The Tartan 3700 is the newest in the line of luxury performance cruisers launched by Fairport Yachts. The idea behind the design was to start from a clean sheet of paper and a blank computer screen and build a fast, beautiful sailing vessel. The recent awards the boat has won since its launch suggest that designer Tim Jackett has a penchant for drawing lines that have done just that. Using his past success in this size range with the Tartan 37 and the Tartan 372, the designer knew that 37 feet was a proven size for families who both cruise and race. How to build a well-balanced sailer that optimizes power, speed, and luxurious accommodations? As in past vessels of the Tartan pedigree, the answer is in the details.
With her 12.63-foot beam, and Amish-crafted, varnished-cherry interior, it should be easy to find a comfortable spot whether at the dock, on the hook, or underway. Through a cherry door, two berths are located forward with hanging lockers, vanity, sink, and storage. Moving aft, a drop-leaf centerline table graces a U-shaped settee and is capable of seating eight around the table. This would be a good space to claim if one had already been usurped out of cabins fore and aft (usually the reviewerís case). Though the manufacturer touts two main cabins in the layout, the split V-berth and wide, unbroken double berth aft lets one know where the captainís quarters are located. The generous proportions of the vesselís wide transom amplify this spacious cabin. The L-shaped galley down the companionway to starboard is a galley slaveís dream with a three-burner, Force-10 gimbaled stove with oven, and broiler, a top and front loading refrigeration chamber, and an emphasis on counter space. A nine-inch-deep double sink is set nearly on the centerline, making for steady conditions when working underway. Immediately down the companionway to the port side, the nav station is within earshot of the helmsman and has well-thought-out room for charts and electronics, while aft of that the head and shower is connected to both the main cabin and the double-berthed aft cabin.
These spacious accommodations are contained in the hand-laid fiberglass hull, executed in alternating layers of strand mat and unidirectional E-glass. Past Tartans touted balsa coring as producing lighter, faster, and stronger boats, and the companyís vacuum-bagged composite construction continues that philosophy of limiting weight and enhancing performance. Solid glass reinforcing is used at all thru hulls, chainplates, and keel installations. The 6,000-pound fin keel is through-bolted to the hull with stainless steel bolts. A 38-horsepower diesel with a 16-inch, three-bladed propeller on a stainless shaft keeps things moving in the light spots. Depending on your cruising grounds and sailing needs, a centerboard, beavertail, or a fin-keel model is available with four-, five and seven-and-a quarter-foot drafts, respectively. The deck is constructed of fiberglass and polyester resin over a balsa-wood core.
A double-spreader aluminum rig is supported by oversize, 1x19 stainless steel wire. Wide side decks and inboard shrouds allow easy passage for deck work as well as efficient sheeting angles when sailing upwind. A low friction, mid-boom mainsheet system leads to a Harken self-tailing winch that allows easy trimming, with two reef lines led aft as well. The 728 square feet of sail (with a 100 percent foretriangle) keep the 18.2 sail area-to-displacement ratio leaning towards the performance side. The foam-cored, elliptical rudder blade and 40-inch, stainless steel destroyer wheel support this assessment, though in terms of ocean-going soundness, the three-and-a-half-inch- diameter rudder post and 27-inch stern rail and bow pulpit offer extra security for heavy air voyaging. An optional deep skeg is also available should protecting the rudder in the event of a grounding be more of a priority than winning races.
Base line price for the new 3700 is $179,000, which isnít too bad when compared to other out-of-the-box, moderate-displacement performance cruisers. This head-turner should be equally capable of taking a crew across the ocean or around the buoys. The agile but sea-kindly lines suggest the quality and performance the builder is known for.