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Old 11-07-2015, 09:01   #31
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Miami
Boat: Tartan 40
Posts: 25
Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Hi David - I have hull number 64, also with a Scheel keel. Just saw your post and FYI I do have a propane stove and the propane tanks are in the port-aft deck locker in the cockpit area. I love the boat, we sail it in Biscayne Bay (Miami) and over to Bimini on occasion, but we have not had the time for extended cruises. I'm conflicted with either selling her or holding on to the dream of cruising the Caribbean. All the best to you.

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Old 27-10-2015, 05:58   #32
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Westport Point, MA
Boat: 1973 Viking 33
Posts: 31
Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Hi Guys,

I just bought a T40. She's hull #17 from 1985. The original owner, who I bought the boat from, had Tartan do some custom work below. We brought her back from New Jersey to Westport Point, MA and she did very well. She has some things that were neglected and needs some updating like she needs a new headsail, a dodger, a plotter and an autopilot. But there's time, she is perfectly ready to sail. we did notice that she is a handful under power if you don't raise at least some mainsail. then she balances nicely. I had said motoring with no sail out was a bit like balancing a broom on your hand. Take your eyes off the course for even a minute and she is veering WAY off...

Anyway, there is much to learn but, we're very happy and looking forward to spring!!

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Old 27-10-2015, 15:36   #33
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Boat: Tartan 40
Posts: 902
Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Interesting feedback. I hadn't noticed that under power but likely due to balanced rudder. Maybe your prop is closer to rudder (longer shaft?)
Congrats on the new boat!

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Old 27-10-2015, 16:39   #34
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SFL& St Petersburg
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,577
Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Check the prop. My 33 was a bear to run under power, discovered the PO replaced the prop with what he thought was a better (bigger) pitch.

I now have the factory spec prop and she handles like a dream.

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" requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
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Old 28-10-2015, 15:48   #35
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Tartan 412
Posts: 23
Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

We have owned and lived aboard our 1990 Tartan 412 (Scheel keel) for the last 11 years; we sailed it from the Chesapeake Bay to Australia via the Panama Canal in 2008-9 - we are currently near Adelaide in South Australia. We purchased the boat after owning a classic 1980 Tartan 37 (centerboard) which we loved, also. For four months we had the two boats side-by-side while we 'moved' aboard the newer one; interesting to note that we had a heck of a time fitting all our stuff onto the bigger boat. This is because the older Tartans were built with generous storage spaces - while the 'modern' ones have sacrificed storage for spacious-feeling interiors.

In 1989, the company that manufactured Tartans had financial difficulties (like many others during that period that folded as a result of the 1980's 'luxury tax' on yachts) and they closed their manufacturing for a period of time. I'm not sure of the details, but either they were purchased or received an infusion of capital and in 1990 reemerged with just two models for sale - the Tartan 372 and the Tartan 412, introduced at the Chicago Boat Show. They sold somewhere between eight and eleven Tartan 412's that year (it is hard to know exactly how many because they were not numbered sequentially; we know this because the original purchaser of our boat requested number 007 because he was a huge James Bond fan); it was the only year that both of these models were made. The Tartan 412 utilized the old Tartan 40 molds; I'm surprised that S&S didn't sue Tim Jackett for claiming it as his own. The other unique thing about the 412's are they are stick-built. Since the factory was just getting restarted in 1990 - they didn't want to invest in new interior molds, so they built these models like you would a custom yacht. The only plastic bits on our boat are the overhead panels and the head/shower pans; everything else is wood, thus all this teak makes the interior darker than other Tartans.

There are a few small modifications that make the 412 the ideal boat for tall people like us - first, the freeboard was raised by about four inches above that of the Tartan 40 so there is more headroom inside and makes the interior spaces feel larger. Also, they made the V-berth enormous - 90" long by 84" wide (at head) by 26" wide (at foot). Yes, there are two head compartments which we also thought was more than we needed, but have come to appreciate that this provides a 'spare' toilet and holding tank when the main one is out of service. The forward head is not very big and we use it mostly for storage.

Now - for the negatives of the boat. The CNG stove/oven fuel was a real pain (although, admittedly, not as bad as the alcohol stove on the Tartan 37); we had to drive 250 miles RT to get the scuba-like tanks filled - and there was no guarantee of a future supply. Before we left the US, we converted to propane; it wasn't really as difficult as we thought it would be. The new vented propane locker sits in the port-side cockpit lazarette. All of the opening ports are made of aluminum and are a custom size manufactured by Bomar. The ports corrode easily at the interface between the glass and the metal. There is no source for replacements; Bomar does not make that size/configuration anymore (and of course, Tartan Yachts only carries replacement parts for their new boats, i.e., for the first owner). Leaks through these ports are an ongoing problem for us - when at anchor or in a marina, we have a full-boat awning that keeps the rain at bay, but in a seaway situation, lots of towels are the only option. The biggest issue we've had is with the rudder; the upper collar around the rudder post is insufficient in strength for the task. The first rudder (that came with the boat) cracked along the leading edge, all the way down the front of the rudder and corroded away the interior metal frame. We had the factory build us a new one and within a year, the same thing happened; we ended up reinforcing the entire leading edge of the rudder with additional layers of glass mat and resin. Access from a dinghy is problematic as there is no stern platform, just a stainless ladder that drops down - and then you must negotiate around the backstay to get into the cockpit, then around the massive steering wheel. Be prepared for bruises.

We are pretty happy with the Tartan 412's sailing performance; it is nimble - and having all lines leading to the cockpit rarely requires us to go on deck during passages. The hull is exceedingly well built - much heavier than modern ones; the chainplates are boldly linked to the hull tabbing with solid 6" bars of stainless steel (as you can see in the photos of the interior). The engine, a Universal 50 (marinized Kubota), is adequate for the job although lack of good engine access requires blood to be spilled for even the most minor engine task.

We have been through plenty of rough weather in this boat, and always felt safe. It has been a pretty amazing boat for us.
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Accidental Circumnavigation - It's what happens when you get halfway around the world and decide to go home.
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