The Tartan 27′ sailboat. What I think I know about it now.


I happen to like older boats, even wooden ones. I’m not so crazy to think I can deal with a wooden boat so a Classic Plastic boat is what I’ve got with the Tartan 27′. Ours is from 1967 and mostly in mint condition with very few previous owner (PO) modifications.
The Tartan 27′ has some pedigree. It was designed by the legendary firm of Sparkman & Stephens (S&S) and was one of the first mass produced, or production, fiberglass hulls made starting in the very early 1960′s. It is a well designed CCA era boat that has some following and many of the 600+ hulls that were made are still around today.
When we bought hull #328 about 10 years ago all I knew of the Tartan 27′ was that it was not a Benehuntalina boat and I thought it was considered the ‘Cadillac’ of sailboats in its hay day. A good friend advised me not to buy such an old boat (then 33 years old, now 43) with the best of intentions. We liked the way the T27 looked and began to understand that she is a good sailor as well but whatever limited systems she had were old and even some of the basic structures like the chain plates were suspect or near a failure point. Having a 43 year old gasoline (petrol to some) powered engine also presented it’s share of challenges.
I am sure that if I had bought a newer sailboat that I never would have learned as much as I have about a small cruiser’s systems as I have with my older boat. She is also prettier then most of the newer boats I see at our club, in my opinion. She also requires more maintenance then the others but repays us with turned heads and compliments when we do keep up with the work. She is also a pleasure to sail short handed and very forgiving of the many mistakes we find ourselves making now and then. In short this is a bit of a love story about some owners who have come to adore their good old plastic classic sailboat.

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3 Responses to The Tartan 27′ sailboat. What I think I know about it now.

  1. Dennis J. Barker says:

    By the way….. I’m originally from Queens. I also know Capt. Frank who runs a sailing charter (65′r) who also is from Queens; and is here in Maine also. Small world….

  2. Richard Gressle says:

    You both have done a wonderful restoration job. I am impressed each time I see you all.

    • Caleb says:

      Thanks Rich. Our old boat seems to always be needing attention. It is hard to keep up with her ‘honey-do’ list.

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