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Old 08-31-2013
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Thoughts on 34 Tartan

Just hoping for a little info on the Tartan 34. I am pretty sure my new boat will either be 34 Irwin or 34 Tartan. Anything like what you like the most or what has been the biggest pain. Any design flaws you have noticed. My biggest concern is about the centerboard, I have no experience with them. I am coming from owning a 26 Westerly for 20 plus years. My cruising grounds will be primarily Florida and Bahamas. Most of the Tartans I have seen are powered by gas, I prefer diesel. I also posted in Irwin sub-forum. Going to start seeing some of the boats in person soon so anything helps. I am sure the Tartan is built better than the Irwin and probably sails better. The Tartan is definately a prettier boat [Sorry Irwin owners]Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-01-2013
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Re: Thoughts on 34 Tartan

I'm a bit partial to older Tartans myself.
People have crossed oceans in boats like the T34C.

My 45 year old T27 still has one of those gas powered Atomic 4 engines in it. There is a great resource on these engines if you are at all diy inclined: Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Home of the Afourians - Powered by vBulletin
I would not discount a boat merely because it has an Atomic 4 in it, but that is me.

Now the boat:
TARTAN 34 C sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
The 4' draft make it a good, if not ideal choice for both FL and the Bahamas.
The center board is more of an asset than a liability. Sure, there are a few mechanical parts to maintain but what it lends to the sailing of the boat is well worth it.

What to look out for:
-wet deck core (might be worst at mid ships).
-glassed in chain plates or weeping chain plates.
-mast step.
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Old 09-01-2013
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Thoughts on 34 Tartan

Don't worry about the centerboard. We have a Sabre 38 MK1 centerboard. It combined shoal draft keel benefits with improved upwind performance of deep draft. A good compromise that I would chose again. .

As with any mechanical system, it needs maintenance. But it's quite simple and there aren't many parts to fail. Each year check the lifting pendant and replace if any strands are broken. It's easy for am owner to do with micro press fittings. Check the conduit to make sure that its watertight, I've not had any problems bug it requires inspection. Make sure that any hoses are wire reinforced.

If there is any binding during raising or lowering, don't force it. It may be as simple as a frayed wire jamming things or one of the turning pendants failed. That happened to us and I had to have a new one machined ($80). No big deal.

In my experience, a jammed centerboard usually isn't due to crud in the case. It's usually something else.
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Old 09-01-2013
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Thoughts on 34 Tartan

We owned a 1977 Tartan 34C. Aside from being among the prettiest girls in the harbor, she was a pleasure to sail, particularly reaching. We did run into a centerboard problem. The 30 year old arm used to raise and lower the board failed. We had the part fabricated and the yard replaced the arm and related parts. The bill was not outrageous. Otherwise, the centerboard mechanism worked flawlessly. I should mention that, in my view, but for racing, you may not even use the board. Some long term 34C owners may chime in and tell you that they used the board to balance out the helm when reaching. I played with the board for balance but noticed it more for pointing while racing.
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Old 09-02-2013
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Re: Thoughts on 34 Tartan

Great info, much appreciated. The Tartan is such a pretty boat. I am going to start looking at them in person soon and I will post when I make the decision. Thanks again and Fair Winds!
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Old 09-02-2013
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Thoughts on 34 Tartan

I should have mentioned that we had an Atomic 4. We did some upgrades to it, including adding electronic ignition and a new alternator, but never experienced any problems with it. Access to the engine on a 34C is as easy as it gets on a boat. As someone else mentioned, Moyer Marine is an incredible source of knowledge and parts. I would not avoid 34Cs with an Atomic 4.
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Old 09-02-2013
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Re: Thoughts on 34 Tartan

Yes did a little reading and I think I can adjust to gas power on a sailboat. I hated the smell of the diesel fumes on my Westerly anyway! Thanks again!
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