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Old 23-08-2015, 13:30   #1
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Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

Hi All,

I've been on and off the site for several years. After many delays in retirement, I hope to start the transition to cruising over the next two years. With that, it's time to buy the boat.

Briefly, the plan is to spend a couple years exploring the PNW part time before heading south to Mexico, Central America, into Carib., and maybe eventually to Med. The dream has shifted from crossing the Pacific to maybe crossing or shipping across Atlantic. I also dive and am just over 6'2", so a bit of space is nice. So with that much background ...

I am currently looking at a Wauquiez Hood 38 Mk I and a Tartan 42. The boats are both different and similar. Close to same displacement, same "Swan" style hatch, same layout even with area behind companionway. The Tartan is a moderate IMR design with Scheel keel. The Hood is a bit fuller on the ends with centerboard. I've searched the threads and internet, contacted John Drake (thanks John), read posts, but finally giving in to just asking if anyone has been on both, either, or has thoughts?

Big unknowns on the Tartan are just how comfortable can an IMR boat be to sail, and is 41 hp really enough power for a 22,000 boat? And on the Hood, how well can she really sail or will pointing and acceleration be issues? They both have decent Comfort ratings though my guess is the Hood is smoother. PHRF on the Tartan is around 120, the Hood varies a lot, but seems to average 141. Any other thoughts are welcome.

Thanks for the insights!
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Old 23-08-2015, 22:25   #2
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

The Hood 38 is based on one of Hood's 'Robin' race boats. The IOR was not kind to centerboard boats but the 'Robin' was successful as a racer. Don't know how good the Wauquez boats were at racing but heard rumor they came out heavier than design which hurt racing performance. Know that the 38s that were made in Taiwan and sold by hood under his Little Harbor brand were heavier than the designed displacement. The cut up interior to get the aft cabin produced a really poor layout. Too small galley and the S&S/Swan companionway is not practical unless you like to walk out on deck every time you go below or go on deck. If you like the center board design would go with Bristol 38. Very similar underbody but a normal interior layout. I really lusted after the Wauquiez 38 until I saw the interior in person.

The Tartan 42 is the same hull as the Tartan 41 with a cruiser designed deck and traditional transom to make it 42. The Tartan 41 has a good reputation for windward sailing ability. A little squirrel downwind because of the IOR pinched stern. If you don't drive them hard like a racer would, carrying a chute way beyond when it's safe, they are quite controllable.
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Old 23-08-2015, 22:46   #3
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

"Big unknowns on the Tartan are just how comfortable can an IMR boat be to sail, and is 41 hp really enough power for a 22,000 boat?"

Don't know much about the Hood 38 but do know a great deal about the Tartan 42. Love it and would take it anywhere. I do think the Tartan 41 (the original Tartan 42) was designed for the SORC (Southern Ocean Racing Series) which is why it handles so well in real blue water conditions.

I've posted several long messages on this forum about my experiences on the T-42 and my friends and their T41 (two of them). T-42 is an owners cruising version of a T-41 - same rig - different interior.

Sailed my brother's Scheel Keel T-42 (Caretta) all over Puget Sound - crossed the Straits of Juan de Fuca in 10'+ breaking seas and gusts over 50 knots - downwind. Just he and I on the boat and had a ball. Fast and very easy to handle.

Sailed Caretta from South Puget Sound to Puerto Vallarta and then back to San Diego.

Rounded Cape Mendocino in 12' steep breaking waves and gusts to 45 knots downwind in bright sunshine for hours. We had many long surf rides at 12 and sometimes 13 knots.

The T-42 is a dream to sail - easily controlled and very fast. Truth-in-Advertising - I learned to sail on big fast IOR and Ton class boats and had a lot of helm time on those big bustle/pinched butt sterns in every major NW race.

Sailed DDW in the Santa Barbara channel with a a chute up in 25 knots and big breaking seas. Had a great time and no problem controlling the boat.

Sailed SW along the west coast of Baja Mexico in 30 gusting to 40 knots all night with just me on deck. I had a double reefed main and a 90% jib up and loved it - was very easy to handle. The only downside was the J-42 we were racing was quite a bit faster and embarrassed us by going over the horizon.

I have many other stories about how sea worthy is the Tartan 42 but here is the clincher:

My brother learned to sail on my Caliber 40 and did about 3,000 NM with me before he bought the Tartan 42. Eight months and 4,000 NM after buying the Tartan 42 he was single handing it all over Western Mexico.

The Tartan 42 is very fast in light wind and works quite well with a Monitor Windvane. We sailed from Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Vallarta (~245 NM) with a single reef, 100% jib, and the Monitor sailing for 24-hours straight and averaged over 7.3 knots. We never had to touch the windvane because the boat balances so well.

Sailing hard on the wind is fantastic. The Tartan points like a modern race boat, takes a set on the heel and stays there. The helm is quite light when the sails are balanced.

I was a pretty serious racer and sailed Caretta in that style several times in the Pacific Ocean in 15 - 25 knots with quite a bit of sail up, including a spinnaker, several times, most downwind or very deep reaches. I never once felt the boat try to broach or round up and never came close to an IOR death roll. After a thousand or so miles I quite even thinking about that pinched stern and the "bad old" off the wind characteristics of the older IOR designs.

The Perkins 4-108 is plenty of power. We cruised thru the Tacoma Narrows, Cattle Pass, Admiralty Inlet several times with adverse tides. However, the place we noticed the lack of power was motor sailing NW along the Western Baja Peninsula (Baja Bash). Straight into 5' seas and 20 knots apparent was a pain. We'd slow to 3 or 4 knots going up and over each wave and then speed up heading down the waves. In fairness, 50' trawlers that were heading the same direction had the same problem and suffered the same slowness.

We never felt that the engine was deficit.

Seattle friends sailed the T-41 from Seattle to the Sea of Cortez and Western Mexico where we cruised with them for two years. They then sailed on to the US East Coast and cruised there for several years. They loved their boat.

Feel free to PM me for more information if you are looking at the T-42 in Vancouver.

I can't think of any reason not to buy a Tartan 42 as a cruiser.
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Old 23-08-2015, 23:27   #4
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

Thank you for the replies. Very helpful.

TacomaSailor, in your time with the T-42, did you find that engine had enough power? I'm a bit concerned about the horsepower, especially with the V-Drive. You mention it setting a heel firmly, is this a boat that has to be on it's ear to sail well or where does it set?

Roverhi, I agree with the thoughts on the galley. It's one of the main reasons we've held off on the boat. I have seen a few people have added a second hatch from the cockpit. Not sure I would do that or not. The Hood is a beautiful boat though.
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Old 24-08-2015, 01:01   #5
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

I have a Hood 38 MKII. I've been re-building it over the past 3 years. I bought it because my step-father had a 38.8 and it had some features the 38.8 didn't.

I find it a very forgiving boat with good performance among the cruisers. It doesn't take many brain cells to get it to hull speed and keep it there. It is also just the right size for me to sail two-up with my SO.

My boat weighs on the scale very close to the spec'd weight, so I'm not sure about the comments regarding it being overweight. All the Wauqiez were built in France, the Little Harbors were built in Taiwan and the Bristol 38.8 in RI.

I rebuilt the Perkins instead of re-power. I've not had a situation where the power has been insufficient with a properly pitched 3-blade max prop. The v-drive makes shaft alignment very easy and once the panels are out, engine access is decent.

My personal opinion is that the MKII has a better layout. I didn't like the layout of he MKI.

Most of the construction is very good. My one complaint is the particle board used in the galley and the head.

The Hood sails to it's rating of something around 132, which would be a bit slower than the Tartan.
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Old 24-08-2015, 01:06   #6
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elzaar View Post
Thank you for the replies. Very helpful.

TacomaSailor, in your time with the T-42, did you find that engine had enough power? I'm a bit concerned about the horsepower, especially with the V-Drive. You mention it setting a heel firmly, is this a boat that has to be on it's ear to sail well or where does it set?
What I meant about the heel was - it would go over to 12 - 15 degrees and then settle there. It was very stable at that heel.

We sailed a lot in light wind in Mexico and it handled very well. In any wind up to 10 knots or so it was at least one knot faster than my Caliber 40 cruiser. Caretta did have a lot of light air sails and I used them. We could keep the boat moving nicely in 5 knots.

San Diego to Puerto Vallarta in mid-December is not a very windy 1000 NM trip. We used 10 gallons of diesel (about 14 hours run time) during the 8 days it took us to leisurely sail down there.

The hull is very easily driven so 41 HP is plenty except for pounding upwind and upswell then you'll get slowed to 2.5 - 3.5 knots on the uphill part of the swell. I wouldn't worry too much about "only" 41 HP.
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Old 24-08-2015, 08:11   #7
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
The Hood 38 is based on one of Hood's 'Robin' race boats. The IOR was not kind to centerboard boats but the 'Robin' was successful as a racer. Don't know how good the Wauquez boats were at racing but heard rumor they came out heavier than design which hurt racing performance. Know that the 38s that were made in Taiwan and sold by hood under his Little Harbor brand were heavier than the designed displacement. The cut up interior to get the aft cabin produced a really poor layout. Too small galley and the S&S/Swan companionway is not practical unless you like to walk out on deck every time you go below or go on deck. If you like the center board design would go with Bristol 38. Very similar underbody but a normal interior layout. I really lusted after the Wauquiez 38 until I saw the interior in person.

The Tartan 42 is the same hull as the Tartan 41 with a cruiser designed deck and traditional transom to make it 42. The Tartan 41 has a good reputation for windward sailing ability. A little squirrel downwind because of the IOR pinched stern. If you don't drive them hard like a racer would, carrying a chute way beyond when it's safe, they are quite controllable.

The 38s under the Little Harbor name do not have a cut up interior or aft cabin nor do they have a Swan companionway. They are in no way like the Wauquez boats. In fact the Bristol 38 is basically the same boat but without the nice interior woodwork made possible by being built in Taiwan. I believe that after LH built 20 Little Harbor 38 s they sold the mold to Bristol.


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Old 24-08-2015, 09:30   #8
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

Presuming your PHRF ratings are correct, it seems like giving up 21 seconds per mile is something I would think long and hard about. I know that this is the Cruiser's Forum, but 21 seconds could be a day over the course of a long passage. It might, might, also indicate that the faster boat had better light air ability, and the world is full of light air.

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Old 24-08-2015, 19:55   #9
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

A couple more "data" points...

Before I bought my boat, I read a lot of Joh Drake's posts. I have found them generally in-line with my actual experience.

I don't find the Hood/LH/Bristol overly sticky in the light. The short chain girth and low Cp help to offset some of the weight. But in medium and higher strength winds the waterline is relatively short compared to more modern designs and the low Cp means you start to push a lot of water much past hull speed. However I haven't experienced any IOR vices as the large spade rudder gives a lot of control authority, even when we are digging a big hole in the water.

Handling under power is easy. The prop is close to the rudder and you can spin the boat readily at low speed. With the board up it does slide around bit. This is disconcerting until you figure out how to use it to your advantage, then it makes getting into tight spots easy. Put the board down a bit makes it behave normally.

The MKII design has a more traditional layout. It does not have a Swan style hatch or a full aft cabin.

In terms of build quality, I have pulled apart significant parts of the structure. When I took apart the chainplates there was no distortion of bulkheads or the supporting reinforcements and the stainless underneath was still dry. Whatever OE deck gear I have pulled off is still well bedded. Be aware that on all Wauquiez of this vintage that everything is glassed in. When I removed the teak decks, the coring underneath was still dry as well. The stringers and frames in the bilge were all still fully sealed. Like I said there were a coupe of places where the cabinets used particle board and I removed those items.

I would tend to agree that the LH/Bristol look better. The Wauquiez has a Swanabe coachroof, a slightly higher freeboard and all Wauquiez have that, "Does this dress make me look fat?" French blue cove stripe, - Let's say it's an acquired taste.

It has a high bridge deck, I can sleep in the cockpit fully reclined, it has more than one proper sea berth, a good sized chart table (if backwards) and the anchor locker can fit 3 large anchors and the accompanying chain/rope rode (though I don't like to put that much weight in the bow).

Overall I found it to be a very flexible cruiser that will do much of what I want competently and doesn't embarrass me by letting other boats go over the horizon.

I'd be happy to answer any question about the boat.
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Old 25-08-2015, 06:34   #10
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

If you want some more information about the Tarten 42, see the blog "theretirementproject.blogspot.com". TJ and Deb spent a couple of years refitting their's before beginning their east coast cruise. It's a great blog and has a lot of information about refitting their boat.

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Old 25-08-2015, 11:42   #11
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

I've been working on refitting a Hood 38 Mark ii without the teak deaks. Big expense was rebuild of the Perkins 4108, but so far...so good. To me all the praise that the Hood 38 receives is well deserved. Great boat for cruising and wonderful when the wind really blows.
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Old 25-08-2015, 16:54   #12
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

Thanks again to everyone for the responses and resources. I'm reading through them and digesting the information.

A couple people have mentioned the rebuild of the Perkins. Was that so you could do it in place or some other reason? It seems like a re-build would be almost as much as a new engine. Any thoughts or estimates what that cost? I have rebuilt several car engines, but only a few light assists on diesels. Is there a way to increase HP in the rebuild process?

I seem to be one of the few people who like the layout on both the Hood and the T42. Seems like it gives more storage and privacy. I've seen a few Mk I's that added access from the cockpit. Not sure I would do that, but seems possible.

I've had some questions on the balsa-cored hull and deck on the T42, if anyone has experiences there would also be helpful.

I'm waiting for more information from the owner of the T-42, but everyone's input has really been helpful. Sounds like either boat would work well - all depends on the boat's individual issues.

I welcome any other tips or advice. Other issues that have come up (in addition to the delamination potential), is the T-42 has an older in-mast furler. Any good tips for dealing with that - retrofits, replacements, live with it? Any great ideas for improving the galley and/or head in the Hood since Elegua has now let me know that particle board will have to go anyway?


Best sail set-ups for either? Now I'm just trying to mine you all for all the information I'll want later.

Thank you!
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Old 25-08-2015, 18:15   #13
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

You are not pulling skiers and couldn't even if you put a 200hp engine in the boat. A 4-107 with it's short term 50hp capability is plenty of hp for that size boat. Seems there are a lot of newbies to sailboat ownership who think they've got to have huge engines for what, I don't know. The boats engines are AUXILLARY power. You shouldn't put yourself in a position where you'll need an engine, let alone a large engine except getting in and out of the slip.

You can buy short engine rebuilds for the 4-107. That would be a complete engine minus the marinizing stuff that you will pull off your current engine. That is by far the cheapest way to go if you want a full top to bottom rebuild. If the engine just needs a valve/top end job that's something you could do in a couple days and that time mostly for machine work on the head. The big savings on doing a rebuild is it's a drop in. A significant part of a yards cost for replacing an engine is compensating for the differences in the engine. At $100 an hour just redoing an exhaust system can be a boat unit or two.

Both boats probably have a cored deck. A survey should turn up any problems with rotted core. Cores rot if there is leakage around fittings. If hardware is bedded with a good caulk, NOT SILLYCONE, and the fasteners not over torqued, there should be no core problems. If you are overly cautious like me, you can rout out the core around fasteners with a dremell 199 bit, fill with thickened epoxy, redrill the holes, lightly countersink the holes at the deck, and reinstall with lots of caulk. I like LifeCaulk but 3M 5200/4200, Butyl, etc will guarantee no problems with the core in conjunction with the preceding.

Balsa cored hulls are not often a problem but if it is you are talking major costs to cure if it's over a significant area. Once again a leaking fitting will be the cause. Some builders of cored hulls either went solid glass or used con compressible core materials around fittings which made core rot less of an issue. Once again, routing out the core around any through hulls, etc and filling with thickened epoxy will make your mind rest easier.

In mast furling is a non starter for me. The inability to cure a jam up at sea just isn't worth the ease of furling. There are also performance costs for an in mast furler sail. Double line slab reefing run back to the cockpit and lazy jacks make handling the main so easy and fail proof can't see going with the hazards of inmost furling.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elzaar View Post
Thanks again to everyone for the responses and resources. I'm reading through them and digesting the information.

A couple people have mentioned the rebuild of the Perkins. Was that so you could do it in place or some other reason? It seems like a re-build would be almost as much as a new engine. Any thoughts or estimates what that cost? I have rebuilt several car engines, but only a few light assists on diesels. Is there a way to increase HP in the rebuild process?

I seem to be one of the few people who like the layout on both the Hood and the T42. Seems like it gives more storage and privacy. I've seen a few Mk I's that added access from the cockpit. Not sure I would do that, but seems possible.

I've had some questions on the balsa-cored hull and deck on the T42, if anyone has experiences there would also be helpful.

I'm waiting for more information from the owner of the T-42, but everyone's input has really been helpful. Sounds like either boat would work well - all depends on the boat's individual issues.

I welcome any other tips or advice. Other issues that have come up (in addition to the delamination potential), is the T-42 has an older in-mast furler. Any good tips for dealing with that - retrofits, replacements, live with it? Any great ideas for improving the galley and/or head in the Hood since Elegua has now let me know that particle board will have to go anyway?


Best sail set-ups for either? Now I'm just trying to mine you all for all the information I'll want later.

Thank you!
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Old 25-08-2015, 22:08   #14
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

Great information on the coring repairs. Thanks.

It's one of those areas that doesn't seem insurmountable, but then people describe it as a major endeavor. I do a lot of my own home remodels, car repairs (okay, on older cars), wiring, etc. So I'm never sure what is insurmountable to some folks isn't just a matter of accepting you have to tear something out and re-build it, in my experience. Of course, you have to have the specialized knowledge of what to do and how to do it. Which is where these boards prove invaluable. The trick is in not getting into something that really will eat time and money.

My understanding is the max output of the engine is 41 HP though, not 50. Not looking o pull a skier, but enough to get through a wave or off a lee shore is nice.

On the in-mast furling, is that something that is just too much expense, or is there a work around? I can't see keeping it - for the reasons listed - but I don't know what the realistic solutions are or what they cost.

I appreciate the background.
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Old 26-08-2015, 00:32   #15
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Re: Hood 38 or Tartan 42?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Hawley View Post
Presuming your PHRF ratings are correct, it seems like giving up 21 seconds per mile is something I would think long and hard about. I know that this is the Cruiser's Forum, but 21 seconds could be a day over the course of a long passage. It might, might, also indicate that the faster boat had better light air ability, and the world is full of light air.
For a 21sec difference it would be 17.5hr over 3000nm.

If Elagua is correct and the difference is 12sec then that would be 10hr over 3000nm.



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