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tominny 10-06-2011 02:42 PM

Tartan 34C - 1968 vs 1977

I am looking at two Tartan 34C and need to figure out which one is the better buy in the long run. Any help and insight would be much appreciated.

Boat A is 1968 with a 1984 Westerbeke with heat exchanger for freshwater cooling, is located 400 NM away from my port, has two soft deck spots for the past 10 years. New set of sails in 2001/2004.

Boat B is built 1977 and has the original saltwater-cooled Atomic 4, new carburator. New set of sails in 1998. Soft spots have been repaired and the topsides Awlgriped and done with new non-skid. i personally saw this boat and it looks 'clean'. It's a day-sail from my port.

Both are roughly the same price.
Basically, boat B seems to be in better shape, easier to grt to, but Boat A has the better motor. So, what do you think? Which one is more preferrable?

MarkCK 10-06-2011 04:05 PM

do you have any pics. they are worth a thousand words when it comes to judging what they look like.

tominny 10-06-2011 04:15 PM

T34C 10-06-2011 05:12 PM

Does the '68 have the original long boom? The newer boat looks to be in much better condition...except the engine.

I happen to know of a '73 that is going on the market in a matter of days. It is farther away from you, but a freshwater only boat with Westerbeke engine with approx. 1800 hrs., New sails 2011, yawl rigged (one of only 25 built) with new roller furling, updated interior, etc...

tominny 10-06-2011 05:36 PM

T34C: i got your message, but can't reply (need 15 posts apparently). You can email me at

CalebD 10-06-2011 05:39 PM

An Atomic 4 engine from 1977 would not scare me off. My A4 is from 1967 and still runs quite well if given enough TLC. Diesels also require some TLC from time to time as well.
If I were you I'd go look at the one in Pt. Jeff since it is not so far away.
Keep in mind the $19.5 K is the asking price. Any offer within 20 - 25% of the asking price should get the seller's attention.
Do not buy either of these without getting them inspected by a marine surveyor (@ $1K per report).

tominny 10-06-2011 05:47 PM

Thanks, CalebD. You don't think the ' 77 Atomic 4 will present many problems, even though it is saltwater-cooled?

T34C 10-06-2011 06:07 PM


Originally Posted by tominny (Post 783473)
T34C: i got your message, but can't reply (need 15 posts apparently). You can email me at

Will Do. You might want to change your email address to put it into a form that computers can't read to pick-up your email. ie. (at) instead of @ usually works.

CalebD 10-06-2011 07:41 PM


Originally Posted by tominny (Post 783482)
Thanks, CalebD. You don't think the ' 77 Atomic 4 will present many problems, even though it is saltwater-cooled?

My 1967 A4 is raw water cooled as well.
With a 1977 engine you might consider adding a heat exchanger for fresh water cooling (FWC) which should help extend the life of your engine.
When we got our T 27' I knew next to nothing about this engine. Upon having our first over heating episode I looked for a mechanic but found none (guess I did not look very hard). I did find the Moyer Marine website though: Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Home of the Afourians - Powered by vBulletin
and began my learning and understanding of these simple engines. I never intended to become a mechanic but doing all the work on it (so far) has saved us a boat load of dough and increased my confidence that I think I can fix any issues that might arise with it while afloat or at a dock, and if I can't figure out what to do the guys at the Moyer forum are a tremendous resource as is Don Moyer and Ken in the parts department.
If you don't mind being a 'hands on' (DIY) owner the Atomic 4 is a good choice.
Of course if you own a boat with a diesel engine it is also a good idea to learn about compression ignition engines as most 'mechanics' in our area charge about $80/hour for their time. That adds up pretty quickly if you do the math.

CalebD 10-06-2011 07:48 PM

By the way, an Atomic 4 from 1977 is considered a relatively recent engine as they stopped making them around 1983 or so. There are still 1000's of boats with these engines in them and a few are older then mine.

What T34C mentioned about having your email address printed out in full (in your 3rd post above) is true. Spam bots will find it and start filling your inbox with all kinds of crap. It would be best to go back and edit out the '@' in your email address and replace with '.at.' or even '*'. If you like getting spam then leave it as it is.

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