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Old 21-01-2011, 16:47   #1
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Tartan 3400 - Thoughts . . .

Hi all!

Below are my criteria for what I am looking for. From all the boats I looked for it only seems the Tartan 3400 would fit the bill (except for some Sweedish boats like the Najad 320 but are very hard to find in North America). What do you guys think of this boat and what others are in the same class?

1. Price. As with a car I prefer to buy about 3 to 10 years old, for around $150,000 gives me some room to work with
2. Nice Looking. While this is not on everyone's list, I feel it is important since it will become a part of your life
3. 31' - 36' length (If it is well designed 33' should be perfect). Big enough to be able to cross the pond safely or go to the Caribbean and in decent comfort for the two of to live aboard. Yet small enough for one to single-hand. Also, less in slip fees and easy to take care of. The boat will be used day to day for short sails so the maneuverability is important
4. Good size head, galley and full size chart table
5. As I am in a bit north so heating is a plus
6. A quality Fiberglass hull capable of handling blue water
7. No full keel's since this will take away performance for day to day use. The faster the better (I know speed is a function of length but there are differences from boat to boat; 9kts in good conditions would be great)
8. Inboard diesel engine powered at not less than 2 hp/ton. Sufficient power to make our way motoring or motor-sailing when necessary, or to get out of a tight spot
9. Space. Comfortable for two people to live aboard for extended periods of time. Able to accommodate 4 people easily
10. Storage. Inside the boat for stuff since this will be my home.
11. Proper anchor with ample chain
12. Ample fuel and water storage. For those long voyages I am aware with this size of boat Jerry cans will be necessary.
13. Refrigerator and freezer
14. All the standard equipment on a modern boat... radar, VHF, depth sounder, Wind instruments, Solar Panel, Autopilot, etc... (Not all have to come with the boat, I have a separate budget for extras)
15. Can't really think of anything else right now but if there are any other criteria that should be considered when choosing a boat please let me know.

Thanks and look forward to reading the reply's!
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Old 22-01-2011, 19:51   #2
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Does anyone like this boat... lol?
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Old 22-01-2011, 20:14   #3
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It's a Tartan, you can't go wrong

You should check out the Tartan owners mailing list (link below) and ask around over there. lots of active 3400 owners. I can already tell you what they'll say though, you'll love it, buy it, can't beat it, etc... :

tartansailing : Tartan Sailing
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Old 22-01-2011, 20:20   #4
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Basically, it sounds like you know what you want and the 3400 seems to fit all your criteria. Tartan builds nothing but quality, so If you like it, check some out in person, go from there... I will say at that price, you certainly have plenty of options. So its pretty much all about whatever fits you best.
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Old 22-01-2011, 20:45   #5
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I have never been on one, but at first glance it looks like a recent model Tartan 3400 does not meet any of the below criteria. Looks like storage is terrible, neither berth is really a good master, fuel and water tankage is too small, and they are above your price range.

I think they are great boats, I just don't think they meet all your criteria.

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Originally Posted by The Oz View Post
1. Price. As with a car I prefer to buy about 3 to 10 years old, for around $150,000 gives me some room to work with
9. Space. Comfortable for two people to live aboard for extended periods of time. Able to accommodate 4 people easily
10. Storage. Inside the boat for stuff since this will be my home.
12. Ample fuel and water storage. For those long voyages I am aware with this size of boat Jerry cans will be necessary.
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Old 22-01-2011, 21:11   #6
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Your speed requirements are way way way off. To get a hull speed of 9 knots you'll need 40' of waterline. Hard to get that in a 34' boat. In any case, hull speed for any length of time is hard to accomplish and usually only in a limited range of windspeed, wind direction and ocean conditions. I've averaged theoretical hull speed for days on end on a reach in the trade winds but that was in perfect conditions. You can exceed hull speed surfing downwind but it takes a lot of wind and pretty good seas and it helps if you have a ULDB.

To get all you want in a boat under 40' you are going to need a relatively heavy boat. You just can't pack all your requirements into a light weight, off the wind flyer. Seems as if you asking for the performance of Farr 40 in a Westsail 32 body. Good luck.
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Old 22-01-2011, 21:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
I have never been on one, but at first glance it looks like a recent model Tartan 3400 does not meet any of the below criteria. Looks like storage is terrible, neither berth is really a good master, fuel and water tankage is too small, and they are above your price range.

I think they are great boats, I just don't think they meet all your criteria.
Not to argue, but I'm very curious how you are judging the storage space on a boat you've never been on?
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Old 22-01-2011, 21:35   #8
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Pictures and the "virtual tour" on the Tartan web site.
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Old 23-01-2011, 07:48   #9
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Thanks guys.

I had a chance to check out boat last week. Basically I look at this purchase as trying to find something that offers the least compromises.

The criteria are more guidelines then steadfast rules. I was saw a lot of used 3-5 year old Tartans 3400 for around $175,000 which is perfectly acceptable to me.

It is a tiny bit snug but I feel I can make do. The boat will be used mainly for short sails so the fuel and water capacity is not a concern for me at the moment. When I make some time to cross the pond or go down to the Caribbean I will make the necessary changes.

My repertoire of boat manufactures and models is quite limited. Could you recommend me some other boats that would have close to the same qualities as the Tartan or better.

Basically with speed I just want a relatively fast 33'-35' blue water boat, that meets a lot of my criteria. I know I will not win many races but I want to be able to hold my own.

Thanks for the link to the Tartan forum but I was hoping for some unbiased views

Thanks, much appreciate the input!
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Old 23-01-2011, 08:08   #10
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where will your local cruising grounds be?
The 6.5' foot draft on the Tartan might be a bit much for weekending in certain areas (like the chesapeake). Not that it would stop you, but it could be a little bit limiting. The 3400 comes with a keel/centerboard option which is perfect for that type of sailing, but may be less desirable for crossing the pond in the future.
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Old 23-01-2011, 08:13   #11
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I will be in the great lakes. That is the other reason why I was thinking about the Tartan, because a lot of them around the lakes have not seen the salt yet.
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Old 23-01-2011, 08:29   #12
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The Oz, I recently purchased a 10 year-old Tartan 3500. I made a similar set of requirements and the T3500 easily met most of them. Tartan makes a solid, well-built boat. The T3500 is a "large" 35' boat, with 11'9" beam and seems to have as much space as some of the older 38' boats I looked at. The T3500 feels like the right size for a cruising couple, coastal cruising, and offshore.

Personally, I feel that this boat is capable of Calif-Hawaii type passages; though, due to size, storage and tankage, I'd be concerned about longer distance. Keep in mind that Tartan aims more on the performance side of performance-cruiser. I think the boat is suitable for a cruising couple and possibly 1 or 2(?) close friends. 4 people on the 35' boat for more than a week would tight.

Still sorting out the new boat. Everything I look at is designed for purpose and it is interesting to try to figure out what the designer/builder had in mind. It is a great boat and I'm looking forward to putting some miles on her and really sailing her.
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Old 23-01-2011, 09:01   #13
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Capt. Don, I like your advice. And for 150K, you can look at an older Tartan 37, a Sparkman & Stephens design that will give you even more room, more speed, more storage, etc. They are sweet boats. Plus, the majority are centerboarders, which are good for the Bahamas and other areas with "thin" water.
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Old 23-01-2011, 09:31   #14
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Thanks for the advice, I will take a look. What are some other (non Tartan... I want to make sure I have not overlooked anything) blue water boats that are around 34' and under $200,000 I should have a look at?
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Old 23-01-2011, 10:31   #15
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Caliber 35 (the 40 is absolutley wonderful).
Good luck, happy boat hunting
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