Ticon 30

Ticon30250Nov21The Ticon T-30 is a roomy, comfortable boat — surprisingly big for a 30-footer. With 9,600 lbs. of displacement, 11 feet of beam and relatively high topsides, the T-30 can be characterized as “beefy,” compared to other boats from 29 to 30 feet. This interior layout makes effective use of the greater than average space and includes some intriguing and different design features. Although we were slightly disappointed with the finishing details of this yacht in a number of minor areas, overall we judged the T-30 to offer solid sailing performance without sacrificing the comforts of a home away from home.

Ticon history

The T-30 was designed by Halsey Herreshoff in 1979 for Texas Marine Industries, an American Company that built 48 T-30s between 1979 and 1981. In 1981 Ticon Yachts Limited acquired the rights to the T-30. Since then, 20 T-30s have been constructed in Canada and production is now exclusively Canadian. Ticon originally started manufacturing operations at a location on Bronte Harbor in Oakville, Ont., but in 1983 it concluded an agreement with Kelt Marine Inc. to produce the T-30 in Kelt’s Aurora, Ont. plant. David de Eyre, president of Ticon Yachts, told us that a major reason for the move was to improve the production quality, which he is confident has overcome the minor deficiencies we noted on the earlier model T-30 we used.

The weather conditions for our sail review in mid-October were well-suited to the strengths of the T-30; the wind was blowing 20 knots over the deck with a moderate Lake Ontario chop. The test yacht was rigged with an optional roller-furling genoa, and we decided to put the first reef in the mainsail and use the full extent of the genoa. Considering the stout-hearted conditions, we were very impressed with the boat’s stability. Even with our ambitious spread of canvas we suffered only a little weather helm, and its heavy ballast kept the T-30 remarkably upright. It also handled the chop well, and we had a comfortably dry ride. Going downwind, the boat surfed gently and steered easily.

Although the T-30 seems admirably suited to heavy air conditions, we wondered how well it would perform in the lighter airs that prevail in southern Ontario in the peak summer months. Ron Cruse, commodore of the Fifty Point Yacht Club near Stoney Creek, is very happy with the performance of his T-30 in local races under PHRF. He reports that upwind performance is favorable under a range of wind conditions, but admits that when sailing downwind in light air its weight and wide beam leave it at a disadvantage.

The T-30 has an aluminum mast, imported from France, with stainless steel wire rigging. Deck hardware and fittings are generally of superior quality and strongly built. However, we found sail adjustment a little difficult in the moderate to heavy winds in which we sailed the T-30, and several owners confirmed similar experiences. Yachts of about 30 feet are cruised extensively by married couples, often middle-aged or retired, and we believe that either mate should be able to handle the sails under all reasonable weather conditions. The typical wife of such a couple could have some difficulty adjusting to both the mainsail and jib of the T-30.

The main traveler is well forward on the cabintop, which keeps it nicely out of the way of the cockpit and the main companionway. But in heavy air it is a strain to move the traveler up and down or pull in the sheet. We understand that it can also be difficult to release the mainsheet under load if the main hatch is closed. Similarly, we judged the jib to require greater than normal strength to pull in with the standard winches provided, and we suggest the purchase of the optional larger-size sheet winches. Another minor improvement we recommend is to lead the reefing lines aft to the cockpit rather than the standard arrangement of having them stopped and cleated under the boom at the gooseneck. Brock Farrow of Bronte reports this makes reefing easier on his T-30.

Wheel steering with binnacle and compass is standard on the T-30. The cockpit is roomy and there is plenty of space behind the wheel for the helmsman. A small locker in the coaming on the port side of the cockpit provides handy stowage for incidentals, and the two insulated drink lockers located aft of the helmsman are a practical way to keep refreshments conveniently accessible.

The greatest attraction of the T-30 is its roomy and well-designed interior. Highly satisfied owners of the T-30 comment on its superior “liveability” compared to other yachts in this size range. No doubt the above-average headroom and beam are important factors, but many sensitive and careful design features add to the comfort and spaciousness of the T-30. The forward cabin is available in two configurations-the standard V berth or over-and-under single berths. With the latter setup the port bunk is the higher one and has a small hanging locker and draws beneath it. The model we sailed was equipped with this berth arrangement, and we found both berths to be comfortably adult-size. The single berths might well appeal to those wishing to accommodate two children or singles in the forward cabin.

The head is adequately sized, with generous stowage space and a bifold door to provide privacy to the head or the forward cabin. Pressure hot and cold water and shower are all standard equipment. Opposite the head to starboard is a hanging locker and drawer unit. The hanging locker door can also be used to close off the forward cabin area, so it is always possible to create privacy in both the forward cabin and the head at the same time.

The main saloon is airy and inviting. It has the usual arrangement of a single berth to starboard and a pull-out double berth to port. The berths are all larger than average with plenty of shoulder room. A good solid table folds down from the main bulkhead. It has a nice wide extension, yet remains easy to fold up and stow.

The general impression of expansiveness in the main cabin is reinforced by the unusually large main companionway hatch, an opening mid-hatch and several opening ports. With more opening ports in the head and over the hanging locker, as well as the hatch in the forward cabin, good ventilation is assured. The sides and interior roof of the cabin areas are covered with a special marine-pile fabric headliner that is warm and soft to the touch. The solid teak and holly sole included in the base price is a small luxury that is both attractive and practical. All berths have four inches of foam upholstery.

Moving farther aft to starboard, a spacious chart table and nav station is flanked by an extra-wide quarterberth that can sleep two, with plenty of general stowage underneath. To port is the U-shaped galley. Since one of the great attractions of the T-30 is the comfort it offers for living aboard, for real cooking while cruising for extended periods we would prefer an optional propane stove to the standard two-burner alcohol model. Compressed natural gas is an option, but its lack of availability in remote areas would be a disadvantage. Other galley equipment includes stainless steel double sinks, which would be convenient dockside but are too shallow for use underway.

Two moderate-sized icebox compartments are provided; one on each side of the stove. This is a unique feature that owners report gives a lot of flexibility-his-and-her fridge units! Another alternative for the two compartments is to fit one as a freezer with the other serving as an icebox. Storage in the T-30 galley is adequate and includes such niceties as a spice rack and a garbage bin. The pile fabric headliner is continued from the main cabin above the stove and through the galley lockers. We would have preferred to see hard surfaces here for ease of maintenance, although we are assured that the pile fabric is washable.

On the technical side, the engine is easily accessible by removing bulkheads beside the quarterberth. A light fixture in the engine compartment makes servicing easier. A Racor fuel filter is a quality feature not often found as standard equipment. Batteries are located alongside the engine, and the T-30 has an excellent electric panel with circuit breakers and a voltage tester; the panel itself is hinged for easy access to the wiring. Shore power hookup is also part of the basic package, as is an electric bilge pump. We noted that deck hardware, including the steering and binnacle, is all supported with good, big backup plates.

However, there were a few construction details that caused us minor concern. The chainplates on our test yacht showed evidence of leaking and we understand this is not an uncommon problem with the T-30, albeit a problem one owner easily solved with a little silicone. The yacht we sailed was one of the first yachts built in Canada, and the interior services of stowage areas and inside the bilge were rough and badly finished. Ticon Yachts tells us that construction quality is one of the major reasons for their production agreement with Kelt, and we hope this will prove successful. While looking under the berths we also discovered that the water and holding tanks are loose in their installations-the tanks are not strapped down or otherwise secured in place. The owners we talked to reported that they had never had any problems with tank shifting; nonetheless we have a lingering concern that in really heavy weather conditions an unsecured tank could break loose.

In spite of these small problems, owners Ron Cruse and Brock Farrow are both extremely pleased with their T-30 yachts, and both particularly praised the comfort and roominess of its living quarters. Its base price is nearly $65,000, (March 1984), but this does include equipment such as hot and cold pressure water, wheel steering, double lifelines and a boarding ladder, which are often significantly expensive options. These additional features and the spacious, well-designed interior will make the T-30 appeal to the sailor who is looking for something extra in a 30-foot yacht.


LOA            29 ft. 11 in.

Waterline             26 ft.

Beam                  11 ft.

Displacement      9,600 lbs.

Ballast            4,250 lbs.

Draft – Fixed keel 4 ft. 11 in.

Draft – Shoal keel 3 ft. 11 in.

Headroom         6 ft. 3 in.

To see if this boat is available, go to http://www.boatcan.com for listings!

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