teak)
  • Sailing performance, comfort at sea, motion etc
  • overall design, ease of use
  • And last but not least and probably the most contentious....which has the most beauty

Those prices seem aggressive to me. Stateside they seem cheaper. I like that class of boat . I Own a Union Polaris 36 and still like it, now 20 years on. I'd like to have looked at the Hans Christian details, but there is no way I will log on to a foreign website just to see it. I would avoid a ship with a pilot house like that though. I would be wary of it tolerating a big wave impact. They are not slow ships if the wind is blowing. In light airs they are not fast, but if the wind is right there is nothing slow about them. Be wary of teak decks though. They leak. I have been living with deck leaks for 20 years. Also check the tanks too. Tiawanese ships had a dreadful reputation for poor tankage and i speak from bitter personal experience. What about welding stainless steel tanks with steel welding rods? Sound silly to you? Not in Tioawan. It would have been unreal to me, until I saw it with my own eyes on my own ship. A catastrophic error and unbelievably difficult to recover from that one. Be careful. Fill the tanks to the brim and watch the bilge for days until you are sure they are not leaking. If they leak at all, run!  

Thanks for the reply. You right about the price, but i do not have the option to shop in North America where the prices are good. The Tayana has sold so I am now down to comparing the Baba35 and the Hans Christian 38T. A quick comparison on Yachtworld shows these vessels are not the cheapest ones for sale but also not the most expensive. Seems to priced about right. The Average Hans Christian 38T is priced 80-130 and the average is about 120,000. Of the Baba 35's on the Market the average price is 90,000. The one I am looking at seems to have a fair amount of equipment. The Baba 35 sounds like it has new stainless tanks (15 gallon baffled professionally produced stainless steel fuel tank with large inspection port. 80 gallons fresh water in two baffled stainless steel tanks with large inspection ports.) The Hans Christian 38T is 3 feet longer than the Baba 35 so I guess I would be getting a little more boat for the money.... Any more advice or input welcome.  

I own a Tayana 37, so take this with a grain of salt. The Baba is probably a better constructed boat, but she's also heavier for her size. Same goes for the HC, I believe. Realize the T37 is out of the picture now, but I would say she's the best sailor of the three (and caveat: I have not actually sailed on the Baba). For build quality, I would have gone for the Baba, but she has the lowest SA/D of the three, therefore probably not the best sailor. The Tayana 37 is well built, but there are some issues that you should be aware of -- moot point now that she's out of the running. Between your two choices, if the $20K is not an issue, I'd go with the HC though.  

baba 38 sailboat

If you can get your hand on a Tashiba 36 you probably beat the sailing properties of the Tayana 37, and have the superior build quality. Only problem is they are very difficult to get hold off them as only so few were produced.  

baba 38 sailboat

Sail Calculator Pro v3.53 - 2500+ boats This website has a good comparison chart. Just scroll down and choose the two boats you want to compare. I think the Hans Christian would be the better sailor, although I'm not sure if the staysail is used in the SA/D calculation, so the numbers can be deceiving. They are both great boats, if you find a few to look at it may come down to their condition. Find one that's the best outfitted for what you want and has the newer sails, rigging and tank upgrades. I'm jealous, I wish it were a decision I had to make ;-)  

baba 38 sailboat

I haven't sailed any of those, so I'll refrain from giving my aesthetically-based opinion. But I do hope to someday be presented with such an appealing dilema as deciding between a Baba 35, HC38t and a Tayana 37!  

I have just been comparing the HC38 and T37 myself. With both companies still in business you really can't go wrong either way for resale value. When you look at numbers built HC38 167 (including 30 Telstar Keel versions), T37 588 Baba 35 75. Around 1983 the T37 comes in MKII version with an aft stateroom instead of a quarter berth. Also at some point Ta Yang relocated forward in the fore peak the fuel tank, a full tank weighing 700 pounds so far forward resulted in trim problems and hobby-horsing. The variations on the HC38 are as mysterious as the sea itself. Baba35 variations have interior layout options in key areas. In the forepeak was either a v-berth or a double, while in the saloon there were either straight settees with a drop-leaf table or a L-shaped settee on one side wrapping around the table. Further aft to starboard the option was either a sea-going quarter berth or a generously sized hanging locker. The mild steel fuel tanks have proven susceptible to corrosion mounted in the bilge. HC38 Theoretical hull speed: 7.7 knots, T37 Theoretical hull speed: 7.46 knots, Baba35 Theoretical hull speed: 7.3 knots  

baba 38 sailboat

All three are 'leaky teakies' and are overpriced IMHO. All three are getting to that age where deck replacement and tank replacements are due both are really expensive jobs. I would have liked the HC the most I think.  

Disregard TQA's stupid generality. The Baba 35, aka Flying Dutchman 35, is by far the better built boat of the three. It sails about the same as the Tayana 37. But it's shorter so off the wind the TY 37 may be a hair faster. Not sure about the HC. Not too keen on some of their construction details though. I can't speak to how the HC sails but obviosly I have more faith in my own designs. The hull forms of the Baba 35 and the TY 37 are very similar. I would say from a value perspective the Baba 35 is the best boat on your list.  

Sorry Bob for criticizing your baby but the facts speak. The Baba 35s have a history of problems with the mild steel fuel tanks and replacement is not easy. I believe they have teak decks laid on a balsa cored fibre glass deck. As the last Baba 35 was built in 1986 [ I think ] that deck will be at least 27 years old. OK maybe the owners have been really carefull with the deck upkeep but not all do. Correct me if I am wrong but is the deck teak overlay not screwed down onto the fibreglass deck? So we have how many holes leading into the core? I looked long and hard at a lot of boats from that era when I was on the hunt for my forever boat. I listened to a lot of cruisers with boats from that era and the problems they had encountered. Over and over again I heard about leaking teak decks and the costs of repair. Also the nightmare of trying to replace fuel and water tanks that were installed before the deck went on. The OP asked about resale value. Try and sell a boat with a leaking diesel tank, a wornout teak deck on a soggy deck core and evidence down below of water leaks. There is an HC for sale just now in the PNW at a reduced price. Why is the price reduced who knows? Might just be related to the [ admitted ] soggy deck core. BTW I have been lucky enough to have been inside both a Baba 35 and a HC 38.I just liked the extra space in the HC but I am 6'3".  

baba 38 sailboat

I know this does not answer your question, but you might want to add the Rafiki-37 to your potential list. They tend to list slightly lower than the others on your list, but in my unbiased opinion, fit well within your group.  

baba 38 sailboat

Join the Tayana Owners Group ( TOG) a goggle group organization. Many of the the T37's sell from private parties. The listed price you quote is way to high. TOG will help you identify all the issues with this boat. I've owned hull number for 60 18 years. A boat for a lifetime....  

TQA: You have your facts but I don't think they are "universal" they are just your "facts". Kind of like your "leaky Teak" comment. I have a fact too. My pal Donn has a beautiful PH Baba 35 with no deck problems at all. He bought this boat two years ago in reasonable condition. It's a great boat. He now has it in tip top shape.  

Been through all the so called problems on my T37. Easily solved by a bit of elbow grease and a few bucks. We took off the last of the teak deck on the coach roof in January/February while at anchor in Thailand. Sure lots of small holes to fill, core in excellent shape as I had kept up with the deck seems and plugs. Same with the Black Iron tank, cut that sucker out with a sawzall in New Zealand. New tanks in bilge and under port and starboard settee's, better weight distribution etc. Any of these boats are going to require some work. Better the devil you know then.... Suggest you pay a little more for a well cared boat. If you don't love working on boats then something with a little less teak and a lot more plastic may suit you better.  

Correct me if I am wrong but is the deck teak overlay not screwed down onto the fibreglass deck? So we have how many holes leading into the core? Actually, I was surprised how few screws had penetrated the core. A screw guide must have been used when applying the teak decks. Uniform penetration of the screws into the fiberglass was the norm. I drilled out every hole and filled with epoxy.  

baba 38 sailboat

had a t37 and loved it. stainless not the best but very solid ride. ?Have you thought of adding a cape George to your list.  

baba 38 sailboat

As folks dig up and comment on a one yr old thread, as if the op is still looking? who know, they maybe.......... at the end of the day, if the boat floats your view points, buy it! I'd rather have an islander 28 than a baba, tayana, hc style boat!  

baba 38 sailboat

Good choice!  

Some random pictures so far... I uploaded a few pictures here. Hope to add me and write some words soon. She needs a tidy up and a scrub, but overall is very sound. The Adventures of Noorderzon or - The Adventures of Noorderzon enjoy  

baba 38 sailboat

biggles72 said: Some random pictures so far... I uploaded a few pictures here. Hope to add me and write some words soon. She needs a tidy up and a scrub, but overall is very sound. The Adventures of Noorderzon or - The Adventures of Noorderzon enjoy Click to expand...

Your HC38 Looks fantastic. Great cruising area for your new sailboat. Love the pics.  

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  • By Mary Brandon Fox
  • Updated: March 4, 2010

baba 38 sailboat

Panda 38 368

The respected Ta Shing Yard in Taiwan built the Panda 38 in the 1980s for Bob Berg and the Quicksilver Corporation. It was designed to be a lighter, faster, and smaller sibling to the Panda 40 while retaining the solid offshore capability for which Berg’s boats were known.

Designer Gary Grant gave the Panda 38 traditional lines that are accentuated by generous applications of teak used on the wide caprail, bronze-capped rubrail, grabrails, and cockpit coaming. Most of the boats were cutter rigged as a factory option and were fitted with a generous bowsprit. A vented teak platform attached to the bowsprit accommodates dual bronze anchor rollers.

Ta Shing’s interior teak joinery and craftsmanship is legendary. Aboard our Panda 38, Restless, we feel as though we live in a fine piece of furniture. The bulkheads are vertical teak staving; the overhead, between the laminated beams, is made of removable panels of laminate or spruce staving; locker doors are louvered teak. A teak grate at the foot of the companionway drains through a pan into the bilge.

The roomy and seaworthy U-shaped galley is to port of the companionway. On the starboard side, the forward-facing navigation station has adequate room for instrumentation and ample space in which to work. In some boats, the layout of galley and nav station was reversed.

The main saloon provides a generous area for living and entertaining, with a settee/sea berth to port and, to starboard, a U-shaped dinette that seats four comfortably. The master stateroom, in the bow, has a king-size V-berth. Aft of it, on the starboard side, the head has a marble countertop and a separate shower. Aft of the navigation station is a quarter berth.

Twelve old-school bronze opening ports, four cowl vents on teak dorade boxes, a forward-opening teak hatch in the V-berth, and an elegant teak butterfly hatch over the main cabin provide excellent airflow throughout the interior.

While the standard engine was the Universal 40-hp. diesel, some boats, including ours, have a Universal 50. The V-drive transmission leaks notoriously and has been replaced on many boats. Access to the engine area under the cockpit is outstanding.

Generous tankage permits extended cruising: A black-iron tank under the saloon sole carries 75 gallons of diesel, and two stainless-steel tanks under the settees hold 140 gallons of water between them.

The Panda 38’s teak decks are laid on top of a fiberglass sandwich. When we removed hardware to recaulk the deck, we found that the deck core is made of individual 2-inch balsa squares with resin barriers between them, which limits core damage when a leak occurs.

A moderate performer under sail, the P38 goes to weather pretty well even in light air. The boat will turn in 150 miles in 24 hours with 10 knots or more forward of the beam, but if it’s aft of the beam, the Panda needs more wind to perform in any significant sea state. The more wind, the more the 38 likes it. The boat has a sea-kindly motion and modest weather helm. The bathtub cockpit is rather small. We feel tucked in and safe when passagemaking, but it seats only four to six people comfortably at anchor.

Our Panda 38 has proven to be a strong and solid sailboat and a comfortable home. Ta Shing built 29 of them during the early 1980s. They’re rare; expect asking prices between $100,000 and $125,000, depending on equipment and whether the abundant teak is in a gray “natural state” or in show condition.

For more information, visit the Baba-Panda-Tashiba owners website ( www.groups.yahoo.com/group/baba-l ).

Mary Brandon “Brandy” Fox and her husband, Mark, sailed their Panda 38, Restless, from Seattle to Patagonia via California, Mexico, Ecuador, Easter Island, and Chile.

LOA 37′ 7″ (11.45 m.) LWL 31′ 6″ (9.60 m.) Beam 12′ 0″ (3.66 m.) Draft 5′ 9″ (1.75 m.) Sail Area (100%) 704 sq. ft. (65.40 sq. m.) Ballast 6,600 lb. (2,993 kg.) Displacement 19,000 lb. (8,617 kg.) Ballast/D .35 D/L 271 SA/D 15.8 Water 140 gal. (531 l.) Fuel 75 gal. (284 l.) Engine Universal 40-hp. diesel Designer Gary Grant

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The Baba 30 is a 29.75ft cutter designed by Robert Perry and built in fiberglass by Ta Shing Yacht Building Ltd. between 1976 and 1986.

170 units have been built..

The Baba 30 is a heavy sailboat which is slightly under powered. It is very stable / stiff and has an excellent righting capability if capsized. It is best suited as a bluewater cruising boat. The fuel capacity is originally small. There is a short water supply range.

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Crashes, capsized boat mar Memorial Day weekend in Lake Havasu area

L AS VEGAS ( KLAS ) — A 25-foot boat capsized Sunday on the Colorado River sending 14 passengers into the water, according to information from the Mohave County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Office.

No one was injured, and several people who were trapped under the boat were rescued by one of the other occupants, according to MCSO. The boat was described as a 25-foot Avalon tritoon, and it overturned near the Interstate 40 bridge just east of Needles, California.

An investigation determined the boat operator was inexperienced and weight was improperly distributed.

It was one of several incidents that the MCSO Division of Boating Safety responded to over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Overall, five boats crashed, but only one resulted in serious injuries.

A Saturday crash involving a boat that was traveling over 50 mph injured six people on Lake Havasu, including three who were transported to Las Vegas with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to MCSO. Nine people were aboard a 30-foot Hallett boat with triple outboard motors when an apparent mechanical failure led to the boat going out of control, according to a preliminary investigation. No other boats were involved in the crash, which occurred in the Lake Havasu North Basin.

On Sunday, a boat burst into flames at the docks of the Lake Havasu State Park’s North Launch Ramp. The boat operator escaped injury, jumping into the water. The 20-foot Hardin boat was severely damaged and the courtesy dock was also heavily damaged.

Alcohol wasn’t a factor in the three incidents detailed by MCSO, officials said.

Deputies issued 38 citations and arrested one person for operating a watercraft under the influence, officials said.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KLAS.

Rescuers tend to people after a boat crashed while going about 50 mph at Lake Havasu on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Photo: Mohave County Sheriff’s Office)

A38 diversion route after vehicle towing boat crashes into central reservation

A vehicle towing a boat crashed into the central reservation on the A38 which has resulted in a vehicle fire

  • 13:23, 29 MAY 2024

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Alerts for incidents and road closures

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Drivers are being warned to plan their journeys ahead of time after a crash on the A38 in Cornwall today (Wednesday, May 29). National Highways is advising drivers travelling eastbound between Menheniot and Trerulefoot to allow extra time.

At around 11.25am, a vehicle towing a boat crashed into the central reservation. The crash resulted in a large vehicle fire, with multiple emergency services rushing to the scene.

The A38 is completely closed between B3252 near Lower Clicker and A374 Trerulefoot. Drivers are told to expect delays, but it is not currently known how long the road will remain closed.

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As a result of the crash, a diversion route is in place. National Highways warns motorists: "Diversion Routes Road users travelling eastbound are being diverted via local routes."

Road users travelling westbound are advised to follow the Solid Diamond diversion symbol on road signs.

  • Follow the A374 to the A387.
  • Head westbound on the A387 to the B3252 near Widegates.
  • Follow the B3252 to Horningtops to rejoin the A38.

If the current closure impacts on your planned route, please allow extra journey time. Plan ahead, you may wish to re-route or even delay your journey.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Police were called at around 11.25am on Wednesday 29 May following reports of a road traffic collision on the A38 near Menheniot.

"It was reported that a vehicle towing a boat had collided with the central reservation. The ambulance and fire services were both called and a road closure put in place. It is not believed anybody involved has suffered life-changing or life-threatening injuries."

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KTNV - Las Vegas, Nevada

Boat crashes, 38 citations, multiple arrests in Mohave County over Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day boat crash 1

MOHAVE COUNTY (KTNV) — Memorial Day weekend is in the books and it was a busy weekend for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office and the Division of Boating Safety.

Over the weekend, deputies responded to several boat crashes, issued 38 citations, and made multiple arrests.

Memorial Day boat crash 2

On Saturday, a single vessel crashed on Lake Havasu in the North Basin area. Authorities said a 30-foot Hallett boat had nine people on board and was going 50 miles per hour when it suddenly lost control. Several people were thrown into the water.

Six people were injured, stabilized on the scene, and taken to a local hospital by ambulance. Deputies said three of the six were later flown to a Las Vegas trauma center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

During the course of the investigation, authorities said they discovered an apparent mechanical failure in the watercraft's steering system. Alcohol was not a factor in that incident.

Memorial Day citations

On Sunday, a boat fire was reported at the docks of the Lake Havasu State Park's North Launch Ramp.

A 20-foot Hardin boat had just pushed away from the docks when the operator started the engine. That's when the boat burst into flames.

Deputies said the operator was able to jump into the water and was okay.

The San Bernardino County Fire Boat responded and put the fire out.

The boat was severely damaged as well as the courtesy docks.

Memorial Day boat crash 1

Another incident on Sunday was on the Colorado River near the Interstate 40 bridge.

When deputies arrived, they found a 25-foot Avalon tritoon boat that had completely capsized and ejected all 14 passengers into the water.

During the incident, several people were rescued after being trapped under the boat. However, no one was injured.

Authorities said the operator was inexperienced and improper weight distribution on the watercraft caused the incident. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

Memorial Day boat crash 3

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  • Sailboat Guide

Baba 40 is a 39 ′ 9 ″ / 12.1 m monohull sailboat designed by Robert Perry and built by Ta Shing Yacht Building Ltd. between 1980 and 1996.

Drawing of Baba 40

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

The Baba 40, also known as the Panda 40 and later the Tashiba 40, is the third of the Baba lineup of boats involving developer Bob Berg, designer Bob Perry, and the Ta Shing boatyard. One can arguably consider the Baba 40 a full keel reincarnation of the Valiant 40 , the boat that put the word “performance” next to “cruiser”. Knowing that I guess it’s not so surprising to find the Baba 40 inherits a good turn of speed – owners even trumpet around-the-buoys racing victories in these serious blue water cruisers. They are beautifully balanced with a wonderful feel at the helm, and what’s more, they have some of the best interiors to be seen in production cruising yachts.

The story of the Baba 40 really starts with the Baba 30 which brought together a winning combination of talents – developer Bob Berg, designer Bob Perry , and what was then a little known Taiwanese boatyard called Shing Sheng. Through the success of the little Baba 30 and the Baba 35 , Shing Sheng started on the road to become a force in the boatbuilding world. By 1979 they had changed their name to Ta Shing and had moved to a new purpose built factory. It was in this year that Berg commissioned Perry to design a new 40-foot model to fill out the line.

Perry was not happy with merely evolving his earlier Baba 35 design, which in itself was a stretched version of the 30. Instead, in search of more boat speed, Perry dusted off the lines of his famous Valiant 40 with its radical fin keel and separate skeg-hung rudder had defined the “performance cruiser” category only five years earlier. From the Valiant 40 hull form he derived an all-new full keel design which was to be the Baba 40. It proved to be a huge step forward over earlier Babas with Perry describing the Baba 40 having an entirely different stability personality. It was stiffer initially, beautifully balanced and much faster.

Tim Ellis who oversaw construction fondly remembers the symbiotic partnering of Berg’s development and management, Perry’s design, and Ta Shing’s undisputed capabilities as builder. He recalls the exacting attention fostered by Berg.

“They produced a design of sublime artistry. I think it is no exaggeration to suggest that Bob Berg made at least thirty or more visits to Taiwan during the years Baba designs were under development and construction, and he and I would sit on each yacht for hours, days and more to fine tune shapes, appearances, major and minor details, and resolve the niggling issues that plagued others less well traveled. My job was to take Bob’s advice and adjustments and translate them into action. My list of items might run into the hundreds during each visit, and many, many more on a hull number one. In pursuit of his ideal, Bob left no room for equivocation, and a lesser builder would have baulked.” – Tim Ellis

The Baba 40 was introduced to the public in 1980. In 1983, when Berg left his association with the Flying Dutchman dealership who owned the Baba trademark, he marketed the boat as the Panda 40. This name did not last long and by 1984, with Ta Shing now a contender in Taiwanese boat-building, marketed the boat by themselves using the name Tashiba 40. It’s been speculated this was a play on the words names “Ta Shing” and “Baba”.

Production ended in 1996 with a total of 115 boats being built, although hull numbers can be found that run up to #182, there is a gap between #33 and #101.

Ta Shing eventually formed an exclusive relationship with the Californian based company PAEI who had Al Mason as their in-house designer. Sadly, years later when PAEI shifted focus to power boats, many of Ta Shing’s molds including the Baba 40 were cut up.


The lines of the Baba 40 follows its ancestry back to traditional Scandinavian double-enders. Under the waterline is a full keel with a cutaway forefoot and as with many of the Perry full keel designs, the keel meets the bilge of the hull without the traditional “wine glass” section blend. Both features reduce wetted area. The hull shape is relatively beamy offering good interior volume. A cutter rig plus bowsprit combo is employed on most boats though it is believed two boats were optionally built as ketches. Another major variation was a pilothouse model with its two comfortable staterooms; about eleven pilothouses were built.

Belowdecks the quality of workmanship is superb, many Taiwanese man-hours were used in detailing the interiors with the close guidance of Berg who was known for his ability to squeeze function into every square inch of a boat. Perry also considered it one of his best, noting that it feels “right” with near perfect detailing and a layout with no apparent compromise.

On the starboard quarter, there’s a cabin with a double seagoing quarter-berth. To port there’s a well laid out U-shaped galley. In the saloon, a two-settee berth layout with pilot berth to port was offered as an option to provide extra sea-going berths. In the forward cabin, there’s a double berth offset to port. Headroom is a generous 6′ 5″.

The Tashiba 40 boats had less detailing which has been attributed cost cutting measures by Ta Shing – less teak trim, less portlights, and gone are the butterfly hatches in the Baba 40.


The Baba 40 hull is solidly built in hand-laid GRP, with hull thickness growing from 0.41″ thick at the topsides to 0.57″ at the waterline, and 0.90″ at the keel. The deck is cored with end-grained balsa, as well as high density closed-cell foam in the deck and cabin trunk. The ballast is cast iron and is encapsulated in GRP, though one boat at least was built with lead ballast.

The boat has a wonderful feel at the helm and is a fun to sail, especially as the breeze picks up. Some owners have even raced their Baba 40s against modern fin keel competitors successfully. As a testament to the boat’s speed, Michael and Elizabeth Kramer in S.V. Cambria covered 396 miles in a 46 hour passage down the Sea of Cortez broad reaching in 35 knots of wind; an impressive average of 8.6 knots.

Owners often describe their Baba’s to have a feel of solidity. In heavy weather conditions the Baba 40 has the capacity to keep sailing when many other boats are heaving-to. Of note is Jeff Hartjoy’s solo passage from Peru to Buenos Aires via Cape Horn in 2009 where he experienced an immense amount of bad weather. On that passage he reported a lot of breakages but commented about the soundness of his boat.

Buyers Notes

As with many boats older than 25 years, have your surveyor check items such as chainplates and areas of balsa coring for rot. The original mild steel fuel tanks have proven to be susceptible to corrosion and on most boats, these have been replaced.

Overall, the Baba 40 has aged well, a testament to its build quality. Most examples on the market tend to be in excellent condition and priced accordingly. As of 2010 asking prices are in the range of $160k-$200k USD.

Links, References and Further Reading

» Yacht Design According to Perry: My Boats and What Shaped Them , by Robert H. Perry (p89-p95) » Baba, Panda, Tashiba sailboat Yahoo Group,  information and owner discussions

For their assistance in the writing of this article, thanks goes out to Tim Ellis who supervised the Baba line of yachts built at Shing Sheng / Ta Sheng during 1977-1987 as well as owners from the Baba Association.

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