Make: Mason, Designed by Al Mason and built in Ta Shing Boat yard in Taiwan
Size: 43ft stem to stern, 31ft waterline
Keel: Full with cutaway forefoot
Hull: Thick Solid Fiberglass
Rig: Cutter Rigged Sloop
Power: Yanmar 4JH3E (56HP) re-powered in 2009
“A great cruising yacht has to be well-rounded and provide speed, comfort and safety in any condition.” Al Mason on the Mason 43
Banyan was designed by Al Mason and built in the Ta Shing Boat yard in Taiwan. Al Mason came out of the Sparkman Stephens design firm which is famous for proven seaworthy designs. Rumor has it the inspiration for the Mason 43 was the proven ocean racer named Sitzmark, a boat also designed by Al Mason. Ta Shing is the same yard that today builds Nordhaven, a respected world cruising motor cruiser. Banyan was built in 1979 (same vintage as Annie), she’s hull number 5 of 83 boats built through 1986. In 1985 they added a foot and made the Mason 44 for numbers 100 through 169. It’s interesting that they skipped lucky #13 in both the 43 and 44’. We don’t know the exact history of our boat but in the process of cleaning her up we have found Italian Lira, English pound and French Polynesian Francs. We know the previous owner took her on an epic surfing safari down the west coast of the Americas, French Polynesia and eventually New Zealand. At one time she had 14 surfboards on board, we still have the surfboard racks and hope to eventually fill them with Kayaks! The Mason is a blend of a heavier displacement sailboat and a more modern cruiser, she is surprisingly quick and nimble for her age. She has a full keel with a cutaway forefoot and a keel hung rudder. This hull design provides strength and maneuverability underway. Our rig is a cutter rigged sloop. This provides many options when under sail. She was re-powered in 2009 to a Yanmar 4JH3E which provides 56HP and is sufficient to move her along comfortably at 6 knots.
The Mason has a very unique layout, it has an offset companionway on the starboard side of the cockpit. Upon coming down the companionway the navigation station is just to starboard (right). If you make a hard left and face the stern (back of the boat) your looking into the aft cabin, it has a double berth on the port side and a single berth to starboard. Facing the bow at the base of the companionway stairs you will have the galley just to port (left). Moving towards the bow is the salon, we have a table to fit the family on the port side and bench to starboard with a sea berth above. Moving forward again we have the head (salty term for bathroom) to port and a hanging closet to starboard. Forward of this is the forepeak which contains an offset “V-berth”. This layout is ideal as it provides four different “sea berths” (two in the aft cabin and two in the salon) that should be habitable in all weather conditions.