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Old 03-03-2014, 14:20   #1
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Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Does anyone have any experience owning, or sailing a late 80's Tartan 40?

The boat that came to our attention is centerboard model. The centerboard design may not be our ideal, but may later prove valuable if we relocate the boat from the Great Lakes to Florida. Size wise, it seems perfect.

I'm interested in build quality issues if any, sailing quirks or your positive comments from your experiences.

Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2014, 14:30   #2
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Classic Plastic: Tartan 40 Sailboat Review | Cruising World

Good info on the Tartans.
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Old 03-03-2014, 22:49   #3
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Was looking at that exact model... late 80's with the centerboard.

Why isn't the centerboard ideal for you? It's got a nice shallow draft, and can go to a nice 8' when needed.

I'm a huge fan of the layout of that boat, very similar to the Tartan 412 and the Caliber 40, with the nav. station tucked away in the port aft section. I'm a huge fan of Tartan. Great build quality from everything I've seen. Got pretty serious on a 412 but that was a while ago.

Have you taken a look at the boat? Go step aboard and I'm sure you'll get a good feeling.

David
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Old 04-03-2014, 00:33   #4
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Is this an S&S designed boat? I've looked at a the older 37' S&S design. can't find a thing wrong with them. Well built and well considered.
I'm still considering one....
Tartan has always built solid boats. IMHO
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:10   #5
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Yes, designed by S&S.

CB version:
http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=2392
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:24   #6
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

thanks Dabs
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:08   #7
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Coastal cruiser? A tartian 40? Well whats the smallest ocean going cruiser then? A Swan 80?

A Tartan 40 is an ocean going, round the world cruiser that used to be a cruiser racer under the old handicapping.

I dont know about the centreboard version, so check that out, but the boat should be good to circumnavigate.
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:06   #8
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

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Looks great. The older Tartans were in the top tier, in my view, if you want strength over speed, and S&S had very few clunkers. The waterline is relatively short, so you need to consider that the interior is not as condo-like as more current designs, and you need to have a survey as the newest one is now 25 years old...make sure the engine is sound, too.

But these are quibbles. If you like it, it's quite suitable to purpose, and the CB is, like as on the Bristols of the same vintage, an actual advantage in shallow waters, and good for windward work offshore.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:18   #9
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

We've sailed a 1989 Tartan 40 for the past three years. Our sailing has all been New England coastal since we're still working to pay for it. Our boat is Hull 71 of a 72 boat run. It is a 1989 with a Scheel keel. Although we're coastal sailing, the boat is very solid and comfortable underway. I wouldn't hesitate to take her to the islands. She'd go further, but I won't.

We looked at a centerboard version, but bought this one because of overall quality of the specific boat and the value. We had a centerboard on our previous boat and didn't love it for maintenance issues. The Scheel draws an extra foot and gives up a little windward performance, but we're not racing and drawing 5' doesn't hold us up many places.

There are three layouts, as the Cruising World review states. We have the standard layout with single head forward. Two heads is a waste of space on a boat this size IMHO. There are two versions of the dining table -- fixed and fold-down. We have the fold-down and like the space of having the table out of the way when not in use. As mentioned, this isn't a condo. There's plenty of space for two of us and decent stowage, but not space to waste.

The aft-facing nav table was off-putting when I first saw it, but I've come to really love it. It's out of the way of everything else with plenty of room to spread out and store stuff. There's speaking access to the helm through a cockpit portlight if you need to coordinate between the two areas. The galley setup works well for us. We have a CNG stove which isn't a good thing for travels to distant lands or many parts of the US. If the one you're looking at has propane, I'd be interested to hear where they put the tanks. One issue is that the berths are narrow compared to newer boats. Neither fore nor aft is really a full double. Works much of the time, but if it's hot or one of us isn't sleeping well, we split up. No problem as a couple, but, if you're routinely sailing with larger numbers, it can be an issue. The main difference I saw with the 412 is that they were able to widen the aft berth a bit.

The T-40 sails very well once the wind gets over ten knots. She'll move in 7-10, but won't scare anyone with her speed. As with most of boats of her era, her best point of sail is a reach. She tacks through about 70 deg apparent without working too hard, but wallows straight down wind. The cockpit is good for two, OK for four and too tight for many more.

If there are specific questions, let me know and I'll try to answer.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:51   #10
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Coastal cruiser? A tartian 40? Well whats the smallest ocean going cruiser then? A Swan 80?

A Tartan 40 is an ocean going, round the world cruiser that used to be a cruiser racer under the old handicapping.

I dont know about the centreboard version, so check that out, but the boat should be good to circumnavigate.
Roger all above, and let me put in a plug for a CB. I used to own a Bristol 35 with a 4' up CB draft. It was PERFECT for the Bahamas. My current boat has a 6' fixed draft, and I still love the Bahamas, but I sure wish I could get into the shallow lagoons like the old days.
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Old 05-03-2014, 20:30   #11
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

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Originally Posted by tartansail View Post
We've sailed a 1989 Tartan 40 for the past three years. Our sailing has all been New England coastal since we're still working to pay for it. Our boat is Hull 71 of a 72 boat run. It is a 1989 with a Scheel keel. Although we're coastal sailing, the boat is very solid and comfortable underway. I wouldn't hesitate to take her to the islands. She'd go further, but I won't.

We looked at a centerboard version, but bought this one because of overall quality of the specific boat and the value. We had a centerboard on our previous boat and didn't love it for maintenance issues. The Scheel draws an extra foot and gives up a little windward performance, but we're not racing and drawing 5' doesn't hold us up many places.

There are three layouts, as the Cruising World review states. We have the standard layout with single head forward. Two heads is a waste of space on a boat this size IMHO. There are two versions of the dining table -- fixed and fold-down. We have the fold-down and like the space of having the table out of the way when not in use. As mentioned, this isn't a condo. There's plenty of space for two of us and decent stowage, but not space to waste.

The aft-facing nav table was off-putting when I first saw it, but I've come to really love it. It's out of the way of everything else with plenty of room to spread out and store stuff. There's speaking access to the helm through a cockpit portlight if you need to coordinate between the two areas. The galley setup works well for us. We have a CNG stove which isn't a good thing for travels to distant lands or many parts of the US. If the one you're looking at has propane, I'd be interested to hear where they put the tanks. One issue is that the berths are narrow compared to newer boats. Neither fore nor aft is really a full double. Works much of the time, but if it's hot or one of us isn't sleeping well, we split up. No problem as a couple, but, if you're routinely sailing with larger numbers, it can be an issue. The main difference I saw with the 412 is that they were able to widen the aft berth a bit.

The T-40 sails very well once the wind gets over ten knots. She'll move in 7-10, but won't scare anyone with her speed. As with most of boats of her era, her best point of sail is a reach. She tacks through about 70 deg apparent without working too hard, but wallows straight down wind. The cockpit is good for two, OK for four and too tight for many more.

If there are specific questions, let me know and I'll try to answer.
Thanks for the very specific insights. It's quite helpful. I think we know what the 80's boats are about, in general, having seen a few. This specific one is a Northern, fresh water boat that is kept indoors all winter. Haven't seen it, but it appears babied, and is priced as such.

I saw the Tartan 412 online, but's it's not local to us. We were hesitant about the c/b due to more maintenance, too. However, it's more of an issue in warm waters with buildup than up here in the Great Lakes. We'd just have to deal with that issue if we move the boat south.

We'll look at this one when we're able, and compare it to another boat across the lake- a CS 40. That boat's a bit lighter and has a shoal draft keel. Ir's priced considerably less than the T40, but hasn't had the same degree of care and attention lately.
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Old 05-03-2014, 20:36   #12
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

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Coastal cruiser? A tartian 40? Well whats the smallest ocean going cruiser then? A Swan 80?
While you mention it, the Swan 80 would suit us fine. Except for that fact that we'd need to find about 6 or 7 young hunks to hoist the sails and swab the decks for months at sea! Any takers?
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Old 06-03-2014, 00:05   #13
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

I'll come lounge in the cockpit and press a few buttons...
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Old 07-03-2014, 15:24   #14
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

Brains over brawn?

I know, who needs crew when you have autohelm and electric winches? Plenty of time to party, right?
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:33   #15
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Re: Tartan 40, A solid Coastal Cruiser?

There was a time when that design was considered the boat to own for ocean racing .
Things change , peoples ideas change , but that boat would still be a damn fine boat for a serious , careful circumnavigation .
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