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Old 21-06-2011, 05:30   #1
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1967 Tartan 27

I ran across an add for a 1967 Tartan 27 a couple of days ago, the pictures were extremely low quality, but apparently the boat has been taken care of.
I called the number, turns out that she belongs to an older couple and they were extremely nice over the phone, he has heart problems and his wife is making him get rid of the boat. Long story short ... we are going to look at the boat tomorrow night. I am aware that this is an old beauty that requires some work, but I don't mind doing that.
Here is the catch ... she is in the water right now, which means that I cannot inspect the hull. According to the owner, she was painted 3 years ago and had no sign of blisters or other damage. Just the top deck might need some paint this winter.
Are there certain things that the Tartan is known for that I need to check? What questions do I need to ask and what do I need to look for? The boat has an inboard diesel, not sure what kind yet. He did not know how many hours it has, but never had problems with it. Sails are in good condition, he says.
27 feet is really not all that great, but our girls are still little (8, 6 and 3) and this might be the right size for a starter boat.
Thanks in advance for your input!
Hille
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Old 21-06-2011, 06:00   #2
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

Hille,
I've owned an older Tartan (1975 Tartan 34), but not a T27. My comments are, therefore, not specific to the boat in question. I'm no expert on blisters, but, as I recall, the materials that tend to blister weren't in use during the 1960's. Others will correct me if that is wrong. Many Tartans (and boats of that era) had balsa-cored decks which can go to mush if water gets in. Anything that goes into/through the deck could be a source for intrusion, but chainplates are a common site. The chainplates, themselves, and their attachmets need to be evaluated. Rigs have been lost to rotting bulkheads. Some of the older Tartans had issues with moisture damaging the bulkheads and mast step.

You should be able to find much more complete answers from T27 owners at the tartanowners' site: Home - Tartan Owners Northeast, Inc. and/or by posting your questions on the Tartan listserv: tartansailing@yahoogroups.com. When I was looking for my current boat, I just emailed a local owner whose contact info was on the site and told him of my interest. He answered pages of questions and had us aboard for a walkthrough. It was invaluable.
Best of luck,
David
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Old 21-06-2011, 13:13   #3
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

I agree with Tartansail. Decks can be an issue. Use the plastic back end of a screwdriver and tap around the stantions and where the truck house meets the deck. It should be a crisp tap and not a dull thunk.
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Old 21-06-2011, 14:45   #4
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

Is the Tartan 27 a centerboarder? My friend owned one for years and sailed it interisland through some nasty channels. He had two problems with his. His centerboard would stick in the down position occasionaly and he used to anchor in shallow water put on his snorkel and mask and with a line rigged around the hull wold get under the boat and kick and wiggle the centerboard from side to side to free it up. He had wheel steering which failed on him twice in the channel and finally removed it and went back to tiller steering. All in all it was a tough boat. He continued on a channel crossing once when I turned back in my 35 because I was bouncing around too much. They made it to Molokai just fine and we didn't get there for a couple more days.
kind regards,
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Old 21-06-2011, 15:16   #5
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

The T27 is a good old boat. There are two versions, one with a raised deck (not flush) and a better interior layout. The older one, is a bit cramped...make sure when you sit in the seats to see if your head touches the doghouse/deck structure. The wide sidedecks are very seaworthy when on deck, but protrude into the cabin quite a bit... You'll know what I'm talking about when you get inside.

I have a 1974 Tartan(30) that is blister free and never had a major bottom job. Tartan were excellent builders back then. I'd make sure the centerboard works, and there is no play in the tiller, but other than that I wouldn't worry too much about it being in the water. If you're concerned about it, bring a snorkel and mask Seriously, don't be afraid to tear that thing apart looking from problems. But realistically, if it was well taken care of, it should be fairly evident. And being a 40 year old boat, it's going to need work, eventually... Plan on needing a haul out and taking care of whatever you find within the next year or two no matter how it appears.

I also got my boat from an older gentleman (86!), it has it's plus's and minus's... One plus is that he didn't modify anything, so the decks were still watertight. And whenever there was a problem (like the ubiquitous leaking chain plates), he let the yard take care of it (it was a good yard, same yard for 15 years). He was more interested in sailing than anything else, so the sails were good, but he also didn't add any extra's, no electronics, anchors, etc... It's basically just like it was in 1974... in fact, he never even knew he had a pressure water system because he never, in 15 years, filled the water tank. He just used it for daysailing and didn't care about anything except making sure it sailed well and the motor ran.

So find out that type of stuff. How did they use it, who did the work, what kind of records did they keep... You'll get a pretty clear picture of whether it's a good boat or not. I don't know of any T27 specific issues other than the usual 40 year old boat stuff. But check the T27 sites and google yer brains out

good luck.
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Old 21-06-2011, 16:09   #6
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

Buy the boat.

I've never owned a T27 but lusted after one in my youth (I lusted after some other things that I never got either ). They sail nicely. Are simple. Are safe. And are a perfect boat for a young family to start out coastal cruising.

In my experience, there is no bigger risk reducer in buying a boat than knowing the previous owner loved and cared for her. You may have found such a boat.

The previous comment is right that boats made in the '60s (by quality builders like Tartan) are much less likely to blister. That's because really good resin got very expensive after the Arab oil embargo in the early '70s and many builders tried cheaper stuff.

In your waters you will love a centerboard. That shallow draft will remove a lot of the worries of sailing.

And keep reminding yourself that this is a starter boat for coastal sailing. You aren't circumnavigating the southern ocean.

This boat has lasted a long time. Any really serious manufacturing problem got fixed a long time ago. Sure you'll need to keep replacing stuff as it gets too old. Do get a pro to check the rigging before you do a lot of sailing. It's no fun to lose a mast because a 35 year old screw finally gave out.

Don't be surprised if the seller is a whole lot more interested in a good home for the boat than top dollar. He'll probably have a list of things he wants to fix. And if those daughters of yours are as cute as I'd guess, his wife may make him practically give you the boat.

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Old 21-06-2011, 18:32   #7
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

thank you very much for all the input and the valuable information. i was not aware of the balsa core, and will most certainly pay extra attention to the deck.
with three kids we will outgrow the boat within the next 5 years or so, we are right now just looking for an easy to handle starter that will not drown us as soon as we leave the marina.
if he makes us a good deal and the boat is in decent condition, the journey might begin soon ...
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Old 21-06-2011, 23:00   #8
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

I just did a web search and found a few sites including this one.

Used sailboat reviews - Tartan 27 Classic S&S

There is a lot of good reading and some areas to pay attention to in a couple other sites as well.

kind regards,
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Old 22-06-2011, 01:14   #9
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

IIRC, the chain plates on the T27 are plywood knees with the chain plates bolted to them and then the whole thing glassed to the hull and deck. Really strong unless water gets into it and it has in quite a few of them. The plywood rots and the saltwater soaked stainless chainplates are very prone to crevice corrosion. Not all that hard to fix if you don't mind a little grinding and glass work.

The boats were built very strong and are good sailors considering their age and design. More than one has sailed to Hawaii and believe their are others that have gone far. It was the boat I was originally looking for till I got big eyes and bought a larger boat of similar design. IIRC, Bill Shaw who went on to design most of the Pearson boats, designed the T27 while he worked at Sparkman and Stevens.
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Old 22-06-2011, 19:03   #10
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

soooo, we looked at the boat this evening ... here is the deal.
the centerboard has been taken out, but according to the owner can be installed again. the toilet is not hooked up and the throuhghulls (?) are sealed. The main sail has a little tear and and the cover of the furling head sail is a little torn also. the paint is cracking in places on the the deck and the teak pieces look terrible. inside is really in surprisingly good condition. the diesel cranked immediately and sounded great, but there was a little water in the bilge. however, all in all the structural part seems to be ok. no soft spots, no cracks, just mainly cosmetics.
unfortunately, i like the boat and i think with a lot of tlc and a new paintjob she would look great.
if we buy the boat we would diesel her up to our local boatyard, about 50 miles from her current location. we woul pull her out the water and install the centerboard, the toilet and sand, sand, sand and repaint.
how does this toilet thing work? does the 1967 T27 has a holding tank?

oh, he wants $5250 .... what do you think .... to buy or not to buy?
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Old 22-06-2011, 19:57   #11
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

What, no pictures?

Pretty hard to say from here... I think you're looking at putting more than $3-4k into just in what you've described.

Think very seriously about how you'll go about fixing the issues. Or even better, if you are willing to go without fixing them. Can you deal with sailing the boat as-is for the first year? The T27 will sail just fine without a centerboard and if you're just daysailing, you don't need a head. paint is a non-issue (but not cheap), but serious cracks in the gelcoat may need to be fixed. Are you going to seriously DIY everything? OR are you going to do most of your shopping at west marine and have the yard do a lot of the work?

Are there any other boats in you're area for $6-8k that can be sailed as-is for a few years? I'd take a guess and say there is.... Shop around. Think on it.... Make a low offer. No centerboard on a centerboard boat is kind-of a big deal. It means they neglected it for 30 years until it just fell out... It happens alot actually. Cracking gelcoat, torn sails... this is all "deferred" maintenance, which means that boat has 5 years worth of catching up to do. It's all pretty typical for an older boat, but you are not looking for a full time cruising boat. You just need a temporary boat for a few years...

But, a good condition T27 would run upwards of $10k in todays market. So if you really like the boat... if you LOVE the boat, it's probably worth putting a few grand into it (not for resale value, but just to have a decent T27) But that's entirely up to you, there is no real "value" on a boat except what you are willing to put into it.

Shop around... it's probably not going anywhere, if it's just a temporary boat, there is no reason to start putting a lot of money into it. You'll be putting enough money in ANY boat just in bottom paint, dockage, fixing smaller stuff (which really adds up) and adding gear, like anchors and chain.... For the same $7-8k what can you get?

PS: See if this guy has a centerboard for sale...
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Old 22-06-2011, 19:58   #12
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

For example....
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Old 22-06-2011, 20:14   #13
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

see, this is my issue. the guy still has the centerboard, but never put it in. and the paintjob is a matter of pride, it just shows neglect, if you ask me.

by the way, we would do all of the work ourselves ...

thanks for the cal 29 link... just sent an email.
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Old 22-06-2011, 20:19   #14
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

Well if he has the centerboard, that's half the cost of the 3k i was guesstimating...

So basically, you put the centerboard in, do some sewing on the sails, slap some paint on the deck and bottom... the head could be an easy fix or not... teak is supposed to be ugly, but if you have cracked/broken handrails, I'd fix that, and if you're toerail is letting water in, that should be fixed... but if it's just ugly teak that's no biggie.

So yeah, go for it. Offer them $4k It's a helluva boat no matter what. I'm just thinking in terms of a temporary boat I wouldn't want to put money into it (above what you'd put into any other boat). But it's really just a matter of if you like the boat enough or not. If you feel like it's your boat, it probably is
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Old 22-06-2011, 20:44   #15
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Re: 1967 Tartan 27

I'm very old school. Boats must be loved. A T27 is very easy to love.

As to the price. How much looking will it take to find a better deal? You could look a long time and end up only saving $500....maybe. What's your time worth? What's it worth to go sailing this summer before the kids are another year old? I also bet you can get the owner down a bit more.

Absolutely right that you don't need a centerboard for sailing and in your water's you'll have it up most of the time. Put it in next year -- or not.

Most sails over a few years old need a little re-stitching or a small patch or two every year. How old are the sails? If they can last another couple of years it saves a big expense.

"The teak in bad shape" was it just ugly or was it cracked and/or lifting off the deck?

The head - Your four women will be much happier on a boat with the best possible head. Buy a shiny clean new one. You'll also need a holding tank. Ronco plastics has hundreds of sizes. Holding tanks are much less likely to smell if you flush with fresh water instead of salt. Consider installing another fresh water tank for flush water (keep your drinking water away from the head). Since you are going to be close to shore for a while, leave the seacocks sealed and just plumb for shore pump out. It's the law and then there's no worry about sinking. Some later year when you might go farther offshore you can always hook up to the seacock. You should be able to get everything for $500-$600 and can do the work yourself if you are reasonably handy. Worth every penny in a happier crew.

Is it paint or gelcoat? If gelcoat, I would see if it can be brought back. A machine buffing with rubbing compound and high quality wax may surprise you. If not, modern paints are amazing but get a lot of advice.

Did the family like the boat?

Pictures.

Carl
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