Sailing impressions Catalina 400 Mk II, Sabre 402, Tartan 40 - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 02-25-2011
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Sailing impressions Catalina 400 Mk II, Sabre 402, Tartan 40

I would be grateful to to those who would provide their impressions of sailing aboard the above noted boats, particularly to those who have sailed these boats in varying wind conditions.
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Old 02-25-2011
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Originally Posted by Stickman View Post
I would be grateful to to those who would provide their impressions of sailing aboard the above noted boats, particularly to those who have sailed these boats in varying wind conditions.
I crewed on a Tartan 40 with the Sheel Keel for the better part of 3 seasons. On the Chesapeake the boat rates a 114 (don't know about the k/cb version), and I don't think our boat was ever quite that fast despite newish Quantum racing sails and lots of tweaks for racing. However, I would have loved to cruise this boat. I thought the boat was fast, roomy and posessed classic good looks. I sailed on the boat in light conditions where it suffered in racing from its heavy displacement relative to other boats in its class. I also raced it in heavier air (20+ kts) where it excelled beating into the famous Chesapeake chop and handled it with aplomb. The boat was easy to balance and I rarely felt we needed to put in a reef to alieve weather helm (we NEVER reefed or reduced sail in my time on the boat).

In short, I love the Tartan 40 and would love to own one. I intially felt it was a bit cramped for a 40'er until doing an overnight race beating into 20+ knots of wind. I then learned its good to have stuff to brace on as you move about below decks. A huge "dance floor" looks great at the boatshow dock, but no so much when you haven't slept in 20 hours and are being tossed about trying to make your way to the head. I would have prefered if the head was aft, but you can't have everything and this boat offers a lot in a high quality package. Its susceptable to all the foiables of boats of its vintage, but was built when Tartan was delivering an unquestionably good product. The boat I crewed on was a veteran of several Annapolis-Newports and Annapolis-Bermuda's so the boat is a proved offshore performer.

Its the oldest design in your list by a pretty good margin and will have the most traditional interior, but it should also be available at a lower price than the newer C400 and certainly a hell of a lot less than a Sabre 402.
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Old 02-25-2011
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Old 02-25-2011
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I have a C400 MKII.

She is surefooted, needs a reef around 20-22 kts. Have only sailed up to 30-35 kts and that was downwind - she did just fine.

Speed record is 9.2 kts thru the water.

Best boat Catalina ever built - get one!
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Old 02-25-2011
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I think one of the things you have to consider in the price difference is how much of it is from really fancy woodwork with 15 coats of varnish VS things in the build that make one the boats superior to the other
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Thanks DOg... I will tryand catch up and post on this soon.

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Old 03-01-2011
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Sorry for the late reply. Life, and all that.

First thing I don't understand is why you threw in the Tartan 40 with the newer model boats? Did you mean a 4XXX/4100? I have not seen a 4000, but raced against a 4100. Nice boat, but do your homework first and go to this sailing site and ask them about Tartan: Anything Sailing Forum We cannot discuss it on this forum.

As far as the Sabre vs Catalina, I will mention a few things then refer you to an indepth discussion I had about these on this page: Sabre 42- comments appreciated vs IP

I like Sabres. Great finishout. THere are some things about the 402 that I don't like for my use (cabin arrangement, water/diesel cap/a few other nitpicks). You will probably be able to review many of those on the link.

Like stated above, I relaly think the C400 MKII is the best of the Catalina line. I feel that those who categorize Catalinas negatively have probably not spent any time on that model. She is fast, sure footed, well finished out, and very comfortable. The cost will be a bit less than a comparable Sabre, but not considerably less. You will probably not find a lot of them for sale because the owners tend to hang on to them (especially with the new ones outrageously expensive... but so are the Sabres and Tartans). Another boat to consider that I have not had the privelege of sailing is the Catalina Morgan 445, which is like the bigger sister to the 400. But the cost of that boat would likely be more than either the Sabre or the Tartan. I would also look into an X.

I could say a bunch about the boat, but I will let you take a look at the links first.

Brian
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