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Old 18-10-2018, 15:30   #1
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Tartan 34

So what are the opinions on this boat?

I found an old one 1979 so it must be a 34C, but it does have the old Atomic 4.

I already passed on a Pearson 10M with an Atomic 4 but I understand these Tartan 34C's are sort of special
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Old 18-10-2018, 15:40   #2
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Re: Tartan 34

There is an interesting article in the Annapolis Sailboat Show edition of Good Old Boat on the 34C. It can be very special! Also Google "Snow Lilly".
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Old 19-10-2018, 05:01   #3
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Re: Tartan 34

A friend has a 34C and I think it’s a good boat. The shoal draft is a big plus where she sails and it seems very capable in open water. The interior isn’t as spacious as modern boats of course but it seems usable and comfortable. She often single hands her Tartan and it’s a good sailer.
IMO, you could do much worse although it all depends on the condition and price. Good luck with your search!
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Old 19-10-2018, 09:58   #4
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Re: Tartan 34

There is a Tartan 34 group on facebook that gives a lot of help on mods and repairs. If you can find it on the net, there is a much older Tartan 34C forum that archived lots of technical information and very good information on modifications. I havent sailed mine yet, but since it is a Sparkman & Stevens design and won a lot of ocean races when it was new, I think it will sail just fine. The A4 information will be found on the MOYER MARINE web site. Some boats have been converted to diesel but it involves raising some of the seating around the dinnet. Most diesels are taller than the A4. Over the production years the rig was changed a little (shorter boom). Some say it was to reduce weather helm and some say to fit the changing IOR rules. Owners state that weather helm can be fine tuned with the center board. They seem to be under priced for what they are and project boats go for very little, but as I often remind myself THE PROJECT BOAT CAN BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE. For that size range/price and age, I dont think you can go far wrong. Good Luck, ____Grant.
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Old 19-10-2018, 10:08   #5
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Re: Tartan 34

I almost bought one a few years ago. I loved the Tartan reputation for quality, the look, and the shoal draft with a centerboard.

When I finally saw one in person, it was much smaller than I expected, I did not like the traveler in the middle of the cockpit, and I did not like the compartment for the engine being in the middle of the salon. It also felt very, very old. Your impession may be different. I never sailed it.

I had an atomic 4 on another boat and I felt it was a great engine. Surprisingly economical, smooth, quieter than a diesel, and easy to work on. Gas vapours are explosive of course, so you must take precautions. You'll get less when you sell for a boat with an A4, but you'll also pay less up front.
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Old 19-10-2018, 16:05   #6
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Re: Tartan 34

Thanks for all the replies. Good info
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Old 19-10-2018, 16:28   #7
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Re: Tartan 34

I sailed on a Tartan 43. The owner had owned a Tartan 30 before. He thought about moving up to an older 34c from the 30. Turns out the newer 30 was a faster boat. I guess all I'm saying is that the 34c is a slow boat for the LOA.
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Old 19-10-2018, 16:38   #8
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Re: Tartan 34

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Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
I sailed on a Tartan 43. The owner had owned a Tartan 30 before. He thought about moving up to an older 34c from the 30. Turns out the newer 30 was a faster boat. I guess all I'm saying is that the 34c is a slow boat for the LOA.

Good info thanks, but I used to race beach cats so to me all monohulls are very slow so that isn't a problem
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Old 19-10-2018, 16:55   #9
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Re: Tartan 34

The early model I raced on definitely too much weather helm had to shorten foot of main sail otherwise a competent boat.
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Old 19-10-2018, 17:01   #10
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Re: Tartan 34

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Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
The early model I raced on definitely too much weather helm had to shorten foot of main sail otherwise a competent boat.
Weather helm seemed to be a common problem back in the day I'm thinking. The boat (Tartan 34) had a boom of 13.5' which is very long.

My Bristol 27 is similar with a 12.2' boom
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Old 19-10-2018, 17:16   #11
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Re: Tartan 34

If you’re willing to go a bit bigger (and pricier) look at a Tartan 38. That’s a cool boat.
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Old 19-10-2018, 17:28   #12
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Re: Tartan 34

Over the years Tartan shortened the boom from 13 foot to I think 10.5 foot. Again I have been told that fine tuning the centerboard solves the weather helm problem but I can only find out. I also dont like the traveler in the center of the cockpit. Mine was on the bridgedeck and I am going back to the long boom for the extra sail area in light air. If I have to reef early that is OK. I have a tiller so the traveler will go across the cockpit aft of the rudder head. That will be a slight reduction in pointing ability and a big gain in comfort. The engine placement is a problem if you convert to a diesel (taller) and I have given up on that and I am sticking with the little sewing machine motor (A4). Size is typical of the 60s and 70s boats. Like all boats it is what rings your chimes, and your pocket book. _____Grant.
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Old 19-10-2018, 17:58   #13
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Re: Tartan 34

There are pros and cons of every boat. I have and love a T-33. Yes the traveler is a “knee knocker”. But, retrofitting mid-boom sheeting raises issues. Also I can single hand that boat all day from the wheel.

The cabin can be dark- I retro-fitted recessed LEDs into my overhead, with Jenneau on/off switches at the companionway. Now it is bright and as inciting as any new boat.

Yes those old girls can be slow. But put some decent sails on them — and sail them right and you can surprise some folks.

Finally, owning classic plastic is like owning an old car. Either you love it or is foolish.
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Old 20-10-2018, 05:29   #14
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Re: Tartan 34

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Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
The early model I raced on definitely too much weather helm had to shorten foot of main sail otherwise a competent boat.
I was considering buying a new mainsail (already made at Bacon Sails for $735.00) with a 1.5' shorter foot and .5' taller for my present boat to help correct some of my weather helm, but since I'm not racing and the boat/rudder/autopilot/rigging seem to be strong enough to handle the stress I haven't yet
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Old 20-10-2018, 06:44   #15
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Re: Tartan 34

My friend recently replaced her A4 with a Beta diesel and it fit in the engine space ok. No changes to the settee IIRC.
She has the shorter boom. Good sails make all the difference IMO. A lot of old boats are saddled with worn out sails that lead folks to label the boat as a poor performer. I know from my own experience that well made sails can transform a boat.
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