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Old 20-11-2009, 22:01   #1
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Tartan 42: Too Much of an IOR Boat ?

I'm in the learning phase for a tentative 2-year family trip (maybe starting 2013 or 2014) from California down the Yellow Brick Road through the Pacific to New Zealand, with appropriate time-outs for cyclone season.

One boat that looks nice and fits the budget is the Tartan 42. Tartan seems to have a good reputation, as does S&S. But is it too much of an IOR boat? Some people seem to have strong opinions that the IOR rule drove designers to make unstable boats with pinched ends and high CG.

Is the IOR shape a big problem? If it is, what are some alternative boats of similar quality, reputation, size, and price?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 20-11-2009, 22:14   #2
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IOR boats were squirrely on a reach when driven hard. If sailed reasonably, they aren't a problem. The early S&S boats had a pretty good reputation for controllability. The Swan 43 which is a very clost design to the Tartan has a great reputation for it's handling.

The biggest problem is the pinched stern and relatively heavy displacement, in todays ultra-light world, of the IOR boats don't make them surfing demons. They go to weather like a freight train. Downwind isn't their forte, however. The small mainsails don't give much drive off the wind so a spinnaker really helps. They won't surf like a fat assed uldb but still will make decent time, especially if you compare them to a typical purpose built cruising boat.
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Old 21-11-2009, 02:17   #3
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I have an IOR and have modified it to off set some of the problems above (Roverhi). e.g. More main sail, roller-reefing genoa, babystay, close in the cockpit more, single handing gear, more ballast & so on.

But even with the changes it is still an experienced sailors boat. IOR's were designed for the racing fleets even though some did get produced for off shore, e.g. Swan's.

Cresting swells, one has to stay alert. And as a typical fin keeler the helm has to be monitored frequently in heavy weather. They are not a family mans boat.

For a family I'd get a semi or full keeler. Slower but more forgiving.

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Old 21-11-2009, 09:35   #4
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We sail a Beneteau First 42, designed by German Frers in 1981 for production as a fast family cruiser/racer. The yacht is a typical IOR style yacht of the time and, in fact, one of the first of the boats "Lady be Good" was one of the strongest boats in the 1981 French Admirals Cup team with a 1st in the Cowes-Dinard. Never the less, we have found her to be comfortable and reliable for cruising and have not had particular difficulty for even my 5' tall, 102 lb wife to handle. You will not be pushing the yacht as would a racing crew so the vagaries of the yacht in extremis will not be an issue.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte

PS: delmarrey--very handsome yacht!
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Old 21-11-2009, 12:34   #5
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Actually the First 42s7 is another favorite on our list of potential boats. Lots of people and books say an "old-school" full keel boat will be "more forgiving." What does that really mean?

We've done lots of small boat racing (dinghies, J22, Etchells, Express 27, etc.) on the East Coast and in SF Bay. We currently own a 29er skiff. So we know what happens when boats wipe out.

When a fin keel boat is described as "less forgiving," does that mean "If you don't reef in time when the wind comes up it will get scary?" Does it mean frequent round-ups and -downs? Does it mean "Certain capsize if you don't hand-steer every wave?" Does it mean "You need to shorten sail, deploy a drogue, and prevent surfing?" I've been looking for a more complete description of what "forgiveness" is really going to mean.
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Old 21-11-2009, 12:53   #6
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More forgiving

Is a sense of more security. A full keel will not react to weather and wave conditions as quickly as a fin keel. Full keel don't pound the waves as they go over the crest and don't yaw at anchor or in swells as much.

For people that are less experienced it makes a big difference. The first time the average woman goes out on a sail boat they'll be climbing the sides when it heels over on a closehaul.
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Old 21-11-2009, 13:43   #7
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The first time the average woman goes out on a sail boat they'll be climbing the sides when it heels over on a closehaul.
We definitely won't have that problem.

Another way of looking at our position is that we don't want a boat that frustrates us in nice weather because it sails like a pig and can't go to windward. Since all our experience is on performance boats, albeit not on the ocean, fast boats feel "right." We chartered an old Beneteau something-something 33. in Tonga, and hated the way it felt anytime we were sailing above a beam reach.

If it gets exciting or scary once in a while when we get caught out in a blow, that might be the right tradeoff for a boat that feels right to us the other 90% of the time.
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Old 21-11-2009, 13:51   #8
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Originally Posted by maddmike View Post
Actually the First 42s7 is another favorite on our list of potential boats. Lots of people and books say an "old-school" full keel boat will be "more forgiving." What does that really mean?
Well if you like the 42s7 check the 456 which is a bit bigger and me and my wife have had no problems handling it. Very fast but sturdy!
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Old 21-11-2009, 14:02   #9
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Well, if you want a boat that has up wind performance then an IOR is it. I pretty much out point most the boats out there. And if you have a sea savvy crew, well then, don't let me talk you out of an IOR.

The secret about IOR's is they gain LWL when heeled over. 20-25 degrees is just right on mine. On a close-reach I've been able to push 9 kt and my standing LWL is 32' which increases to 35' heeled over, in which most of the draft ranges from a couple inches to about 1-1/2' with exception of the keel of course. I hardly make a wake running before the wind.
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Old 21-11-2009, 14:46   #10
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An aspect of most IOR boats that make them nice offshore boats is the deep forefoot. IMS and later boats are shallow and flat forward, so they pound. Most of the heavier IOR designs really don't pound much upwind in very heavy weather. This is a very good thing.

An aspect of many of the early IOR designs, particularly the S&S designs such as the Tartan 42 and Swans from the 70's, is that big skeg hung rudder and plenty of deadrise (the V shape along the centerline, in particular aft of the keel). These characteristics provide the seakeeping advantages of a full keel without the performance problems of the full keel (wetted surface is slow, lots to clean, lots to paint, and a low aspect keel is low lift, high drag, so windward performance is poor).

Another aspect of old IOR race boats is that in those days larger keelboat racing was really offshore, long distance, overnight, upwind and down racing. More recent racing designs are very focused on downwind speed, or just daysailing. Therefore, the IOR boats actually had sea berths, galleys that worked offshore, useable heads. And most of the earlier boats, like the Tartan 42, actually had decent on-deck protection from heavy seas: useful dodgers, coamings around the cockpit, an aft cockpit that the crew was actually intended to sail the yacht from. Yes, that bow-down static trim required to get the best IOR rating also meant the boat was designed for the crew to be aft, in the cockpit.

In summary: Yes, a Tartan 42 makes a good cruising boat.

Now, any boat that old (40 years by the time you are thinking of heading off) is an OLD BOAT. Probably every single mechanical, structural, and electrical item will need to be MUCH newer than 40 years old. The aluminum mast, the standing rigging, the keel bolts, rudder stock and hinges, engine, wiring harness, plumbing, pumps, head, winches, gooseneck, boom, running rigging, hatches, hull-to-deck joint and bolts, bulkhead-to-deck and bulkhead-to-hull attachments, under floor structure that ties the keel to the chainplates, ... EVERYTHING. $$$$$

So if you are really interested in such a boat, I strongly suggest you look far and wide for one that has been maintained very well from the beginning, or has been recently refurbished with an open checkbook.

Read this for example of the work someone did to refurbish a Cal 40 (another good boat very suitable for your plans):

The Restoration of a Cal 40 A Brief History…
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Old 21-11-2009, 15:09   #11
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A tail of two boats...

The Tartan 42 does have a much more pinched stern and is 15" less beamy than the contrasted Beneteau First 42s7. The Beneteau is lighter (18,220/22,000lb).

Fitting out Boracay I continue to be amazed just how much stuff goes on the stern (It may be not be easy to put a decent bimini on the Tartan if you ever want serious sun protection), and this aspect may limit the Tartan 42's utility as a cruising boat.



I like the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42.2 myself. Nice if you can start cruising in the BVI.



Do check the tabbing very carefully on any fibreglass boat and reinforce if needed.
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Old 26-07-2010, 18:04   #12
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Tartan 42: Too Much of an IOR Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmike View Post
I'm in the learning phase for a tentative 2-year family trip (maybe starting 2013 or 2014) from California down the Yellow Brick Road through the Pacific to New Zealand, with appropriate time-outs for cyclone season.

One boat that looks nice and fits the budget is the Tartan 42. Tartan seems to have a good reputation, as does S&S. But is it too much of an IOR boat? Some people seem to have strong opinions that the IOR rule drove designers to make unstable boats with pinched ends and high CG.
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Originally Posted by maddmike View Post


Is the IOR shape a big problem? If it is, what are some alternative boats of similar quality, reputation, size, and price?


Thanks in advance.

Hi MadMike: I read your 2009 message, and was wondering if you have already committed to a boat for your voyage?
Our T42 is a 1982 Sparkman & Stephens cruising 3-cabin version of the lighter T41, and we found her beautifully suited for offshore cruising There are 8 berths, 6 with lee cloths, (though we used the forepeak for storage).
We sailed South from Puget Sound, WA to Mexico, and spent 2 1/2 yrs cruising the Mex. coast., but came home for family reasons. The T42 has a larger rudder than the T41, and handling was never a problem even downwind in 25 foot seas.
Our vessel was thoroughly upgraded before our voyage, including all-new standing/running rigging, new Profurl NC41 furler, custom SS twin anchor bracket, mast steps, full dodger/bimini enclosure, new main, storm jib, trysail and trysail track, new ComNav 1420 Autopilot, Garmin color Chartplotter, house deep-cycle and starter batteries, new solid teak (strip) cabin sole etc
She has Adler-Barbour Fridge-Freezer, 3-burner propane Stove, Dickenson Diesel Heat, ICOM SSB with Pactor modem for e-mail, Avon life raft, Monitor self-steering WindVane AutoPilot, Heart 2kW Inverter/Charger, 3-blade MaxProp, 2x120 Watts solar panels, total of 9 sails etc. Anti-fouling has been done annually, most recently June, 2010. Located in Vancouver, BC Canada.
In short, if you are considering a bluewater voyage,
this boat is ready to go!
The nominal pre-brokerage price is negotiable at Cdn130,000. Let me know if this is relevant for you?
Regards,
Jonboy834
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Old 26-07-2010, 22:10   #13
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G'day Mate. How about a Mason 53? A great liveaboard ship for your family that will safely take you anywhere you want to go, plus you can start and base yourself right here in New Zealand. Let me know if you want any specific details on the inventory. Cheers.
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Old 27-07-2010, 01:32   #14
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Is a sense of more security. A full keel will not react to weather and wave conditions as quickly as a fin keel. Full keel don't pound the waves as they go over the crest and don't yaw at anchor or in swells as much.

For people that are less experienced it makes a big difference. The first time the average woman goes out on a sail boat they'll be climbing the sides when it heels over on a closehaul.
I would respectfully disagree with just about every word of this.

Pounding has nothing to do with keel type. It is a function of forefoot shape. A flat forefoot like on production coastal cruisers wlil pound. A sharper forefoot like on real bluewater boats (Oyster, Swan, etc.) will not pound. I'm sure Delmarry's very pretty boat does not pound.

Stability and "forgivingness" likewise is more a function of displacement and section shape, than keel type. In fact, a fin keel boat (and even more, a bulb keel) will be stiffer and more stable than a comparable displacement long keeler because the center of gravity is lower.

A longer keel has possibly more stability than a fin keel only in one situation -- downwind in a following sea (that's because in this positon the sails are no longer stabilizing the boat against yawing, and the longer keel does give resistance to yawing), but a well-designed and heavy displacement fin keeler will be stable in this position, too. Since the efficiency of any lifting body (be it sail, keel, or airplane wing) is a function of aspect ratio (length versus width), a fin keel will always give most lift versus drag, and will allow you to sail faster and closer to the wind. That's what you want a keel to do -- that's its main function. So a fin keel is simply better, objectively, at what keels do.

Full keel or long keel boat will dance more at anchor than fin keel, and will not back up straight.

What Delmarry has in mind if probably true if you're comparing a modern lightweight Bene with an older heavy blue water boat, but that is not because the Bene has a fin keel. It's because it's light and has flat sections and a fat stern. The older boat has a long keel only because designers hadn't figured out hydrodynamics yet. Its good qualities don't come from the keel, but from the displacement and round sections.

I've had both long keel and fin keel boats, so I am not speaking entirely from theory.
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Old 27-07-2010, 17:16   #15
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I don't really understand why there is so much mistrust of IOR boats. I mean, some of them were designed as "rule-beaters" with strange lumps and bumps and wooden keels and the like, but these were the exception rather than the norm. Most IOR boats, apart from the rather pinced stern and short waterline, were not so bad. Sure modern hull shapes and design has moved on, as is the way, but the IOR boats have been, I think, unfairly demonized.

Sure, they tend to be lively off the wind, in a blow, but the perception of them as being terrible this respect comes from racign them hard, with too much sail up. It is my experience that if you aren't actually worried about squeezing that last 1/4 of a knot out, and moderate your sail plan to suit the conditions, they are solid dependable boats. As has been pointed out, they do go to windward well too.

Bear in mind, these boats were, in general, the last generation that were really solidly built. Newer designs emphasize light weight (for planing downwing), and are, in my opinion, less strong as a result.

On balance, and with a nod in the direction of the previously mentioned caveat that boats of that age tend to need a fair amount of work to replace systems that have passed their use by date, I think IOR boats can offer great value for money and a good, solid, dependable cruising platform.
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