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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For the last two years I’ve been looking at sailboats trying to decide on my first one. I’ve read books, researched the internet, I’ve done comparisons. I’ve sailed different ones. I’ve read when you see it, you’ll just know it. It will just grab you. That happened this weekend. My wife and I traveled to one of our favorite places, Fernandina Beach, FL. We attended the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert in Jacksonville last Thursday night (been following them for the past 10 years). When we got to Fernandina, one of the first places I went was the marina downtown. Walking toward the dock I passed a fellow wearing a shirt with the name “Serenity”. I figured it must have been the name of his boat. The name caught my attention because that was the name I had in mind for my boat when I would get one (just in case I couldn’t live with the name it already had). I looked at several boats just to compare and get ideas. Then I saw her, “Serenity”. She was the most beautiful boat I have ever laid eyes on. She was a Tartan 3700. Blue hull, well equipped and well maintained. I googled the Tartan 3700 and low and behold found out this boat was featured in the 2004 Miami Boat Show!
You ever met a fine lady that was just out of your league? I did once before, it was my wife. Due to momentary lapse of good judgement on her part and possibly poor eyesight (I’ve never taken her to get her eyes checked since we met) we were wed 34 years ago. The cost of a boat like this presently is above my budget. My wife and I do have an exit plan for the sale of our business in the not too distant future and then we could afford something of this class. But until then, I need to get my objectivity back. I changed from an analytical thinker to a Goo Goo Ga Ga 56 year old kid over the weekend. Somebody help. Tell me bad things about a Tartan 3700…Please!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mr_f, thanks for the slap! I know it's a pretty boat but now you gave me some insight that helps me see a little more objectively! I guess what I'm looking for is something built like a Mack truck that sails like a Porsche and has the roominess of a 69 Cadillac. Safety, seaworthiness is the top priority. Followed by ease of sail for one.
 

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...I changed from an analytical thinker to a Goo Goo Ga Ga 56 year old kid over the weekend. Somebody help. Tell me bad things about a Tartan 3700…Please!
I did the absolute same thing over a different boat. I'm pretty sure I felt drool on my chin. We're going for it.

Before you cross the Tartan off the list, PM T37Chef. He is good about answering questions.

I say: Don't discount what your drool tells you.
 
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I did the absolute same thing over a different boat. I'm pretty sure I felt drool on my chin. We're going for it.

Before you cross the Tartan off the list, PM T37Chef. He is good about answering questions.

I say: Don't discount what your drool tells you.
Boats are dumb. I am dumb. I keep buying boats. I've never purchased I boat that didn't cause me to drool.

I'm not defending the builder in this case, not enough data; however, boats are built by people, not machines. The layup process is manual. I would not eliminate a builder based these stories. One boat could be bad, another perfect depending on the build crew. I'd do my research, is this a design issue or build issue? I would go in depth on the particular boat I was considering, do a complete survey with the best surveyor I could find, talk to the builder about it, talk to owners about it, etc. A complete due diligence.

Concerns about saildrives, for example, have more to do with sail drives than the builder. I'm not a fan, but plenty of people have good experiences when they do the proper maintenance.

But I wouldn't even start this activity unless I was already drooling, and if you are honest with yourself, no boat makes financial sense. Go get one anyway, life is short.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I still can't get that boat out of my mind. The hull issues posted were published in 2009 concerning a boat that was built in 2005. The hull separation happened the year after being built. "Serenity" OK, let me stop. Serenity is not for sale and it is wrong to covet thy neighbor's boat:). I should say another boat (that looks just like Serenity) 2004 3700 Tartan that is on the water today would, in my humble opinion, have passed the test of time. After awhile, reality sneaks back in and I know that NO boat is perfect. But this one did check all the boxes for me and added some I hadn't even thought about. Beautiful, just beautiful. Thanks Capecodda for your post. I appreciate you frankness and wisdom.
 

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Reality is, if you like the boat, buy it!

Boats are like women, or men I suppose.....there is one for every one!

Overall, Tartan has built very nice boats, a step up from the more common price point ones. I would call it a Cadillac if you are looking at vehicles per say vs a chevy. Lincoln vs Ford.

Marty
 

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I wouldn't rule the model either but there are other manufacturers and models out there that are also both comfortable and somewhat salubrious. Look at Sabre (the 362 for example) or the J109. Going a bit older in the same price bracket the Sabre 38 also stands out - I've only been on a couple of their boats but the joinery was excellent on both. Performance for both Sabres should be similar to the 3700, the 109 is a significant step up in performance, going to be a bit more skittish to sail though.

It is only wrong to covet your neighbor's boat in secret.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Salubrious, you have taught me a new word. I had to look it up. It fits perfectly! Thank you for the mention of the other possibilities. The Sabre 362, J109 and the Sabre 38. I live in Alabama but also have a place in Panama City Beach, FL. I mostly get to see Hunter, Beneteau, Jeanneau and Catalina. That appears to be 99% of what's out there. Nothing wrong with any of them, I like them all but the Tartan was a whole different thing. I will look at the others you suggested. Thank-you! - Sam
 

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I share your T3700 lust. I wouldn't be too concerned about the build issue(s?). The boats have been out there long enough that a thorough survey should turn up any hull problem, particularly if you're on the lookout. Find a good boat and use the bad press to your advantage in price negotiations.
 

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Hi Sam, I purchased my 3700( #16) new in 2000. I had many issues with the dealer and quite a few with the quality control from the factory. The dealer is no longer with Tartan and I suspect the factory has addressed the quality control issues that I had with my boat. I think the demand for the boat at the time might have caused a rush to deliver at the expense of quality. Tartan did have some problems with switching to epoxy hulls and the ownership at that time handled the warrenty issues poorly which resulted in the Tartan brand taking some consumer hits. I was never unhappy with the design of the boat or the basic quality of the components of the boat. I have corrected all the issues I had with the boat as it was delivered and am still very happy to have purchased this boat. The fact that the 3700 is in its 16th year of production should answer any questions about the appeal of the design. With all the new boats around, I still get many "I love your boat" or "You're boat is beautiful!" comments. The average handicap rating for the 3700 is 112 which should tell you that for a 17000 pound cruising boat the Tartan can get up and go. So... If you can find a well cared for example, You could do a lot worse then the 3700. PS my boat is not for sale!
 

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I would not look for support on warranty issues from the manufacturer, based on their past history
 

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Hello...I belong to a Tartan owner group in SoCal (TOSCA). We have several members with 3700s. Great boats, well built, fast, and interior and exterior layouts very good. The owners just love them

FWIW, I have a 1998 3800, sort of the predecessor to the 3700. Great boat too. A performance cruiser like the 3700. I am very pleased with the build quality of the Tartans, and especially the way they sail. No blisters to date, and all the gear is top notch: Harken, Lewmar, Hood, etc.

My background is about 40 years of racing, cruising and day sailing. When I bought my 3800, I wanted a boat that was fast and fun to sail, but good for weeks on the hook too. I think you will find the 3700 fits the bill.
 

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I would not look for support on warranty issues from the manufacturer, based on their past history
The company has gone through some changes over the years, the warrenty issues were related to the prior ownership and an issue with a 3700 and a C&C. The new owners seem to be committed to providing a great product and great after sale warrenty support.

Statements like the one posted above are irresponsible to say the least. Its a member posting on information that is years old and isnt relevant anymore.

Personally, I do not love the 3700. Not to say it not a fine yacht...just find other boats in its size range have better layouts and similar or better performance. I have the predecessor of the the 3700, which has its own drawbacks when compared to others in its class...but I still love the boat.

Like any purchase, a good survey on the hull, rigging, and engine would be the thing to do. If all looks good and you love the boat you should be happy for a very long time. If it has a saildrive, I would have a knowledgeable mechanic look at it throughly.

Best of luck, and yes I got your PM but thought I would respond here publicly.

All the best
 

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Take a look at the Tartan 40. Not a ton of them out there, but they may give you the Tartan quality you want at a pricepoint your budget can stand.

I crewed on one for a couple of years and found it a really comfortable reasonably fast cruising boat. I'd love to have one.

Good Luck.
 

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Chef:

I try hard not to be irresponsible. Are you saying that the new owners are honoring the warranties of all the previous owners?

If so, that's great to hear. Let's hear more about it.
 

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Chef:

I try hard not to be irresponsible. Are you saying that the new owners are honoring the warranties of all the previous owners?

If so, that's great to hear. Let's hear more about it.
I would agree with David on this. I have not heard that the current owners are going to honor older models with warranty issues. So if one is buying a boat that has one of the 15 yr warranties that one of the previous owners had out, from about 2000 until about a year or so ago, chances are, that you will not get any warranty support.

I doubt anyone would say that a Tartan or C&C built during this time is a super bad, do not buy boat.......but it will be a buyer beware from this standpoint.

Marty
 

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From Tartan newletters, that is my understanding...yes. I do not know anyone personally who has had a warrenty issue to deal with so I cannot comment on whether they actually are or not but to the best of my knowledge they will work with owners to fix any concerns on boats still under warranty. They truely want to restore the brand and have done many things to help do that from what I've seen. Expanding their offering when others like Sabre are out of business, diversify into building power boats as well. Tim Jackett left, but I read he is now back, in exactly what capacity I am uncertain.

The problems with the 3700 that caused so much bad press for the brand was focused on one boat, we all knkw the rest fo the saga.

Perhpas using the word irresponsible was a bit harsh, my apologies.
 
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