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 Post subject: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2019 11:07 
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Midshipman

Joined: 16 Jan 2019 08:52
Posts: 67
I am looking at a tartan 37 on Monday the 21st. The boat is in the water and a survey is out of the question. I am not intimidated by this and have enough experience in the marine trade to feel confident in my abilities. I am new to Tartan37's but in my present stage in life(65) feel this boat is perfect for me. Do any owners have any advise as to what I should be paying particular attention to on these boats? Chain plates, rudder post, mast step, deck decomposing, stanchion failure, ? anything that comes to mind would be greatly appreciated.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2019 19:04 
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Skipper

Joined: 29 Dec 2006 09:38
Posts: 583
On one hand it is a gutsy move to purchase a boat without a survey. On the other, with the general quality of the surveys I have seen suggests that maybe it is not so dumb if you have some experience with boat repair and building. On most of these boats there will be a host of things to chase down if you are really going to take the boat cruising. Unfortunately, many of these issues are below the waterline. I would be interested that the engine had been properly maintained (some folks have done a good job of maintaining the old Westerbekes and they show it—but many have not). Some have some nice well done new engines, and some have dubious installations—good engines but dubious exhaust runs and mounting.
You could guide us to pictures of your intended and some of us might be able to point to places to look.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2019 19:30 
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Rail Meat

Joined: 09 Dec 2018 20:57
Posts: 8
I am curious why is the survey s out of the question?

Unless the price is so low you can turn it down why no spend the money for haul out and survey?


 
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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2019 22:34 
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Skipper

Joined: 13 Feb 2011 21:19
Posts: 229
Location: Canyon Lake, TX
Check the top of the v-berth aft bulkheads. Looking for rot between the layers of plywood. I ended up replacing both of mine.

Check the hose and clamps on the centerboard pennant at the base of the mast. A failure here would be a catastrophe.

Check the shaft log and clamps.

Check the decks around the chainplates.

Get a survey. On second thought, get a survey.

I don't know if we needed to or not but the Admiral and I immediately changed the oil in the engine, ran it for 5 or 6 hours and repeated 3 times. The Westerbeast is going strong and doesn't leak oil or fuel.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2019 08:32 
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Midshipman

Joined: 16 Jan 2019 08:52
Posts: 67
Thanks all for your replies. The reason I am not surveying the boat is for many reasons. The asking price is reasonable and I hardly see the reason for spending a thousand bucks to try and get the seller to drop any in his /her price. having said that I have enough experience to undertake any bottom work required and will haul the boat in the spring in preparation to move the boat. I feel confident to undertake my own inspection of the interior, bilge, stuffing box, chainplates etc.. My only concern is deck core. Aside from the normal breakdown of the core around the usual places have these boats generally been alright in terms of quality of build in relation to the deck? An almost forty year old boat is not going to surprise me especially when an overview of the boat will tell me what to expect in terms of past maintenance. I am not proposing to take the boat offshore in the immediate future instead I intend to do a refit on the boat to bring it to its proper standing. I have owned a number of offshore boats and at my present age the tartan 37c is everything I need in a boat. The shoal draft being the most important feature for my plans. Again, thanks for any inport from owners of these boats.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2019 09:48 
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Skipper

Joined: 09 Aug 2017 15:35
Posts: 458
Location: Maine/USVI
Hey, wait a minute! I didn't get a survey when I bought the T37 this past fall. But this ain't my first rodeo. And I haven't gotten anything surveyed since 1994 except for insurance.

Being in the water, I'd be concerned about the pintle plate, fairing (it may not even have one still attached, like mine), bushing, etc. While it only took a few minutes for us to drop the rudder, and the machinist says the plate and attachments look fine, its an area of primary concern. I focus on floating first. Then I worry about going forward. Float, float, go forward go forward. Every thru hull, every potential water intrusion point. First thing.

Then engine and rig. These guys on here have been through it all. I've found a lot of things that don't necessarily shout "quality control" in the construction (bad backing for deck attachments, leaky plastic portlights, etc.), but it seems like a great boat for my purposes.

If you're determined to buy it in-water, I'd focus on looking around the cabin sides for rot in the salon and head teak surrounding the windows. I think the cheesy portlights caused my (minor) problems. I pulled the overhead apart aft and didn't see any particular issues with leakage from the traveler or spider cracks at the corner of the sea hood. And chainplates. You can't see what's in the deck area of the stainless. Anything running down them (dark stains) on the inside? Things like that. How old is the standing rigging? The rule of thumb used to be 10 years and replace.

The only problems I've ever had with a boat I refit was getting too aggressive with a sawzall and nicking a shaft log from the outside of the boat taking out the cutless. Stupid. Didn't see the nick. Close enough to the stern gland to drizzle. Boat settled at the dock, water over the floorboards, numbnuts started the engine to keep the batteries up, air intakes on the MD2B diesel I had rebuilt myself were pointed downward, water sucked in, end of fun and games, new Yanmar. Live and learn.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2019 11:09 
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Skipper

Joined: 29 Dec 2006 09:38
Posts: 583
The deck is plywood and in most of the places where the factory put stuff it is solid glass though this is not always consisitent. Anything added by an owner is more than likely a potential problem as, alas, so few folks seem to understand that plywood is not end grain balsa in terms of migration and that “drill and fill and redrill” is the process. That is a crapshoot if there has been owner added stuff—the ceiling is easy to remove to inspect if you have a question and some time. The original boom vang was a crappy install by the factory, but it did not cause a problem with the core on my boat. I would agree that if the boat was badly maintained at the chainplates, the bulkheads will show it (on any boat). Mine had no leaks and have never leaked. I actually have not seen this as any kind of common or hidden problem in the T37s I have seen. But a couple folks have done some work. I would shake the rudder and look for an active leak in the bolts above the skeg. You should know the condition of this skeg bracket and bolts before you go overnight offshore IMHO. It is not really difficult to fix, but if there is any play in the rudder, I would drop the rudder, remove the skeg and clean it all up with a new pintle bearing before going off cruising. If you are just weekend coastal sailing you could just monitor any leaks around the bolts—just make sure it it is the bolts as this is the lowest place in the aft of the boat.
Welcome to the Tartan clan. I have been a delivery skipper and sailed a lot of recreational boats and there is really nothing that comes close to the performance/comfort compromise of a T37.
As I mentioned, I would go through the cooling/exhaust side of the Westerbeke right now and make sure it is clean and put together well. It will save you a lot of aggravation to do it now at the dock than being stuck someplace. All these small marinized diesels have this issue of salt accumulation in the systems, but this Westerbeke had some special issues with this—the cap on the heat exchanger must be exactly oriented or you will overheat. The oil cooler was too small (you could put a bigger one on and it would be cheaper than the original part) and they just seem to gunk up. Also look at the exhaust elbow if it is an older less maintained engine.
FWIW


 
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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2019 16:37 
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Skipper

Joined: 09 Aug 2017 15:35
Posts: 458
Location: Maine/USVI
Aw gawd. Eight more things I have to do. I tossed my last Westerbeke MOWOG (gas MG block converted to diesel) sewing machine with four tiny cylinders. Went through all kinds of work and somehow water got into the cylinders. So now I have to learn the W50. They claim 1200 hours on this one, but I don't see a tach with hour meter anywhere. Maybe, though. Boat was used in Wisconsin while a family built a fancy home on shore, ran a generator on deck. Not much sailing, apparently. Came to Maine via the SLS out and around a few years ago and was put up. Roughest part of the whole boat is the cabin sole, so the story might be true.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2019 12:41 
Offline
Midshipman

Joined: 16 Jan 2019 08:52
Posts: 67
Thanks everyone. Your advice and knowledge is much appreciated. In past purchases the rudder is always the first to receive attention and the very first job to do on haul out. Aside from an on deck inspection of the rig with particular attention to the chainplates and an "eyeball" aloft visual inspection there's nothing much you can do but pull the stick at the first opportune time. I have always found the Surveyors report on rig from the deck to be a little dubious to say the least. This is the week link in a normal survey and I believe that the rig can be the biggest "crap shoot". We all know that the rig needs it's own special monitoring. Anyway thanks again and I will keep everyone posted regardless of the outcome and will post some pictures next week.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Purchasing a Tartan 37
PostPosted: 07 Feb 2019 13:55 
Offline
Midshipman

Joined: 16 Jan 2019 08:52
Posts: 67
Well, I was satisfied with the viewing of the Tartan 37 and have a purchase agreement in place. I am very excited about this boat because it represent a long search and after having owned and sailed many different designs over my 65 years the perfect boat to be my last. As you all know there is something about these boats. I can't describe it in words. I haven't sailed one yet but my years of studying design and boat construction tell me what to expect. I will keep in touch with the forum because in a few months my journey begins with a re-fit. Thanks all.


 
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