Tartan 42 Is Sea Kindly
I live in Rhode Island and have owned a 1981 Tartan 42 since 2005. Over the past summers my wife and I have cruised twice in Maine and just this past July the two of us sailed her short-handed from Newport to Bermuda and return (we have a Monitor wind vane). I am 68 years old and my wife 66 years old.
Frankly, I find it difficult to understand why the boat is dismissed as difficult to sail. We have had her out in conditions up to 40 knots and she takes it a lot better than her crew. As with most big boats, you just need to reef down before it gets too dicey.
The Tartan 42 was extremely well built. From what I have seen on the internet they can be purchased as low as $80,000 to $90,000. There is a boat in South Carolina that has been on the market for almost two years which might even go for less than this. Assuming these boats are in reasonable shape that is a real bargain.
If I have a complaint, it would be the pinched stern and small cockpit. However, the bridge deck and small cockpit are a real bonus if you are going offshore.