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1981 Tartan 42

1981 Tartan 42


Year: 1981

City: Key West, FL

Stock: 255354

Condition: good

Make: Tartan

Propulsion: sail

Price: $90,000

Listing: By Owner

Status: Available

Length: 42'

Model: 42

Engine hours: -

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The Tartan 42 is a highly regarded mixture of classic design and modern amenities. Designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built by Tartan Yachts she has an enviable pedigree of solid construction, seaworthiness, and sailing ability. A renown bluewater cruiser built with a scheel shoal keel and classic fine lines. She has a hand laid up fiberglass hull and deck with a generous full teak interior and high performance tall rig. This Tartan 42 is a safe and comfortable family cruiser or passage maker. Only 34 Tartan 42 sailboats were made and Rose is hull #007, so you get to make all sorts of James Bond jokes too.

A perfect condition Tartan 42 will usually sell for + so we are pricing Rose to account for some of the work that needs to be done. Let’s start with the bad and then move to the copious amounts of good.

All of these fixes can be done by a project-minded individual or couple or hired out at greater expense. None of these problems prevented us from sailing Rose from Lake Huron where we bought her (she has spent her entire life in freshwater) to Key West, FL where she is currently. She is extremely seaworthy and comfortable.

Repairs Needed:
-Soft deck areas. Very common for boats of this age (1981) is to have spider-cracks in the gel coat lead to the balsa wood core of the deck absorbing water and rotting. This happens because of the natural flexing of the boat causing the water sealants used in through-deck fittings (stanchions, dodger, standing rigging, etc.) to wear away. Older boats also had a tendency to apply gel coat too thickly at manufacture, leading to it cracking with age. These through-deck fittings should be re-caulked every decade or so and Rose is overdue for this job. To do this fix right, you need to cut open the top layer of deck, remove the rotted wood, cut new marine-grade plywood to fit, epoxy it, and glass it back in. There are kits to drill holes in the soft deck and inject epoxy, but this feels like a shortcut method to me. Here is a video showing the process. There are at least four areas where this is needed and we have already cut open one section to see the extent of the rot.

-Unknown windlass status. We have never been able to get the windlass working. It could be a wiring issue or the windlass could just be toast. Plan for a new windlass but maybe get surprised at the current one working. We have usually just used the hauling of the chain by hand as an excuse to get a solid workout.

-Bow pulpit and stanchions are bent. The bow pulpit should probably be replaced.

-Several projects are “in-progress.” Depending on when we sell this boat, there may still be some projects that are on-going that you would need to take across the finish line. Currently these include: installing new refrigerator, installing New Found Metals portlights, installing Maretron boat electronics and new navigation electronics.

-Teak love. Some of the teak is in need of some sanding and the reapplication of varnish. We have the varnish, it just needs the elbows.

-Minor plumbing work, such as hooking up the sink in the head, and installing a new shower in the head. The 80 gallon water tank has some minor leaking and should be coated with a food-safe rubber coating. There is an excellent tutorial online from another boater who did this.

Now for the good!
-Excellent condition Yanmar 3JH4E 40hp engine with new (2021) transmission, stuffing box, and feathering three blade propeller. The V-drive and propeller shaft have been completely removed and serviced. The feathering prop means faster sailing and zero noise from the prop shaft while sailing.

-Brand new Lewmar ocean hatches, newly rebedded deck prisms, and new (soon to be installed) stainless steel portlights that make the boat look regal.

-New (2021) 4 person ocean life raft with a hydrostatic release that let’s it self-deploy if the boat sinks. There are also two EPIRBs on board (one new, one old) and two Personal Location Beacons that we have attached to our mustang harness life vests. This is what you need for ocean sailing.

-2x 170 watt flexible solar panels on the bimini connected to a Victron solar charge controller and 2x 245 Ah AGM batteries. This entire system is new as of 2021. Electronics were professionally installed by the previous owner for sailing to New Zealand, a trip he never got to do. Prosine inverter/charger is top of the line and there is a wind generator that is only in need of a charge controller, though its instructions say it can also be wired directly to the battery bank.

-The amount of brightwork below deck is stunning—they just don’t make boats like this anymore. The two cabins (V-berth and aft cabin) are also remarkably spacious for a 42 ft. boat. Stepping below deck on Rose usually elicits an “Oh wow!” from visitors and is an exceptionally comfortable space to live in.

-Four water tanks (25, 40, 20, and 80 gallons) and two diesel tanks (80 and 25 gallon). We also have a reverse osmosis watermaker that is still in its box that we are planning to install and would come with the boat giving you endless water. It is a Katadyn Powersurvivor 40E with a seastrainer kit and long distance filter change kit that we ordered additionally. We have installed a water filter inline to make the drinking water experience top-notch. There are four water spigots in the galley sink: pressurized freshwater (unfiltered for dishes), pressurized drinking water, foot pump freshwater, foot pump sea water. This gives you the opportunity to be even more power conscious. There is also an electric water heater for comfy showers on deck or in the head.

-Maretron boat electronic system that monitors speed, depth, tank fill level (diesel 80 gallon and freshwater 40 gallon), battery state of charge, wind speed, wind direction (apparent and true), a Raymarine navigation computer, AIS system, HAM radio and insulated backstay antennae, redundant depth sounder, redundant GPS system and antennae. There is a Raytheon autopilot system as well.

-Ocean sailing-ready standing rigging. We just had the rig professionally inspected in October 2021 and can share the inspection report. It calls for replacing the topping lift (easy) and a part of the backstay shackle, which the inspector provided. He also recommended adding some caulking to the shroud deck attachments.

-Main, genoa, jib, storm jib, and storm tri-sail. The main, genoa, and jib I would classify as being in “fair” condition: we have put a few patches in the genoa and jib (none in the main). Both head sails are on roller furlers. All are ready to fly and would function as excellent spares if you opted to get new sails for crossing an ocean or as your primary sails for coastal sailing. We also purchased a whisker pole to allow for the clew of the genoa to be held out for wing-on-wing downwind sailing. We opted for this instead of a spinnaker for our intended route across the Pacific because of the fragility of spinnakers and how quickly you can downrig a whisker poled genoa if a squall moves in quickly.

-Three anchors (two danforth, one bruce) with an anchor alarm system as part of the Maretron electronics.

-Nature’s Head composting head installed in November 2021. These boats did not come with a built-in holding tank and the space where a removable one would fit is extremely tiny. We opted for a composting head and are very pleased with its performance and with no longer having a black water system on the boat. Good bye pumpouts!

-Propane stove and oven with two on-deck propane tanks.

-Brand new 10ft hypalon dinghy (December 2021) with a brand new Mercury 6hp gasoline outboard. There is also an older, smaller dinghy with an electric trolling motor that comes with the boat that can be folded up and stored on deck.

-New coat of bottom paint (2021) and a skeg-hung rudder for extra durability. Again, this boat is designed to cross oceans.

-Below-deck lighting, bow lights, and stern light upgraded to LED.

-New navy bimini installed in May 2021.

We are currently living on Rose in Key West and will be hauling her out in January, which is when she would be available to sell. We love this boat and are only willing to say goodbye because we want to get a larger boat to accommodate some little newcomers to the family. If you are a motivated buyer and need her ASAP, we could discuss an earlier transition.

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