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Old 14-10-2012, 14:00   #1
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Sabre 34 versus Tartan 34

I am looking to fulfill a deferred dream of buying a cruiser that I can single hand, or sail with my wife on mostly day trips off of the New England coast. I have narrowed my search to Sabre and Tartan and am looking at boats between 34 to 36 feet and no older than mid 1980s to early 1990s. Anybody have any good reasons for choosing one versus the other?
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Old 14-10-2012, 16:44   #2
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I was in the same spot as you last year. Both are well made boats that could have plenty of life in them. The mid 80's Sabre I looked at had a centerboard, this could be a (deferred) maintenance issue. Whereas the mid 80's Tartans 34's and the early 80's Tartan 33's have Scheel keels. IMHO, given the age of the boats, the biggest factor will be the condition of the specimens you look at. I located a T-33 with good "bones" and poor cosmetics. But it could have gone the other way.

There are very active Tartan and Sabre owners groups on Yahoo that have a wealth of brand specific knowledge.

Bill
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Old 14-10-2012, 17:15   #3
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Smile Re: Sabre 34 versus Tartan 34

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Originally Posted by Keith.lefebvre View Post
I am looking to fulfill a deferred dream of buying a cruiser that I can single hand, or sail with my wife on mostly day trips off of the New England coast. I have narrowed my search to Sabre and Tartan and am looking at boats between 34 to 36 feet and no older than mid 1980s to early 1990s. Anybody have any good reasons for choosing one versus the other?
Yes, choose an Ericson 34 ! I've just purchased a 1987 in very good conditions. After looking at so many "wrecks" it was quite a relief to find a sailboat that I'm taking offshore to the West Indies without hesitation... (I'm an offshore sailor, having sailed my 3 previous sailboats from England to Vancouver via the West Indies, New England, Panama canal, French Polynesia & Hawaii). Good luck with your search. PS: I almost bought a Sabre 34 last August; I like also the 7/8 rigged Tartan 33 but they don't last as well as the Sabre or the Ericson.
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Old 14-10-2012, 18:47   #4
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Re: Sabre 34 versus Tartan 34

Consider an Olson 34 (built by Ericson). I cruise the Chesapeake Bay with my bride on ours with ease. All lines led aft, stable and decent accomidations down below. Solid hull: not cored! There are 1 or 2 available.
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Old 15-10-2012, 07:23   #5
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Re: Sabre 34 versus Tartan 34

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Consider an Olson 34 (built by Ericson). I cruise the Chesapeake Bay with my bride on ours with ease. All lines led aft, stable and decent accomidations down below. Solid hull: not cored! There are 1 or 2 available.
Hi! Do you know the differences between the Ericson 34 & the Olson/Ericson 34 ? Since I bought a month ago my 1987 Ericson 34' pre-owned, I couldn't be too choosy: The only thing I would have changed is the draft of "CHESSA". It's the shallow draft version, around 5' "cruise loaded" & I would have preferred 6' as my previous Chance 33, a really bad racing boat, very well built in Germany & that I found, fresh water sailed in Chicago... I motor/sailed it to the West Indies after a summer in New England...
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Old 15-10-2012, 09:05   #6
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Re: Sabre 34 versus Tartan 34

Keith:

Both boats are similar, but I like the Sabres interior layout better with its bulkhead mounted foldup table. Saber also has an offset engine/propshaft- a little different, but no problem. I think Saber 34s were made with fixed keels as well as cb.

David
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Old 15-10-2012, 11:41   #7
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Re: Sabre 34 versus Tartan 34

Remember that -given the same quality of construction- you should pay a sailboat by the pounds not the inches... Ericson 34 is 20% heavier that the Sabre 34 (6 metric tons vs 5 metric tons) with a longer water line & a wider beam... Also, Ericson 34 interior layout is more "offshore" compatible with the heads at the foot of companionway... By the way this layout was "discovered" in Tahiti by a Belgium sailor in the seventies on a home built American sailboat from California ! Patrick Van God brought it back to France & through French sailing magazines converted a cruising generation & then the builders such as Dufour & Beneteau which brought it back to the USA east coast...
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Old 15-10-2012, 15:25   #8
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Re: Sabre 34 versus Tartan 34

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Originally Posted by ALAIN97133 View Post
Hi! Do you know the differences between the Ericson 34 & the Olson/Ericson 34 ? Since I bought a month ago my 1987 Ericson 34' pre-owned, I couldn't be too choosy: The only thing I would have changed is the draft of "CHESSA". It's the shallow draft version, around 5' "cruise loaded" & I would have preferred 6' as my previous Chance 33, a really bad racing boat, very well built in Germany & that I found, fresh water sailed in Chicago... I motor/sailed it to the West Indies after a summer in New England...
Significant differences- the only similarity is that they are both 34' sailboats. The O- 34 is about 25% lighter, the O-34 has 6' draft with eliptical foils. The Olson was designed as a racer cruiser by George Olson, then built by Ericson (after hull #1). The E-34 is likely a bit more comfortable for cruising.
If you go to the Ericson website, there is a lot of information on both boats (go to the download section).
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Old 15-10-2012, 19:36   #9
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What a nice surprise to see so many thoughtful responses to my first question on this message board. Thanks to all for your thoughts!
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Old 15-10-2012, 20:07   #10
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Re: Sabre 34 versus Tartan 34

Have you considered a Catalina 34?

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If that's what you want to do, why spend twice as much to simply get there?
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Old 15-10-2012, 20:36   #11
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Re: Sabre 34 versus Tartan 34

Sabre 34 does come with a rear head in the Targa model (which I have).

Here are a few reasons why I picked the Sabre over the Tartan:

1) Individual chainplates for forwards, aft and cap shrouds vs Tartan's one chainplate.
2) The Sabre is a stick built boat with all furniture tabbed to the hull vs Tartan's partial fiberglass pan in the 34. The Sabre's Targa does have a partial pan too, but everything is still tabbed except the floor which is glued. (this is what I have).
3) The traveler and mainsheet above the companionway vs in the middle of the cockpit. This makes it a more comfortable cockpit along with easier fitting of a bimini and dodger. Unfortunately, this also means midboom sheeting and the stress this makes to the rig.
4) I have a wing keel, and at the time, all I could find was a fin keeled Tartan.
5) Larger tanks on the Sabre
6) I have the aft berth version and it isn't something you can get on the Tartan... I like closing this door and hiding all my junk (it's my garage)
7) Side-by-side sinks in the galley vs the single sink in the Tartan
8) More storage above the settees
9) Very strong bow roller. Tartan's didn't seem up to the anchor I wanted to use.
10) Higher gunnel in the aft part of the cockpit.
11) Cast mast collar for block attachments vs stand-up blocks being needed on the Tartan.

Things I really liked on the Tartan:

1) Angled interior of the MKII is very neat looking and opens everything up.
2) S&S designed boat... need I say more?
3) Yanmar engine vs the Westerbeke I have in my Sabre
4) Baby stay ( + or -?) I'm not sure. Can't hang a sail on it, but it does seem like great support for the rig.
5) Great protection and support of the cockpit seats in the front of the cockpit
6) Anchor locker opening in the vberth
7) Engine access is awesome on the Tartan


As you can see, I really don't have much to say bad about the Tartan. Truth be told, I purchased the Sabre based on location. Had a Tartan been closer, I may have picked that.... nay, I would have still picked the Sabre

Take a look at the J34C too. Galley is small, but should be a great sail.
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