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Old 23-01-2011, 11:11   #16
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Wauquiez Pretorien 35, Niagara 35-- but these are older boats built in the 1980's and you seem to want a newer boat.

So, using a 160K asking price and 1995 or newer as the cutoffs, I found the boats below. All are equivalent (or in some cases superior) to the Tartans in quality.

1996 Pacific Seacraft 34 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

1996 Sabre 362 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1997.../United-States

1999 Sabre 362 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com (draft may be too deep)

1999 Island Packet 350 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

1998 Island Packet 350 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

1995 Robinhood / Cape Dory Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

The Sabres are fin keel, spade rudder boats like the Tartans. The others are more classic crusing designs with full keels.

I also saw quite a few Tartan 3500's for sale in various Great Lakes locations. So that boat is a good practical option for you. As you probably know, the Tartans are build in Ohio; that's why there are so many on the Great Lakes.
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Old 24-01-2011, 18:08   #17
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. That's exactly what i was looking for, any others you guys would recommend me to look at. The Pacific Seacraft and Island packet are great boats but their layout just doesn't suit me. Look forward to reading your suggestions. Cheers
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Old 24-01-2011, 19:35   #18
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Curmudgeon,
Your selection process is headed down the same path I went through in finding "the right" boat. The Pacific Seacraft, Sabre, Tartan and Island Packet are all great boats. I'd add Hinkley and Swan to the list too. The design and quality are clearly visible, especially when comparing to production boats. My problem is that there are not many of them here in S. Calif. I also included Catalinas and Beneteaus in my search, as they are common here. There are many debates on this site and Internet as to their offshore ability, and they might be worth a look.

I had a few other constraints, including (1) boat suitable for coastal cruising in local waters, (2) a boat that is located within 125 miles from home so I could easily view, and (3) a starting budget of $50K. I quickly learned that for $50-75K, I could find mid 80's production boats, between $75-100K, late 80's to mid 90's, $100-125K, 2000's and into higher quality boats (Tartan, Sabre,....). Use Boats for Sale, New and Used Boats and Yachts - YachtWorld.com to search for boats based on length, price, location or by manfuacturer. We must have run 1000's of searches!

To compare, I consolidated information from SailboatData.com - sailboat database with specifications, drawings and photos, more than 8000 listings and compared boat values (length, beam, draft, displacement, SA....), tankage (fuel, water, holding), common ratios (SA/D, Capsize Screen, Comfort...) and PHRF rating. I also compared these values to boats that I was very familiar to "relate" the numbers to performance and handling. One one end of the scale I used the Pacific Seacraft as the traditional bluewater cruiser. On the other, I had Farr 395 as a great sailing boat but not something I'd want to take my wife and family. Other boats on the list included Catalina 38/Hughes 38/Yankee 38, Catalina 42, J37, Tartan 37-x, Tartan 3500, Tartan 3700, Catalina 380, Catalian 42, a couple of Swans, Ericson 38, C&C 37, C&C 37+, C&C 40 and several Beneteaus, both First, Oceanis and Moorings....).

Once you start comparing the specs, you get a feel for the design compromises and can start grouping the boats into viable candidates. You'll be able to identify which boats suit you. Length, beam, cabin layout, fin vs. full keel, displacement, manufacturer.... start influencing your choices. Of the 40 or so Beneteaus on my list, I gravitated towards the Firsts, probably influenced by my days crewing on the Farr 395. However, the reality of sailing as a cruising couple kept the search focused and eliminated the more performance of the performance cruising boats (C&C 37+, First 40's....). Budget was always a consideration.

Another important factor was how the boat was setup for my wife and family. Here's where Catalina and Beneteau have nailed the market. They sell to the wife, with large queen aft berths, open dining areas, large galley, separate shower, large cockpits w/table..... It seems to me that high freeboards, wide beam and wide stern..... detracts from the boat's overall sailing ability. The sailing side of me wouldn't be happy with a motor-home on the water.

All this lead to a revised list and a base to continue to compare boats. Once we saw the Tartan 3500, we knew that it was perfectly suited for what we intended and was the right boat for us. The specs are right in the middle as all-around performance cruiser. The quality is quite good with well designed touches, solid construction, real wood cabinetry, good sailing boat, ... and at a stretch, "reasonably" priced. Tankage is a bit on the small side. At 35' and all controls lead aft, the boat can be single-handed. The boat just feels right.

Everyone told me that I needed to look at a lot of boats. I did. They also said that the right boat will call out to you. It did. I think your requirements are similar to mine and the Tartan 3500 matches well (except for cruising with 4 people). So far, my wife and I are real happy with the choice and look forward to really sailing the boat.
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Old 24-01-2011, 20:15   #19
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My friends have the Tarten 34 in GOODOLDBOAT...check it out.
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Old 24-01-2011, 21:44   #20
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Capt.Don thanks a bunch for the in-depth recap of what I am going through now lol! It makes me feel good to know that I am not alone in my quest. At the moment I am pretty sure either the Tartan 3400 or 3500 is what I will be sailing this summer. I can wait for the season to start so I can take them for a sail.

Once again all the input is much appreciated, Thanks All!
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Old 24-01-2011, 22:03   #21
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The Oz,
You need to look at a lot of boats and you'll find the right one. When I was looking, I exchanged emails with Art Averell, the service manager at Tartan. He mentioned that he had a friend with an "unbelievably nice" 3500, but it wasn't feasible for me since I'm in Calif. This boat is in Ohio, freshwater boat, used 1/2 year, friends with the service manager at Tartan - sound good to me! You might drop Art a line regarding his friend's boat or I can email you the owner's direct email.
(Sorry, I mis-labeled my earlier reply to you, not Curmudgeon).
Don
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