PxPixel
Tartan 4300 - Sail Magazine

Tartan 4300

Legend has it that back in the day, Charlie Britton, founder of Tartan Yachts, once fired a .45 at one of his boats to show that it was "bulletproof." Designed by Sparkman & Stephens, the first Tartans were popular boats early in the fiberglass era. Tim Jackett, fresh out of school, came to work on the factory floor in 1974. Today he's CEO and in-house designer at Tartan (and at companion
Author:
Publish date:
HR-080700-BRtartan-opener

Legend has it that back in the day, Charlie Britton, founder of Tartan Yachts, once fired a .45 at one of his boats to show that it was "bulletproof." Designed by Sparkman & Stephens, the first Tartans were popular boats early in the fiberglass era. Tim Jackett, fresh out of school, came to work on the factory floor in 1974. Today he's CEO and in-house designer at Tartan (and at companion firm C&C), and Tartan's traditions of quality construction and intelligent design still govern his creation of contemporary cruisers. The new 4300 emphasizes "timeless" styling, modern performance, and versatile accommodations.

CONSTRUCTION
Tartan's hulls and decks have been made with epoxy resin since 2002. "The process has evolved," says Jackett, "so that instead of baking hulls in an autoclave, we now cure them at ambient temperature. It's a safer, cleaner process, and the parts reach higher heat resistance." For durability, impact and blister resistance, sheer strength, and cosmetic properties, epoxy has long been the choice of custom builders. Tartan, however, pioneered its use on the production line. The company also equips its boats with carbon-fiber masts and "pocket" booms that are lighter and stiffer than aluminum, and interchangeable (keel/centerboard, shoal-draft, and deep) keel configurations that suit the boat to a variety of cruising areas.

DECK AND COCKPIT
Traditional elements include a straight coachroof, noticeable sheer, proportionally squared-away opening ports, shippy dorade ventilators, teak toerails and coamings, a generous stem angle, and a nicely countered reverse transom. The modified-T cockpit is deep and secure with wide, high coamings and an optional hard dodger is available (see drawing). A walk-through transom engineered for easy boarding is sited well, as are winches and stoppers, of which there are enough to justify the company's description of the rig as "cruise control." Introduced first on the 3400, the carbon-fiber "pocket" boom (with integral lazyjacks) has proven a practical solution for simplifying mainsail stowage. The mainsheet is led quite far from the helm, but Jackett says that "any customer who wants the setup we provided on the 4400 [with the mainsheet closer to the helm] can have it just by asking."
ACCOMMODATIONS
The solid-plank teak cabin sole and solid-stock cherry locker doors and signature saloon table help lift Tartan's joinery to the top of the ranks of production builders. Both two- and three-cabin layouts offer a forward master cabin, midships saloon, portside galley, starboard-side nav station, and two large heads. As practical as cubbies, bins, and lockers may be, there's nothing quite like your own drawer if you're going to spend some time aboard a boat. The 4300 provides them in abundance.

UNDER SAIL
Sailing a new 4300 on a blustery day off Miami, I found the benefits of a carbon spar and lowered center of gravity were very evident. The boat stood up nicely to the 14-to-18-knot puffs. As advertised, the 4300 is a stiff sailer. She is also close-winded and during our test sailed at a 38- to 42-degree apparent-wind angle under blade jib and full main. I sensed power enough to deal with waves even bigger than the Biscayne Bay chop we were slicing through. Balance, sensitivity, and control were exceptional. The 4300 is every inch a pleasing and capable modern sailboat with numbers (sail area-displacement, 19.3; displacement-length, 195) that suggest a rewarding combination of speed and seakindliness.

UNDER POWER
With the rudder well separated from the saildrive, there isn't much prop wash to aid low-speed maneuvering. On the other hand, the 4300 backs down straight and steers easily in reverse. Her 55-horsepower diesel is acceptably smooth and quiet (but not exceptionally so). At 2,000 RPM we had little trouble maintaining 6 knots; full revs brought us just above 8. The diesel is located below the companionway stairs with superb all-round access.

VITAL STATISTICS
HEADROOM: Saloon 6'6", aft cabin 6'5", forward cabin 6'5" » BUNKS: Aft 7'4×5'3", forward 6'7"×5', Settee(s) starboard 7'5"×2'6", port (opens to a double) 7'5"×4'10", cockpit seats 6'×1'10"

W08Tar4400

SPECIFICATIONS
Price: $450,000 (sailaway FOB Fairport Harbor, OH) includes carbon-fiber rig, epoxy hull, main and jib, basic electronics, ground tackle
Builder: Tartan Yachts, Fairport Harbor, OH; 440-357-7777, www.tartanyachts.com
Designer:
Tim Jackett
LOA: 43'1" LWL: 32'10" » Beam: 13'7"
Draft: (fin/beavertail/keel-centerboard) 8'3"/5'10"/4'10"
Displacement: 21,800/23,800/24,075 lbs
Ballast: 6,750/8,775/9,000 lbs
Sail Area: 994 sq ft (main and jib)
Power: 55-hp diesel
Tankage Fuel/Water/Waste: 60/120/40 gal
Electrical: (house) 2@8D batteries, 410-Ah total;
1×group 27 starting battery
Displacement-Length ratio: 195 (shoal)
Sail Area-Displacement ratio: 19.3
Ballast-Displacement ratio: 37%
Certification: CE Category A (Ocean)

OUR TAKE
PROs:

  • Carbon and epoxy used to excellent advantage
  • True sailing ease with exceptional performance
  • Innovation and tradition balance nicely
  • Handsome appearance

CONs:

  • Forward cabin clearly
    superior to aft
  • Traveler large and
    unsightly
  • Exterior teak requires
    maintenance

CONCLUSION:

Crisp, salty, and well-
proportioned, the 4300 is
elegant and sinfully easy to sail. Tim Jackett has designed some good boats; the 4300 deserves to be celebrated as one of the best.

Related

Josie-helm-2

Chartering the U.S. and Spanish Virgins

Flying into Tortola in the British Virgin Islands one December morning, three months after Hurricane Irma, I felt like a war correspondent dispatched to the battlefront rather than a sailing magazine writer on an assignment to go cruising.As my LIAT plane descended toward Beef ...read more

Crew-North-27M004

Weather Gear for Inshore Sailing

Just because you’re not planning on braving the Southern Ocean this summer doesn’t mean that you won’t have some dicey days out on the water. If you haven’t got the right gear, a little rain or humidity can make things miserable. As with all safety equipment, “it’s always better ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

3DiNordac_webheader

3Di NORDAC: One Year In

One year ago this month, North Sails launched a cruising revolution with the introduction of 3Di NORDAC. The product promised to deliver a better cruising experience for a market that had not seen true product innovation in over 60 years. Today we’re celebrating the team that ...read more

HB96k_EP

Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP

What SUP?Dinghies and kayaks are all very well, but there’s nothing like a stand-up paddleboard for exploring interesting new shorelines while giving you a good workout. Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP makes a fine addition to your boat’s armory of anchorage toys, either on its ...read more

DSC_0031-43

Charting the USVI and Spanish Virgins

When my friends and I booked a one-way bareboat charter with Sail Caribe, starting in the U.S. Virgin Islands and finishing in Puerto Rico, we were a little nervous about what we would find in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria—even seven months later.When our plane ...read more

SailRepairKit

Know How: Sail Repair Kit

Despite your best efforts, there will inevitably be times when your sail gets damaged while at sea and needs to be repaired. First, no matter what the job, you will need to do a quick damage assessment, a task that requires a flat wooden surface, sharp scissors and a helping ...read more

01-061018ROAC-8149

Coming of Age at the Atlantic Cup

Midway through the final race of the inshore portion of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the three boats in the lead—Mike Dreese’s Toothface 2, Mike Hennessy’s Dragon and Oakcliff Racing, representing the Long Island Sound-based sailing school of the same name—suddenly broke free from the ...read more

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more