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Old 03-01-2011, 13:36   #1
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Tartan34c

I have spotted a Tartan34c in my homewaters (Sweden).It as a rare ship in our waters but I am considering a buy. Anyone out there with experience from this model? What to look for in terms of weak points? I intend to sail her short handed.

Thanks for any advice/comments
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Old 03-01-2011, 13:57   #2
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Originally Posted by Blueorange View Post
I have spotted a Tartan34c in my homewaters (Sweden).It as a rare ship in our waters but I am considering a buy. Anyone out there with experience from this model? What to look for in terms of weak points? I intend to sail her short handed.

Thanks for any advice/comments
I have had a 1975 Tartan 34c for the past nine years (now for sale). They are a very easy handling boat which handles much worse conditions than we do. They are easy boats to single or double hand. A larger crew gets in the way in the narrow cockpit unless they are well trained. It will get to 6knots in any wind over 10 knots on all points of sail except downwind where it wallows. Common issues:

Centerboard -- The original design was poor. The board pivots on a square pin which tends to round out the point of attachment resulting in a drooping centerboard. The fix isn't terribly difficult and is laid out on the Tartan 34c web site www.T34classic.org.

Deck -- Most of these boats either have moisture in the balsa core or have had it repaired. Mostly it seems to get in at the chainplates though sometimes at the hull-deck joint. Very fixable, but not inexpensive unless you can do it yourself.

Engine -- Many came with Universal A4's. Many now have diesels. There are religious arguments about which is to be preferred. I like diesel. Engine access is better than any other boat I have ever been on.

Wheel or tiller -- I have a wheel. The wheel is forward in the cockpit and a major reason why it is hard for more than two people to be moving around working the boat.

Boom length -- The booms got shorter over the length of the production run. I believe this was to improve its IOR rating. I have the short boom and it still generates a lot of weather helm in a breeze. Reef early, use the centerboard to adjust the CLR and it will balance beautifully. Don't know if that is true with the earlier, long-boomed versions.

All in all a great boat that turns heads and sails well. We loved sailing her so much we decided to opt for more space and amenities so we can spend more time aboard.

There is an S&S model which is more common in Europe that is a very close cousin of the T34. I don't recall its name, but may be a good source for comparable pricing. There is a very active T34c users group (www.t34classic.org) that is also a good resource for advice. Hull #1 is based in Germany and just finished a Transatlantic trip to Barbados.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:35   #3
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Thanks

This is helpful,Thank you. I am scheduled for a closer look at her in a few weeks. This Tartan is a -69,equipped with a Universal Diesel engine. Petrol engines are extremly rare in scandinavian waters ( fuel economy and environmental reasons)However,by judging from pictures and owners description appearantly the boat is in a relative good condition and seemingly priceworthy.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:15   #4
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The close cousin boat Tartansail refers to is probably the Deb33, although the S&S34 is also a close stablemate.

I second all that Tartansail writes. I'll also add that this boat very quickly goes to looking like hell, if money and attention are not lavished on her. Kept painted and varnished, this boat easily rivals a Hinckley in beauty, but it's generally not a rich-mans boat, and they get to looking tired fast. See this months "Good Old Boat" where they did a write-up featuring one of the nicer examples out there.

Other complaints are some of the frankly cheap detailing you'll find on still original models. The original salon table is a cheap-looking formica (especially surrounded by all the teak in the rest of the cabin), and the cabinets and overhead are originally made of a type of cardboard. This is all easily replaced, of course.

Finally, resale value is low, no matter what you do to her. It's a classic, but not a "romantic" in the sense of a Pilot35. I've seen ones that have completely gone to hell that sell for under $15K, and absolute gems that are in better than new condition with shiny bronze fittings and ports, new awlgrip and the like, that only fetch $25-30K. It's a boat for enthusiasts.

I'm highlighting the critical, only because it's easy to find praise for this model. It's a great boat with a solid pedigree. If I lost mine to a hurricane or something, I'd go hunt down another.

Best luck.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:26   #5
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Blueorange.

Tartan34C Review
http://www.sparkmanstephens.info/doc...CcIaGK6bvY.pdf

Good Old Boat ➥ Good Old Boat - Welcome to Good Old Boat Magazine
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:55   #6
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I would suggest the low resale value may not apply to T34 overseas since the market for them is entirely different (rare). There are hundreds of them on the US east coast, in a large array of varying price and condition.

I looked at a few of them when I was boat shopping, the one's in my price range were in pretty poor condition (mostly rotten decks), but I otherwise loved the design and layout. I ended up with a Tartan 30 for the same reasons I liked the 34... The market is flooded with them and they are very low priced considering the pedigree design and above average build quality. They're great boats when found in good condition.

I'd look into the details of the Atlantic crossing in that boat, find out what (if any) upgrades and changes were made for their offshore preparations. Most boats in this class are rarely offshore ready and require at least a few upgrades, so hopefully they were cautious owners and made a bunch upgrades for you

The Tartan owners groups are very informative and active. Seems that most people really love their Tartans

Good luck.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:01   #7
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Thanks for digging those up, Gord. You are certainly a master at finding good resources. George Colligan was a huge supporter of the Tartan 34c and a tireless resource to his fellow owners. Unfortunately, he died suddenly not long after the review you cited was written. George was a stickler for detail so I'm surprised that the picture of Sunshine was included. Sunshine is a T34-2, a later S&S design from the mid-1980's. It is also a wonderful boat, but substantially different than the one discussed in the review.

And to Blueorange, I agree with anotherT34C. These boats are a bargain if you find a good one, but some have been neglected and most will need work. The purchase price doesn't touch what it takes to get a project boat into the kind of condition the best of the breed have achieved. If you can buy one that has been well maintained and restored you will be getting a terrific bargain.
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Old 08-01-2011, 13:14   #8
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If that is Colligan's boat, it's had a total rebuild by a knowledgable, skilled and dedicated owner. George worked on upgrading the boat for years and then suddenly died when he had done about everything you can do to make T34c better. His widow sold the boat to someone from northern Europe IIRC and boat went there.

I was looking to buy a T34c about the time George died and had been following his work on his boat via the T34c owner's group. I thought about buying it but it was on the wrong coast and I wasn't quite ready to pull the trigger on another boat purchase at the time. Remember thinking the new owners got a hell of a boat. The T34c owners site is probably the best website for support for any boat out there. They were a great help whenever I had any questions about the design. Unfortunately, couldn't find one on the Left Coast so ended up buying a Pearson 35. I'm happy with the boat but still feel the T34c is a better design and was available with a tiller. Hate the wheel on my P35.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:54   #9
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Again,thanks a lot for valuable information and inputs. The owner has responded well to my questions,which are based on all good advice I have recieved on the forum. I will take a physical look at her in two weeks time.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:06   #10
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If that T34C is Temujin (Cooligan's boat) I'd snap it up, sight unseen. George has been sort of my posthumous guide, and set the standard I and others try to follow with our own projects.

While George's death just prior to departure was a tragic and cautionary tale, he was of a breed that loved working on boats just as much as sailing them, and he achieved much enjoyment in bringing Temujin to an almost sublime perfection.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:25   #11
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She is a great little boat and I have sailed one both racing in the bay and offshore where she performed well in a F7. She would be a great boat for the Baltic but I would not buy one if I was planning to go offshore in the North Sea.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:41   #12
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Hi Phil

Well, currently her homewaters are the Swedish west coast. If I am not missinformed the owner has many times sailed her on the northsea....I guess she is one,if not the only,of very few Tartans away from her homewaters.

cheers
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Old 10-01-2011, 15:46   #13
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When I am in a keel boat in the North Sea I like lots of lead and I like it deep...and the centre board Tartan does not have that. In the Bahamas and the Caribbean I am delighted to sail the Tartan.

You need to research the stability curves.
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Old 10-01-2011, 16:45   #14
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One other thing to look out for is the mast step. Make sure it isn't rotten and corroded.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:48   #15
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Blue,

The Tartan 34 is one of the best family racer/cruisers every built and I have sailed on a friend's in several races including the Sol de Sol from Florida to Mexico in a F7. I love the boat and would be happy to own one for cruising the US east coast, the Bahamas and Caribbean. I have a 78 yr-old friend who is presently doing that very safely.

However, I have crossed the North Sea in a F8 gusting F9 and would not have wanted to be there in a centerboard racer/cruiser. However if I had to be there in one it would be a Tartan 34C!

However, if you read the enclosed you might decide that I am wrong and just prejudiced about deep keels .

http://www.sparkmanstephens.info/doc...CcIaGK6bvY.pdf

Happy sailing
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