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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-09-2011 10:19 PM
fscottnich I'm unfamiliar with the Tartan, but I bought a new French-built 1999 Bene 311 in '99. It had the Yanmar 2GM20, a 2 cylinder which my son and I renamed Yammermar. The boat sailed beautifully, looked great, was well maintained, handled lots of rough seas on Chesapeake Bay, including one brief bout with 50+knots, but motored horribly. I had to have the engine overhauled twice, once for blown rings, the second for a broken crankshaft. Shortly after buying it (less than a year later), I wished I had bought a bigger boat. Buy the biggest damn boat you can possibly afford. In 2008, I bought a new 393. Watch us on youtube at Nicholsquarters.
06-04-2011 09:57 AM
Originally Posted by DanBR View Post

I think I am going to go with the newer boat, but if that offer falls through here are the results on a lot of the questions you addressed
The Tartan 31 is in very good condition as far as the hull, interior, cosmetically, and I've been told there have never been any blisters. The negative part is that it has original sails and mast. The standing rigging was replaced 12 years ago and the running rigging is very stiff. The bottom was painted 18 months ago.

I know I will have to replace the sails. What will that cost?

Do I have to replace the mast? How much is that?

Do I have to replace the standing rigging that was replaced 12 years ago. If so, How much is that?

How much is it to replace the running rigging?

How much is the bottom painting?
If you are newish to sailing and are asking all these questions I'm gonna start by asking you one; Why are you sure the sails need replacing? The surveyor will look at them and give you some advice at the survey (or you can pull them out and go over them yourself. If they are "OK" but should be replaced soon, just sail the boat with them for a month or two while you get used to your new boat. I'd rather FUBAR an old sail while getting to know my boat than a brand spanking new one. You may even find that the old sails fit your needs for a year or two, or three...

The price of sails varies. You can probably replace them for less than $4000 if you shop around or get creative, maybe as low as $3000. There are reasonable ways to save money if you are not going to race or go offshore.

Only a survey can tell you for sure if you need to replace the mast. The odds of that being the case are very low. If you where to walk the boat yards and look for 30 year old Tartans with new masts, you would be hard pressed to find one and if you did it I"m willing to bet it was because of a catastrophic accident rather than wear and tear.

Your surveyor will tell you all about the rigging and what, if anything needs to be replaced. The standing rigging on my C&C 30 passed the survey at 30 yrs old. I replaced it anyway. Find a local rigger that people at your yard trust. Some of these guys race/sail with their customers so they build relationships. That's the kind of guy you want working on your boat.

If running rigging passes the survey but it's "about time" for an upgrade, this is something you don't need to do all at once. Halyards are easier to do if the mast is down, but, most anything can be done as needed.

Advice on bottom paint would be to buy the best you can find. Wait for a sale if you can. The more you spend, the less work you have to do at haul out.

I'm ass u ming you are not going off shore and you don't mind doing some of the work yourself. If the boat is to be "yard maintained" then all bets are off as to pricing. If you are planning on sailing across oceans then throw out all of the above advice and plan on upgrading everything.
06-04-2011 07:09 AM
Don0190 I thnk the OP should just keep looking for a boat! All the newer verse older, high production vers lower production (there're both production boats) etc etc is just fine and good things to think of.

But it in the end if you are doing all this it means neither boat talks to your heart. Listen to your heart some!
06-04-2011 06:38 AM
TropicCat It depends on what you plan on doing with the boat. If you're a weekend sailor with an entertainment budget, buy the Benneteau.

Beneteaus are very pretty, Tartans are a much better built boat. If it were me, I'd examine the spreader mast connection on the Tartan then note the engine hours. If less than 5000 hours and the spreader mast connections show no corrosion, and all other things were even, I'd make an offer on the Tartan less what new 1 x19 wire and staylocks would cost to replace the standing rigging.
05-29-2011 11:17 PM
311 owner

I may be bias and I have never sailed a Tartan. However, I just purchased an 01 Beneteau 311 with lazy jack system and solid Keel. The thing is fast and stable. It virtually sails itself, with just the right amount of windward helm. I don't know who is telling you that the Tartan is a better boat. What is the PHRF on the Tartan? The Beneteau is 141 which makes it very competitive for its class. I really like the full toe rail and the aft rail seats on the 311. I would only buy a boat with a Yanmar diesel I don't trust the other brands. I added another battery under the sink to handle the nav equipment and refrigerator compressor more effectively. I would go with the Beneteau.
05-29-2011 09:52 AM
sailguy40 I personally would go with the Beneteau since its a decade and a half newer and I just love the way they look both inside and out. It has that bling, bling kind of style when you pull up to a dock, if you know what I mean
05-22-2011 06:35 AM
prroots We went through a similar decision making process deciding between a 1988 Sabre and a 2001 Beneteau. We ended up buying the Beneteau. Sometimes we wonder if we made the right decision, but the jury is still out. Here are some of the negatives we've discovered about the Beneteau:
  • A grid is used instead of conventional construction and you can't inspect the hull beneath the grid. Also water tends to collect under the grid and the limber holes are not well placed to allow the water to drain to the sump with bilge pump
  • In 5 foot plus seas the bow tends to slam down off of waves making a huge noise with very large shock
  • One cannot safely walk through salon while underway since there are no handholds along the centerline (or close to it)
  • No lee cloths
  • Terrible access to wiring for adding things and/or replacing existing (corroded) wires
  • Very large cockpit with insufficient handholds
The positives are:
  • Much newer boat with good spars and standing rigging
  • Much more space for entertaining
  • Nice swim platform (sugar scoop)
Basically, the Beneteau is not optimized for making offshore passages, but is very nice for entertaining at the dock (or coastal sailing). The opposite would be true of Sabre. Therefore, it all comes down to how you plan to use the boat. Since we are now getting older and plan to spend more time at marinas, we do not necessarily regret our decision.
05-22-2011 05:46 AM
WDS123 The reason behind thinking the spars will need to be replaced:

After 30 years, every single connection on the rig is going to be suspect. The spars maybe ALU but the fittings will be SS. The mast head, mast step, and every single rivet/screw will all be sources of galvanic action.

I am speculating the last time the rig was throughly checked was 12 years ago when the shrouds were replaced.
05-22-2011 03:30 AM
mitiempo I doubt the mast and boom would need replacing unless damaged. Especially if the boat was not raced hard. The rigging at 12 years is a maybe, depending on condition.
05-22-2011 12:14 AM
tomandchris Decide which boat makes your heart happy and then make your decision. I would not assume anything until you look closely at the boat, make your decision, and then offer and survey. You can then re-negotiate based on the survey if it brings up anything critical.

A 20 something boat with original sails has probably not been sailed hard so let a surveyor ( a good one!) tell you what you are looking at. None of us has seen the boat and anything said is an assumption. You don't make purchase decisions on assumptions! Just make certain that you have money in the kitty to fix what your surveyor tells you plus a back up for the unexpected.

Good Luck!
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