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Thread: Tartan 33 or Pearson 323? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-24-2011 09:39 PM
Frmreilly I own a P323 and here are my thoughts

Deep hull makes it ride like a caddy
Universal diesel smooth/reliable but can barely get me to 6pm with a clean bottom
Nice roomy interior
Comfortable head/shower
Nice galley

Shrouds make walking around the deck cumbersome and keep me from hauling the jib as tightly as I would want to point well
4.5 foot draft means the boat heels quickly and then locks in
No helm seat
Small table
03-26-2011 05:17 PM
T33 vs 323

I owned a 323 for 10 years and felt the boat was built like a tank. For a relatively heavy boat she sails quite well in light air and handles heavy air very well also. She doesn't point as well as I would have liked but that goes with the shoal draft and lack of inboard sheeting. The T33 will definitly be the faster of the 2.
I recently looked at a couple T33'S and think they don't stack up well as far as layout goes (very poor IMHO).
The engine can be a problem as many came with a Volvo diesel which I have been warned by my mechanic can be very costly to maintain if problems arise. If you pass on a $17,000.00 323 I would appreciate knowing where she is because I am considering buying another one.
Thank you and good luck.
Nauti Jo
02-08-2011 11:03 AM
bugbitten What looks like a patch to rear of the keel is actually part of how the keel is assembled. It's not a repair.

We are going to put in a pretty low offer on the Tartan, thinking the Pearson could be a good buy as an alternative, given what the broker thinks it might go for (under 10!), but it's going to need a lot more than running rigging to get it on the water, I suspect. The broker did say the Pearson was out sailing at the end of last season and that the Volvo ran well at that point.

Actually, I reread that note and the 323 has been sitting at the pier for about a year; however, they did run the diesel back in October before winterizing it.

Lots of bottom growth!
02-08-2011 10:30 AM
neoxaero On the 323 I think I would be concerned about crevis corrosion on the chain plates for the shrounds. The sealant job looks sketchy at best and has probably been that way for a long time.

Although looking at the boat I think if you could get it cheaper than what its listed for it may be worth purchasing it

The tartan looks good over all but it looks like the joint at the stub and keel is cracked - I would be concerned theres some water intrusion to the keel bolts (but i very well could be wrong and who knows what the bottom of the pearson looks like)

The tartan needs new running rigging

After looking at both boats - Unless you could get the pearson for an insanely low price and a survey doesn't find any hugely expensive problems with it - I would go with the Tartan - It looks like its been maintained a hell of a lot better than the Pearson
02-08-2011 04:03 AM
bugbitten Paul,

I suspect that, were the two boats in similar condition, we'd lean toward the Pearson, too. Seems to have more character (which, of course, means more sanding and varnishing) and just feels more comfortable below. I like the heavier displacement and better tankage, too, although I'm not sure about that engine access! If we don't jump on what may be a bargain price for the T33, we may go look at what seems to be a much nicer P323 in Connecticut. I've been owing my brother in law in New Haven a visit, anyway. What better excuse than boat ogling?

02-07-2011 10:09 AM
paul323 I have a 323, and am therefore biased...however in this case the Tartan may have the edge. Partly it's the price of the 323 - $17K is suspiciously cheap. And as I looked through the photos, there seemed to be plenty to check out/do...

A good bit of advice I got from a broker once - look at a new boat as a collection of parts, not a boat. Take a careful look at the equipment - sails, engine, mast, hardware, electrical, etc. What needs to be upgraded, replaced...the contents may well exceed the value of the boat! And if you are like many of us, when you have bought the boat there may not be a lot left over for those upgrades....

Pearson vs Tartan in identical condition - personally, both good boats, but I'd go for the Pearson. In this case....
02-07-2011 08:43 AM
bugbitten Here are links to the pictures I took of the two boats. I hope navigating the pages isn't too big a headache.

Tartan 33 #2

Pearson 323 Kinsale
02-06-2011 04:34 PM
bugbitten Folks,

I'm back from the trip to see the T33 and the P323. I may post a separate note about this in a new thread, but thought I should put an update here, first.

The T33 appears to be in beautiful shape, inside and out. It was out of the water, so I was able to look over the hull. No signs of blistering or hard groundings, etc., as least to these inexperienced eyes. None of the moisture damage around the base of the salon ports that the other T33 I looked at had. The ice box has been converted to a fridge; unfortunately, the stove and oven were removed to put in a hot plate and microwave. (One of the marina guys said he had the alcohol stove and oven from his Bristol 35 he'd let me have, for what that's worth.)

The P323 was something of a cosmetic mess. In the water, lots of growth on the hull, the above decks teak, especially the rub/toe rail, was rough, with some of it needing to be replaced. Oddly, I liked the interior layout, but all the cushions would have to be replaced.

I've got pictures I'll try to upload to a separate web page, along with additional details, but I need some advice as I feel I may need to make a quick offer on the T33.

It was originally offered at 29K, was dropped to 22, and is now owned by the bank after bankruptcy proceedings. I don't have to feel too guilty if I make a very low offer to the bank, do I? Any thoughts on where you'd start, contingent on a survey?

02-04-2011 01:28 PM


Just some random thoughts for you to consider (or not):
  • I'm pretty confident that the 323 for $17k is going to be junk. All the red flags are there - low price, owner moved away, entertaining all offers, etc. Take a look if you are going to be in the area, but don't seriously expect to buy that boat. As you have heard before, you want to buy something that you can sail now, not a project.
  • Unless you really know what you are doing, I would forget about buying a moisture meter. Do read all the information on this site about inspecting a boat. If you do find a boat that you like and appears to be in decent shape, then do the full inspection. If things appear in order then hire a surveyor and pay him for his knowledge. Just because a moisture meter may find water in a few spots in one boat and less in another boat doesn't really mean anything.
  • Do consider the boat and gear as a package, but also be sure to only include items that are valuable to you. New sails are a major plus, but a boat that was raced (many T33's have been) and comes with 3 spinnakers won't be of value to you. If you will aboard for a week or so, refrigeration is valuable, and installing a new one is big $$.
  • Try and find a good broker. Speak to lots of them and you'll see what I mean. Then listen to the broker. He will know a lot about boats. If he listens to you and knows what is important to you, he can find lots of boats that will meet your needs. There probably are a few other models out there besides Tartan and Pearson that would work for you.
  • Your goal should be to get a great boat at a good price. Not a questionable boat at a great price.
Good luck,
02-04-2011 10:41 AM
JimsCAL Note they have an ebay store with lower prices. Selection they have up varies, but send them an inquiry if you don't see what you want.
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