Which sails better - Tartan 27 or Pearson Triton? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-26-2010
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Which sails better - Tartan 27 or Pearson Triton?

These are a couple boats I see on the market from time to time at attractive prices, and though I am not ready to buy right now, both seem reasonable candidates for a smallish first cruiser.

Obviously condition counts, and these are old boats, survey, survey, survey, but which actually sails better? Or perhaps said: what is the difference between the way they sail? They look more than a little similar... long keels but not full, 21 1/2' LWL, 8'+ beam...

Pearson Triton: slightly deeper keel (3'11"), higher ballast/displacement (~43%), slightly lighter, shallower forefoot

Tartan 27: shallower keel (3'2") with less ballast, but has a 6'+ centerboard, slightly finer bow, maybe larger foresail

A bunch of numbers, but out on the water...
  • Which points higher?
  • Which stands up to its sails better?
  • Which handles better downwind?

And finally, are their sailing characteristics so dated they would get passed on the water by a neophyte sailor on a Catalina 27 with badly trimmed sails?

Thx
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Old 09-27-2010
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Has anyone on here sailed both?
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Old 09-27-2010
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I have day-sailed and raced both the Triton and the Tartan 27 at various times in my life, including literally sailing both in a single weekend. It is not very hard to really answer the question which one sails better. The Tartan 27 is significantly faster on all points of sail, especially is you use the centerboard strategically (lowering it upwind, partially raised on a heavy air reach to balance the helm, and raising it all the way on a run). The Tartan points higher and sails better on a run. The Tartan easily beat the Triton around the race course and Tartan typically beat the Triton on corrected time. I raced on both and thought the skippers were pretty even.

Because of the smaller jibs and chutes, the fractional rig sail plan on the Triton is slightly easier to handle (but in fairness I am also a big fan of fractional rigs). But in reality, with the stiff spar and deck hardware that is typically found on the Triton, the Triton really is not all that much easier to sail than a Tartan despite its fractional rig.

But most significantly, the Tartan has a much more comfortable motion, both in terms of roll and pitch. I personally strongly dislike the motion of a Triton, especially in a chop. Also the Tritons need to be sailed a higher heel angles to achieve a reasonable speed which I find uncomfortable and tiring.

The build quality on the Tartans were much better and general detailing was much betterthan the Tritons as well. To me, personally I really enjoy sailing the Tartan 27's in most conditions; they are truly well-rounded designs. I would take a Tartan 27 (that is in good shape) offshore without hesitation. I would never want to go offshore in a Triton and don't enjoy sailing them in anything other than moderate conditions.

In terms of absolute speed, a Catalina 27 will be significantly faster on all points of sail than both of these boats, but they are not as well built as the Tartans and in some ways but not all, were not as well built as the Triton.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 09-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I have day-sailed and raced both the Triton and the Tartan 27 at various times in my life, including literally sailing both in a single weekend. It is not very hard to really answer the question which one sails better. The Tartan 27 is significantly faster on all points of sail, especially is you use the centerboard strategically (lowering it upwind, partially raised on a heavy air reach to balance the helm, and raising it all the way on a run). The Tartan points higher and sails better on a run. The Tartan easily beat the Triton around the race course and Tartan typically beat the Triton on corrected time. I raced on both and thought the skippers were pretty even.

Because of the smaller jibs and chutes, the fractional rig sail plan on the Triton is slightly easier to handle (but in fairness I am also a big fan of fractional rigs). But in reality, with the stiff spar and deck hardware that is typically found on the Triton, the Triton really is not all that much easier to sail than a Tartan despite its fractional rig.

But most significantly, the Tartan has a much more comfortable motion, both in terms of roll and pitch. I personally strongly dislike the motion of a Triton, especially in a chop. Also the Tritons need to be sailed a higher heel angles to achieve a reasonable speed which I find uncomfortable and tiring.

The build quality on the Tartans were much better and general detailing was much betterthan the Tritons as well. To me, personally I really enjoy sailing the Tartan 27's in most conditions; they are truly well-rounded designs. I would take a Tartan 27 (that is in good shape) offshore without hesitation. I would never want to go offshore in a Triton and don't enjoy sailing them in anything other than moderate conditions.

In terms of absolute speed, a Catalina 27 will be significantly faster on all points of sail than both of these boats, but they are not as well built as the Tartans and in some ways but not all, were not as well built as the Triton.

Respectfully,
Jeff
I have always been a fan of tartans. I used to sail on one with a friend. It had a hard life with almost no maintenance done to it and it was still in good shape. It was completely beat up but all things considering...

How far offshore would you trust the Tartan 27?
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Old 09-29-2010
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If the boat was in good condition and properly prepped and provisioned, as far as I wanted to go offshore......

Jeff
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Old 09-29-2010
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Just a few clarifications. At least one Triton has circumnavigated(sv Atom) and it traces kinship in design to Folkboats. It has a good bridge deck and a small cockpit that, even pooped, is small enough so as to not be a threat to the boat. It'll harden up around 15 degrees but even when the rail dips, water doesn't enter the cabin (at least not via the cockpit. The hull/deck joint is another matter for either boat) The Tartan 27, designed under MORC, is also a good sea boat, and would appear to have the edge in performance. Can't see you going wrong either way.
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