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Old 19-07-2012, 16:04   #1
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Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

Hi Everyone. Just joined the forum and looking forward to participating.

About 2 years ago I sold my boat and I am now looking for a new one. I am not a member of the 1% so I must adhere to a budget of modest means.

Since the early days, I have been in love with the old IOR boats especially the old Swans and S&S one offs. One boat I am enamored with is the Tartan 41. It is a beast of a boat design by Olin Stephens - I believe - that reminds me of the old muscle cars of my youth, like the GTO's or Shelby Cobras of the 60's and 70's.

I have been searching for a T-41 in the $20k to $45k range to buy and restore. I enjoy working on boats and I am not afraid to work up a sweat handling and trimming sails... it helps keep me in shape and sure beats jogging or watching TV.

I enjoy single handed sailing at times and I am a little worried about getting in over my head with the Tartan.

Any comments on the suitability of a boat like the Tartan 41 would be appreciated. Also, if anyone knows of a motivated Tartan 41 owner that would like to sell please given them my name.

Thank you and best regards,
Tom Regan
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Old 19-07-2012, 16:33   #2
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

There have been a few on the market cheap, though at least one had deck core issues. These boats seemed to be very well equipped though dated. Have you checked this one out?? 1973 Tartan Sparkman & Stephens Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com Definitely needs work but the price is dirt cheap if there are no major issues.

A nice dark blue one was at my old marina. Always took my walks around the docks so I could go by it. There are two models or at least two different rudder configurations. Apparently there were control problems with the initial design so many were retrofitted with a larger rudder. BTW, might want to also consider the T43. It's the the same hull with an extended stern that increased the waterline by several feet. Believe they used the extended length for propane stowage.

I've lusted after the T41 and Swan 43 since they first came out. Talked with a couple who were cruising one. Had taken it uphill to Alaska and said it went to weather like a freight train tunring in consistant 150 plus mile days hard on the wind. Claimed to have actually enjoyed fighting wind and current on the 2,000 plus sail from SoCal to Juneau. They were on their way south when I talked with them and they were very pleased with the boat. I really like the open area under the cockpit as it can be turned into commodious storage for things like my Bike Friday if didn't need the berths.
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Old 19-07-2012, 16:36   #3
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

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Originally Posted by TFR View Post
I enjoy single handed sailing at times and I am a little worried about getting in over my head with the Tartan.

Any comments on the suitability of a boat like the Tartan 41 would be appreciated.
You do well to worry about this boat not being ideal for singlehanding. Like most IOR designs from the '70s, the T-41 is going to take a full crew to sail properly. To control the boat in big air or big seas, you need someone on the mainsheet full time as well as the helm. Downwind, that boat will be an absolute handful. To race that boat properly, you'd need a crew of eight, with four on watch at any given time. And, like most IOR racers, it's not going to do well under autopilot.

Take a look at the T-41's interior layout. It's optimized for a passage with a full crew, not for spending any amount of time at anchor. For me, the lack of a double berth anywhere on the boat would be a deal killer, but that's because I'm accustomed to sharing my bed with the boat's co-owner.
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Old 19-07-2012, 17:11   #4
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

Just a couple of observations..

The rudder design wasn't changed. The keel was extended from 6'4" draft to 7'2" draft. Most of the last 20 boats had this change. The company made about 8 43'-44' hull boats, but they have the same water line length as the 41', just extended deck at the stern.

I have solo sailed my boat across the Gulf of Mexico twice. Sailed it back from Rio Dulce to Texas with one female as crew, we did fine. IMO any boat seriously raced needs a full crew corresponding to the boat size if were speaking racing, but OP didn't mention that, did he?

Boat sails well with the auto pilot (Alpha 3000) engaged. In 8-10 foot following sea's one has to pay attention, but very doable with auto pilot.

My lady and I sleep well in the V-berth, I'm 6' 2". Saw one T 41 on Yacht World that the owner had put a queen size berth in the quarter berth area.

You could end up spending alot to bring a neglected 41 back to good shape. There's a reason the better T 41's are in the 70 to 80k range.... Good luck in your search
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Old 19-07-2012, 17:39   #5
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

All boats are money pits, unless they are sitting on a trailer in your driveway.
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Old 19-07-2012, 17:46   #6
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

many of those IOR boats had "control issues" meaning: with narrow ends and bulbous beam amidships they rolled a lot downwind with a big spinnaker up. For cruising one... I say so what? Reduce the sail area to a 115-120%, and maybe a battenless main and cruise... you'll still be faster than a Hans Christian 38!!! They are pretty cool machines at the price, also the Ranger 37 etc....
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Old 19-07-2012, 19:37   #7
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There's a T41 next to me in the marina. He is slowly refurbishing the entire boat but he sails often and says the boat sails like a witch. He singlehands or has wife and kid along.
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Old 20-07-2012, 08:02   #8
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

One thing I've noticed about these old IOR boats and offwind sailing is that changing over to an Asymmetrical chute tames them quite a bit. They'll still dig a big hole in the ocean but they don't roll beam to beam as much.
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Old 20-07-2012, 09:20   #9
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

Tom, with an old racing boat, any old racing boat, "suitability" depends on what you want to do with it. Odds are it isn't competitive in modern racing, so the value has dropped and it is cheap. But as a racer it also was designed as a one-trick pony, i.e. usually with little below. With limited tankage and payload capacity, With an inadequate engine designed mainly for "get us back to the dock". With a need for live ballast to sit on the rail to keep her level. Deck layout, ng for short-handing because stations are spaced apart for the big crew. Likewise, running backstays, which may be a problem for shorthanding and require some extra shrouds.

None of that is a dead stopper, but they are issues to be aware of, things to examine of the particular boat and see just how inconvenient (or possible) it will be to do what you want with the boat.

Then of course, if it was a racer it may have seen some hard service, or, hard service but great maintenance. Only way to find out is to look closely.
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Old 24-07-2012, 05:16   #10
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

I looked at that cheap one on yacht world if yourinterested inmore info on what i saw pm me.
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Old 24-07-2012, 16:57   #11
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

G'Day Tom,

I have a couple of thoughts for you:

First, from memory, the T-41 came from a period before the extreme IOR shapes evolved, and before semi-production race boats had no interiors beyond what the rules required. Thus, many of the above comments don't apply.

Second, S&S designs have always tended to be relatively conservative, and to be good all around performers. The suitability for single handing will largely be a matter of how all the controls/lines/winches etc are laid out, the presence of a good auto pilot, the conditions under which you attempt the voyages and lastly, your skill levels... just like on any other boat! One advantage of ex-racers is that they will usually sail quite respectably under much reduced sail, thus easing the chores of a solo sailor. The comments about rolling whilst sailing deep with a big running kite up are true for some boats, but of small concern to a cruiser.

Finally, some first hand data: Our previous boat was a Palmer Johnson Standfast 36, an early IOR one-tonner designed by Franz Maas. She had the extreme midships beam, pinched ends, tall rig with a small main/big headsail sailplan and all the other much discussed downfalls of that genre. We were told by all the experts that she was unsuitable for a long term cruising life. We bought her nonetheless... and sold her after full time cruising in her for 17 years and 86000 miles. Those miles were accomplished with only Ann and I as crew, except for a few hundred that I did on my own while she was off grandmothering and a few others while guests were aboard.

So, don't let the nay-sayers put you off. You will need to evaluate any prospective boat relative to your budget and skill set (as we all must do) but if the T-41 still looks good to you, there is nothing about the design that precludes its usefulness to you.

Good luck, and let us know what happens!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 24-07-2012, 17:25   #12
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

[QUOTE=roverhi;994347]There have been a few on the market cheap, though at least one had deck core issues. These boats seemed to be very well equipped though dated. Have you checked this one out?? 1973 Tartan Sparkman & Stephens Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com Definitely needs work but the price is dirt cheap if there are no major issues.



This boat is a major project!!!! It is all I do NOT see in the pictures that scares the hell out of me!
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Old 26-02-2013, 02:11   #13
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by b-rad View Post
I looked at that cheap one on yacht world if yourinterested inmore info on what i saw pm me.
Hi b-rad - this is a yacht I'm considering viewing. Are you able to PM me some info? I'm in the UK and making a trip out to FL in late March and have a few yachts to view - this one looks like it could be either very rewarding in the long term or a nightmare!

I tried to PM you, but the system wont let me right now...

Thanks v much
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Old 26-02-2013, 04:15   #14
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

I agree that the boat in the link is a MAJOR project. You might well be buying nothing more than 2 years worth of headaches that will suck up double or triple your initial repair estimate. The trick with boat buying is to select one that has had a heap of work done and paid for by someone else.

Here's one
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...ng_id=1925&url=

Sure it costs more but it probably only needs 10% as much work. Fear not though, the boat will find plenty of ways for you to exercise your repair skills - they always do.

Don't worry about the IOR thing. All you have to do is detune the rig a little and start using smaller sails. I did it successfully with a 1976 S & S 43. eg trash all the #1s and make a #2 your biggest jib, sail downwind with the main reefed . . . .
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Old 26-02-2013, 04:30   #15
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Re: Tartan 41 = Money Pit?

Thanks Savoir..
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