Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New England USA
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Tartan 37 vs Morgan 384
I was employed in the late ''70s to early 80''s at a marina that sold Tartan''s, Santana''s, Hunter''s, and Siedelman''s. As a rigger and elecronics installer I crawled all over these boats and delivered quite a few of them. Forget the Siedelmans, pure junk. The Santana''s were pretty, but so lightly built we doubted that they would survive more than 10 years of service. It was evident the Hunter was the price leader, using lots of chopper gun applied glass where most of the boats of the day were still using hand-laid glass, in addition to their marginal equipment specs. The Tartans were the heaviest, and had the highest equipment level of the group, and also the most expensive by a margin of 25% or more. The vast majority of Tartan 37''s have a centerboard, which may or may not be a benefit to you. It will give superior pointing, when down, but you also have to worry about it''s mechanicals. I delivered a few where there were problems right out of the box. Plus, if you go "Bump" on a coral head... pretty costly.
The Morgan 384 is a pretty nice Ted Brewer design. With a robust keel, and an interior not that far off from the Tartan. Make sure you stay away from the later Morgan 38''s, not a keel stepped rig, and more of a coastal cruiser.
My 2 cents for what it is worth.