The two boats are functional equivalents. Nothing to choose between them on design grounds or grounds of fitness for purpose for a newbie learning
the ropes in the Salish Sea.
So it comes down to soundness of construction. By reputation the Tartan wins in this department. IMO the Tartan has a better designed keel
and a sounder rudder
arrangement. For a newbie leaning the ropes in a 30-footer of this nature, the tiller steering
has it all over wheel steering
on several grounds, some of them related to ease of leaning critical aspects of boat handling, some of them related to sturdiness. The Tartan's skeg hung rudder
is MUCH to be preferred to the Newport's cantilever design, particularly in the Salish Sea where the danger
, particularly for a newbie, of tangling with sundry lines for crab traps and other such detritus, including "deadheads" (floating, almost invisible logs) is ever-present.
To dicky up a 4 ton boat with wheel steering with all the associated mechanical complexities and expense is best described IMO as "daft". In terms of sailing enjoyment it is simply counterproductive.
beats the Universal hollow. Going without a dodger, and best of all a hard one, in the Salish Sea is also daft. Having a dodger probably doubles the number of days in a year when you can sail comfortably. You don't need a heater. There is no such thing a bad weather
— only wrong clothing
:-)! Forget about treating the bunks as you would beds. Go to Mountain Equipment
Coop and buy an "arctic" sleeping bag that will keep you snug down to forty below!
potty in the Newport
is nowt but a stinky nuisance. I should know. I have one. You cannot, as far as I recall
, have a pump head
in a Washington
State boat without having a "holding tank" fitted with a diverter valve that CAN BE LOCKED when you are in waters where pumping is not allowed.
A whizz over the side is the done thing hereabouts. Sailing, because of the long periods of sitting still, conduces to constipation. As a newbie you will likely be day sailing
- maybe several days in a row, but day sailing
nevertheless, and you will find plenty of facilities ashore. On the Canadian side you can pump
when you are 3 miles from shore, and the tide is falling. That includes dumping a bucket. Timing is everything ;-)!
On every count I can think of, the Tartan wins hands down, even to the point of having 9" less beam than the Newport, which is likely to mean than over-pressed in the manner newbies often over-press their boats, the Tartan will be better behaved and perhaps a little more forgiving.
All the best to you :-)!