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  #1  
Old 01-02-2011
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Need Tartan 34C opinions please

I have finally found a beautiful Tartan 34C that is within the budget. I would appriciate any pearls of wisdom any owners can share.
I plan to cruise the upper Chesapeake.
Are there any concerns one should be aware of when looking at this model?
My main intial concern is that while the engine placement gives great access, I worry that it would also cause the below decks to heat up in the summer when I will be using her. The Bay is noted for hot windless summers. In Maine I would not be as concerned.
Thanks for sharing all your experience.
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Old 01-02-2011
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See this month's issue of Good Old Boat. The article starts on page 42.
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Old 01-02-2011
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The Tartan 34C is capable of crossing oceans if you are up to it and your boat is prepared. Cruising the upper Chessy in a T34C should be a blast. The center board will allow you get into many shallow anchorages that deeper keels will not permit.
Potential issues with this boat:
- chain plates; these can go bad and need to be re-done
- standing rigging; if it is old it may need to be replaced
- center board pennant; this is important, especially on the shallow Chessy. If the lowering/raising mechanism fails you may not be able to get back to your home port.
- engine; has it been replaced or is it still an Atomic 3 or 4?
- sails; new or needing new canvas?

TARTAN 34 C Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com

Disclaimer: I have never been on a T34C but I am a Tartan 27' owner from the same era (1967) and I like the build quality that Tartan put into their boats. I like to think that the T34 is the larger cousin to my own boat which also has a center board and garnered Tartan a niche in the retail market as the 'Cadillac' of sailboats in their time.
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Old 01-03-2011
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Thank you both. I saw the article in GOB. Unfortunately there was no mention of the functional aspects of the unusual engine location. Does it heat up the salon? Do exhuast fumes get drawn up the sides?
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Old 01-03-2011
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go to Tartan 34 owners sight and you will get more info than you can handle almost bought one about 6 yrs ago but had a lot of delam issues (they are balsa cored above water line) around the whole hull. (note this was a really neglected boat) good luck
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Old 01-03-2011
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larry
Exhaust should never enter the boat regardless of engine location. If it does there is a serious problem.
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Old 01-03-2011
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The engine location is fantastic for easy access and causes no issues with heat. If you are concerned about heat, you can always add extra insulation around the inside of the dog house. All of these boats came with a bilge blower that could be used to pull any excess heat out of the cabin while the engine is running if you find it is an issue and if the blower is still there. (Yes, diesel powered boats came with it too for some reason.) The engine location also provides for a huge storage space below the cockpit sole. My boat has the hot water tank and engine batt. located there along with additional storage space. Only problem with the engine location is walking around it while someone is in the galley trying to cook. Its a minor inconvenience.

Only real areas of concern would be to check the foredeck for any gelcoat cracks and/or delamination issues, particularly around the the forward edge of the coach roof and around the pulpit. The CB pivot pin can be an issue, but many - most of these boats have likely had it replaced already. Check to see if it has been done. If not it will likely need it in the not too distant future. Not a huge job, but a bit of a pain in the back side. inside CB controls are easy to fix if there are any issues. CB drooping below the trunk is a very common problem, but I have found it is easy to fix with some minor adjustments on the cable/winch. Lower rudder bearing is reported by some owners to need replacing, but I haven't had any issues with it. Check the rubber exhaust muffler that is located under the chart table. They are getting old and can fail allowing exhaust and cooling water to dump into the boat. Replacement mufflers are no longer available, but there are ways around it.

There are still quite a few parts available from Tartan if needed.

Other than that just look for the usual old boat issues mentioned above regarding the rig.
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Old 01-03-2011
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The Tartan 34 is one of my favorite boats of this size from this period. For that era, it was a great mix of decent accommodations, good performance, moderately shoal draft, and good construction.

Obviously their performance won't match a more modern design, but they still are pretty lively sailors.

I don't think that the Tartan 34 engine position is any worse than any other 34 footer in terms radiating heat into the cabin. At best, you can buy the foil faced engine room insulation which makes some difference in terms of heat and noise. I can't recall whether the C has a vee-drive but vee drives can be a pain in the butt.

Jeff
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Old 01-03-2011
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Well there you have it.
Jeff_H is one of the most respected members here with a broad knowledge of vessel construction and sailing characteristics. He does not hand out praise easily.
There was a great old gent here named Robert Gainer who had a T34 that he was prepping for a trans Atlantic journey. He never got to take that journey though and died a few years ago in his late 50's. There is at least one book about or by him on Amazon.com. He sailed a 20 something foot boat to England when he was in his 20's. There are many other stories of course. He had faith in his T34 or was it a T37?
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Old 01-06-2011
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We have a later model Tartan 34-2 (1985) purchased 2009

Quote:
chain plates; these can go bad and need to be re-done
Did it...and it turned out to be a PITA of a job since the '85 only has access to the chain plate by crawling through the lazarette.

Also have cut a lot of wet balsa and replaced with fiberglass around the partners.


But all said we really love the boat . Tons of older generation Tartans here on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The early models have much respect from the sailing community.

Last edited by dergon; 01-06-2011 at 05:53 AM.
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