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Old 06-09-2015, 17:07   #1
Jil
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1968 Tartan 27

I am leaning towards purchasing a 1968 Tartan 27. I am completely new to owning a boat. I have a 3 years experience helping out a friend work on his boat in exchange for sailing. I've done some engine work but, it was a diesel- the boat was a Morgan designed TMI.

I still consider myself a "new" sailor. I have at least 30 sails out of the Beaufort Inlet each lasting 3-5 days in many small craft advisories with another person who had 30 years experience. Very little calm water experience.... I don't plan on doing this with the Tartan.

Is this boat a good single hander? For someone who never has?

I took this boat out with the owner the other day and have spent the past 40 hours in front of my computer trying to read everything about this boat.

My biggest concern about this boat is the A4 engine and water damage. The boat was left for 10 months in rain which caused the cabin to fill with 6 inches of water over the floorboards- the engine was partially submerged. A waterline I saw looked more like 10 inches. I was told it was all freshwater. I don't know how long it was in water. The floors are not flat anymore.

The owner filled the engine with oil and emptied it a couple times per his own research.

We took the boat out and the engine ran but, there was a fair amount of smoke which he assured me as normal. The gauges, although new in 2013, don't work so it was hard to tell what was happening. I pushed the engine to full throttle and backed off a bit- there was more smoke. The fumes in the cabin were almost intolerable with the hatches open.

The alternator squealed a lot when switching from battery 1 to 2- he adjusted some belts and it went away.

The engine seemed to work fine. I did notice that the blower is insanely loud. Is this normal for Tartan 27's?

Do you think I will have to replace all the wiring?

He owned this boat for a year- sailed it from MA to NC. It has been sitting for 10 months unattended in a marina that I used to sail a boat out of- it has very high tides and often water rises over the pier. I have some concern for how tight his lines were.... and the lack of a spring line. I think there is a small stress fracture in the hull which could be from tight lines? BUT I am no expert.

He also was a new sailor, seems talented but 1000 miles as a learning experience could do some damage?...He did run aground twice. He seemed to not do a lot of basic maintenance such as checking zincs....

The stuffing box also may not be dripping enough... I only have experience with a stuffing box on land....

We didn't raise the mainsail because of the weather.... he did note that it sticks a fair amount. I assumed that is easy to fix?

I was thinking of getting a survey- does that make sense? They are very expensive!

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I want to buy it but, I feel over my head because of the water........

I am being thorough about this purchase because I have limitations about how much I can realistically spend on a boat. I don't want to get a boat and kill it because it is too much money. I see boats as family members.

*** with the smoke- I know that it is coming out where the oil goes in. It has the Indigo PVC kit and has been converted to fresh water cooled.
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Old 06-09-2015, 17:41   #2
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

RUN!!!

You are in way over your head!!

Much better boats can be found everywhere.

Best of luck.
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Old 06-09-2015, 18:05   #3
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

If the water didn't rise to the level of the carburetor intake or other way water could get in the engine, the flooding is probably not an issue. There is an exhaust leak somewhere that needs to be dealt with, however. There should not be any exhaust in the engine room. The engine appears to run okay. Was the exhaust smoke water vapor and normal exhaust or was it black and ugly indicating oil burning.

Did you find delaminated plywood where it had gotten soaked?? Water damage to the interior wood work could end up with a tear out of the interior and rebuild.

The Tartan 27 is a roomy and well built boat pocket cruiser. The biggest issue is the chainplates are fiberglassed in, IIRC, and should be replaced and left out in the open. This boat seems to have suffered from a bit of neglect and would want to have a surveyor or someone with good knowledge of boats look it over very carefully. Thoroughly go through all the systems, raise all the sails, and take it out and sail it in not so nice weather. Once you own the boat you'll also own all the problems that you don't have the PO fix.

FWIW, a T27 with diesel engine, roller furling, good sails and decent shape sold recently for around $4,000 in SoCal. Still kicking myself for not buying that boat.
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Old 06-09-2015, 18:17   #4
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

It didn't appear white- at times it was a bit blue. The owner of the boat said that it was normally a blueish color. He also told me it didn't burn oil. He seems honest but, inexperienced. The smoke appear to be coming out of where the oil goes into the engine. I sat down there for a good 20 minutes searching with a flashlight.

The owner seemed concerned to raise the main in 15-20 kt winds in the sound. I didn't want to push him.

The floor seems dry now- I noticed about 6 inches aft of the mast there was no water but, some of the fiberglass still seemed waterlogged. I didn't know to look for delaminated plywood... I am thinking of driving down again tomorrow.

This boat is listed at $3500 was bought last year for $4000. Has supposedly had chainplates replaced. The rear mainsail stay has some rust... has mizzen sail. All sails were replaced in 2006 and in pretty great shape. Has incredible (for it's size) winches.... This boat has been loved. The current owner is heartbroken about the water damage since he had left someone to tend to the bilge. No navigation, vhf doesn't radio check.
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Old 06-09-2015, 18:34   #5
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

I take that back- in the closet where it had not been repainted, I found some delaminated plywood... Also there is one soft spot in the deck. Portside about six inches behind a replaced chainplate.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/o9onaoec2o2tyay/BOAT.zip?dl=0
Those are some pictures.
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Old 07-09-2015, 05:23   #6
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jill, and Xantho.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:35   #7
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

Don't be afraid of the A4, they are good little engines, and quite simple to work on. There is a great resource at Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Engine Rebuilding and Parts, the community forum is very active and you will get good advice there. It does sound like there is lots of work to do on this boat, but if you get it cheap enough and do your own work it might be a decent project. F you are paying someone else to do the work, or don't really love working on boats, this may not be the one for you.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:10   #8
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

Price seems a little high for the amount of work needed. He flooded the whole boat out and only dropped 500 off what he paid? He should be taking a lot more than that off.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:28   #9
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

Jil, this boat sounds like a major headache. Probably a migraine. Why would you want that? Many boats out there. I'd walk away.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:42   #10
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

Its to bad you didnt see what the oil looked like when he flushed it.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:55   #11
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

Take it from a former T27 owner and affectionado--get a survey! Get a survey ! This expense may be your martest expense with this old and flawed boat. With the survey in hand you can begin the job of cost-benefit
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:57   #12
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

....cost benefit look at whether the cost to fix or up is worth it. Lots of pretty good older boats out there at a good price.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:37   #13
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

Sounds like an excellent example of a vessel to walk away. An excessively smokey engine (if it seems to be worn rings) or soft deck are both independently reason enough for me to strongly reconsider a purchase, together they'd pretty much be showstoppers. Add to that the flooding and gauges not working...I'm sure Tartans are great boats but this one seems to be an ulcer waiting to happen.

Not sure how the sailboat market is where you are, but here in southern California $3500 will go surprisingly far given due diligence and being open-minded...especially if you're not looking for something "bluewater".
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Old 09-09-2015, 14:01   #14
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Re: 1968 Tartan 27

Blue smoke means it is burning oil. That means an engine rebuild. You've already pointed out many things that would make 95% of us walk away from this boat. Older Tartans are great boats but not one in the condition you describe.

Good luck in finding a good boat on which to spend hard earned cash. This one isn't it.
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