Nor'West 33, Hull #10, Tao

Tao sailing onto anchor at Isla San Jose, Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Tao is a Nor'West 33 designed by Chuck Burns in Alameda, CA. She is a 1979 fiberglass sloop that measures 33.5 feet on deck with a 25 foot water line, has a cutaway full keel with a keel hung rudder, displaces 6 tons (2.5 of which is ballast) before being fully loaded and is tiller steered. We own hull number 10 of 19 built (we like to say just after they figured out all the kinks and just before they started to cut corners) and as her fourth owners, purchased her in Berkeley, CA in late 2004. She is a solid boat, has obviously been well loved and taken care of and continues to add to her plethora of sailing miles with her newest crew.

We have [finally] scanned and organized literature that we found in a binder on board Tao just after we purchased her. Scroll down to read more about the Nor'West 33 in approximately chronological order.

1976 sail and arrangement plans by Naval Architect William Burns

1980 Nor'West Yachts brochure

1980 Seatrials article about the Nor'West 33 from a magazine called Sea
(please note that the image of a Nor'West under spinnaker is actually hull #10!)

In a summer of 1998 Latitude 38 publication, Nor'West hull #14, Sunshine,
was pictured sailing the SF Bay. (This was during Tao's second owner's tenure.)

As far as we can tell, the following literature was also created by Nor'West Yachts, likely in the early 1980's. It is a great description of the inspiration behind the design and specifically describes unique features of the Nor'West 33.

2006 Cruising World article about Nor'West 33
(features Nor'West hull #6)

Tao sailing into San Blas Estuary, Mexico


  1. Here's a link to that article. You can sign up for Zinio and get the article there for $.99. Or if you want to send me your email I'll send you a pdf.

    1. We got it and have placed it above. Thank you Daniel!

  2. Thanks for putting this information online. A perfect boat for size.
    Kevin Powell, Battleground WA.

  3. Thank you for compiling this! Did you have to cut the floors and port seat to get the fuel and water tanks out?