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Old 09-03-2015, 18:35   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: South Puget Sound
Boat: 1979 Tanzer 8.5, 28'
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Tanzer 8.5. Any Experience?

Last summer I purchased my first "big" boat. I grew up sailing a 17 foot "heavy" dinghy. It had a lead keel and regular rigging, so moving up to a 28 footer was rather painless. I live aboard my tanzer, and was wondering if anyone has experience with them. In particular, I was wondering about opinions of its coastal cruising capabilities. Living in Puget Sound, its pretty easy to start dreaming big.

Here is a link to its basic info on sailboat data:

TANZER 8.5 sailboat specifications and details on

My boat still has the original sails, I use the original main every day and a bigger genoa for the south sound's light airs. So everything is pretty close to the original spec.

Any info or experience with this boat would be super awesome. Thanks.
S.V. Peacekeeper
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:39   #2
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Re: Tanzer 8.5. Any Experience?

“... One minor problem with this boat is that the cutout for the windows are a bit too long without a support at the mid-point. This eventually causes the window frames to flex and leak water into the boat. Owners can easily correct this by bolting a small support between the top and bottom of the window (at the mid-point) inside the cabin.”
Tanzer 8.5 - Used Sailboat Market in Canada
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"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 10-03-2015, 06:47   #3
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Location: Elmvale, Ontario
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Re: Tanzer 8.5. Any Experience?

Jon, I had the pleasure of owning hull#53 built in 1981 from 1998 until 2012. We put over 10000 NM under her keel in fresh water. Issues were limited and easily overcome throughout our time with her. The current owner is happy to have her. We never had the leaking side window issue as we replaced the gasket which was available at the time. The overhead ports were strongly built Atkins and Hoyle units, not pretty but damned rugged. Moisture had risen around the stanchion bases so we bored out the deck core and filled the voids with thickened epoxy. What we found was that the stanchion bases were open based allowing the tube stainless to grind on the deck. Put in big SS washers to mitigate the future abrasion. In her time she was wide and had good headroom along with freeboard which was a bit tricky for docking in some crosswinds. She surveyed well before we sold her.
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Old 10-03-2015, 17:37   #4
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Location: South Puget Sound
Boat: 1979 Tanzer 8.5, 28'
Posts: 8
Re: Tanzer 8.5. Any Experience?

Thanks for the feedback guys.
As far as the windows of, mine has fiberglass supports in the middle. All one piece with the deck so I don't know if they fixed the problem or if someone beat me to it. I've seen that info before somewhere, so I looked at that before buying, but I'll be damned if I can remember where I saw it. Thanks again though.

Also it's nice to see that someone has put that many miles on their boat, especially this one so I can kinda see what to expect. I'm guessing you guys sailed on the great lakes? Hard to imagine that many miles anywhere else in freshwater.

I don't get to take her very far, apparently between the two of us, we are the anti wind. Breeze blowing nice, sailes go up an the wind totally dies. Can't even make the yarn on the shrouds wiggle lol.
Perhaps I'll start using that to the benefit of others. When a storm comes up, I'll go sailing and calm it right down.
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