By Steve Killing
To say the least, the Ticon 44 has an interesting heritage. The design first appeared as Spirit of Michigan, a Detroit contender for the 1972 Canada’s Cup by Maurice deClerq. According to Witn Zegers, the sales manager at Ticon Yachts, the tooling for the boat made its way to Florida, where Texas Marine International marketed a cruising version under the Bombay 44 label.
About a dozen were built before Texas Marine perished, and many found use in the charter trade. Enter Ticon Yachts, which acquired the molds and stored them on the grounds of an Ontario trucking firm while the company prepared their new Ticon 44 for production. Enter a neighboring farmer, who drove his forklift through the side of the hull mold in an attempt to move it so that he could get at his rose bushes.
Enter Jim Taylor of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who redesigned the interior and underbody before a new mold was built. Ticon wanted the classic, romantic look, and they got it. The nice thing about big boats is that there is room below to fit in all the necessities and then add some extras. With an exceptionally long cabin house, there is length in the interior for an aft stateroom deserving of the name. Not only has Taylor given us enough floor space to change our clothes, but there is standing headroom throughout.
When I see that much interior devoted to an aft cabin I get ready to be disappointed with the rest of the boat, but no such problem. There is an ample galley, two enclosed heads, settees, liquor cabinets it’s all there. You don’t even have to file your heels to a point to fit in the forward V berth. This seems an ideal opportunity to discuss the merits of various rudder configurations. The Ticon has a fixed skeg forward of the movable rudder, commonly called a skeg rudder.
Although one pays a slight penalty in drag, it does have the advantage of the stall being very slow and predictable. Sailing upwind, the skeg, or the fixed portion of the rudder, dampens the turning motion of the boat cruisers will praise it and racers will scorn it. Structurally a smaller rudder shaft can be tolerated because a great deal of the support comes from the lower bearing on the skeg. Lest you think I always favor the skeg rudder, let me defend the spade or free-hung rudder. The rudder, set by itself below the hull, is usually seen on racers or performance cruisers.
It will produce the same lift as the skeg rudder at a smaller rudder angle and with less drag. That means you go faster. The response is much quicker but, on the down side, the stall rate is also rather fast. Many of you may know the feeling when hard-pressed on a spinnaker reach: suddenly the flow over the rudder breaks loose-spectacular broach. I have used both types of rudders, and it is important to study the merits for each individual boat.
There are some advantages to being a marketing agency, as Ticon is, with the product being manufactured at various shops around the province. It means that if the next boat in the line is intended to be of a new philosophy, or if there simply is not the space to build the new boat in existing facilities, one just goes elsewhere. And so it is with the 44.
The smaller Ticons are produced in Aurora, but this one is being tooled at Wiggers Custom Yachts of Oshawa, where the first few boats will be built. Andy Wiggers is well-known for his quality fiberglass racing boats and is capable of producing good tooling for any type of boat. With the plug being completed in early May, Ticon plans to be ready for the fall boat shows. Zegers also says they plan to target the boat at a price as much as 20 per cent less than the competition. If they can do it, that’s good news for any boat buyer.
Contact Ticon Yachts, 1 Port St. E., Mississauga, Ont. LSG 4Nl.
Originally Published In Canadian Yachting’s July 1984 issue.
Draft……………….6ft 9in (5ft 5in. Shoal)
Steve Killing is an independent yacht designer based in Midland, Ontario. He is the head of the True North America’s Cup Challenge.