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Old 12-11-2001
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Tartan 37

We recently bought a 1984 Tartan 37 Centerboard and would like to hear from anyone who has raced on or against one. I understand the rating varies by quite a bit from region to region. Any info from performance, to rating, to comparable boats would be helpful.

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Old 12-11-2001
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Tartan 37

did you ask this question on the sailnet tartan e-mail group?
tartan 37 kimberlite
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Old 12-12-2001
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Tartan 37

I have raced against Tartan 37''s at the club level and cruise racing level. Their rating is generally set higher than it should because of the Tartan 37''s upwind ability in moderate air, which is actually pretty good. The problem is they are not that fast in light air or on other points of sail, so they are racing against a pretty stiff rating, especially in point to point racing where there tends to be a lot of reaching conditions and where more modern designs really excel. The Tartan 37''s stern is really shaped wrong for fast reaching speed. Her pinched transom results in a comparatively short run and sharply radiused aft buttock lines, which when combined with a the Tartan''s short waterline spell comparatively slow reaches.

They seem to do better in spinacker class races than in non-spin if there is a dead downwind leg. They have a comparatively large chute and with the board up, comparatively little drag and so can point dead down making pretty good VMG.

That does not apply in heavier winds where lighter boats can also point close to dead down and begin to surf or worse yet plane. That also does not apply in light air where the Tartan 37''s bulk hurts her.

So, unfortunately, even with a rating in the mid to high 130''s, (only 20 something sec''s a mile slower than the 3800 or 38) it is hard to do really well with the Tartan 37 as a race boat, except when the conditions are perfect. On the other hand these boats have their virtues off the race course that make them very appealing as cruisers in shoal draft venues.

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Old 07-09-2007
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We have owned and raced our Tartan 37 CB for 15 years now and do very well local club level races and larger long distance events. With the right equipment, strategy and tactics, she can perform well in windward/leward, point-to-point, and long distance venues in her given class. We have been able to sail her to her rating in just about all conditions, including reaching and light air. In fact, we rock in light air!!! (I know it's hard to believe with an 18,000 lb boat and all)

We (husband and kids) all race dingies competitevely (Lasers, Lightnings, Thistles, Melges 24) and basically try to sail the Tartan as much like a dingy as possible, and we've learned a few tricks along the way. We have custom Polars and a laptop and are constantly trying to sail to the targets, which is nice.

Maybe in Annapolis the Tartan 37's rate in the 130's (PHRF), but just about everywhere else the Tartan 37 CB (centerboard) rates in the 140-150s.

In case you're wondering, why a Tartan 37?... we like the boat and it's kind-of like our cottage on the water that we go out and race.

If you have any specific questions about racing your Tartan 37, feel free to email us at momentumusa15342@sbcglobal.net and we'll be happy to assist.

To see our boat, visit www.freewebs.com/sailmomentum

Last edited by MomentumUSA15342; 07-09-2007 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 07-09-2007
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I've used to race on a T-37. They are very good to w/w in all types of wind speed. They do not, in my opinion, lose much on a reaching leg.They're good dead d/w with the ability to lift the board, although we used to keep the board down and heat it up in anything under 12 knots.
Good PHRF rating in New England 140 something. Keep in mind that she's heavy for short races,it's hard to compete with the lighter boats but in longer races 3-4 miles(unfortunately this is considered long for beer can racing) she will do well.
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Old 02-05-2009
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Hi --

I'm also racing a Tartan 37 -- and we've been rated 126 in New England. It's a 1980 CB model. Apparently the base rating for the model is 129 (-3 for carrying a cruising chute + a symmetrical chute). What kinds of adjustments were used to get the 130-140+ ratings mentioned here?

Eric Deichmann
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Old 02-06-2009
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Dear Eric: Please note the posting date of the original questioner. He's probably given up trying to race by now, if he still has this boat.

PHRF ratings vary by area because prevailing conditions affect the results. As Jeff notes, in the right conditions, the T37 sails to it's rating of "x". If the conditions tend to be lighter than that, then the boat will be slower and have a slower rating. The higher ratings may be for places like the Chesapeake or Long Island Sound, which typically have light air. There is likely more wind where you sail, so the rating is correspondingly lower for you.
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