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View Full Version : Tartan 27 vs Pearson Triton for ocean crossings



sully75
04-16-2013, 10:06 AM
Hello all,

Thanks for entertaining a billion somewhat ridiculous questions.

I've been looking at Pearson Tritons for a while with the thought of buying one and (hopefully)(eventually) doing some ocean crossings with it. I gather it has a good reputation for that, as far as old boats go.

So I've been looking for the right one (condition vs price) for a bit.

A Tartan 27 came up though that looks reasonable. I'm going to look at that today. I actually grew up sailing on one a little bit, and have fond memories of it. But didn't spend all that much time with it, and never did more than sail a bit in the Long Island Sound.

So I'm just wondering, do you think there's any practical differences between the Triton and the Tartan as far as safety in bluewater sailing? All in all I think I would prefer to not have the centerboard involved and I wonder if there's any difference in righting arm (is that what you call it?) if you were ever capsized between the full keel and the keel centerboard. I appreciate that the Triton appears to be somewhat proven ocean cruiser from some public voyages (Atom circumnavigation x2, others) but find less of that sort of thing about the Tartan. That could just be because no one found reason to do it though.

Thoughts? I'm going to go look at this boat today. Priced a little high but I know they have sold for a lot less lately.

Thanks
Paul

Ian McColgin
04-16-2013, 10:19 AM
Both generally good boats and suitable to the purpose. Some of the later Tartans are a little unfortunate in how the trunk cabin was extended. For both boats you'll likely need to increase cockpit drains, modify the stove installation, etc. to make her fit for off-shore. There are a number of excellent books on prepping a boat for ocean travel but the main thing comes down to "what happens here if you're upside down?" Like batteries. Like cockpit lockers flopping open. Like anchors heading south. Floorboards coming right off and then landing back on you when the boat rerights herself. For both boats, the larger cabin windows will require bolt-on exterior shutters. Like that.

Personally, I like the Triton better. I think she not only looks better from afar, but the view from the cockpit is more pleasing. I don't like stepping up so high to the mast as the Tarton requires. But they were both stoutly built and there's rarely anything wrong with the hull that a power washer and maybe some paint can't cure.

G'luck

sully75
04-16-2013, 04:41 PM
Thanks Ian. Turns out this Tartan is pretty darn nice. Atomic 4 looks to be well maintained and updated. The boat's blocked up high enough to let the centerboard down and it moves really nicely. Cabin is clean (original "tartan" upolstery but it doesn't have that narly old fiberglass boat smell. Bilge was super dry (it's out of the water but looks very clean).

Can't right now afford the price but hoping we can work something out.

I confess it's a bit more comfy inside than the Triton I saw (which was admittedly filled with tools and junk). Headroom was about 1.5" less than standing to me, that was a surprise.

We'll see how it goes. Thanks for your thoughts.



Thanks for the thoughts.

John B
04-16-2013, 05:35 PM
Seen this blog?

http://atomvoyages.com/atom.html

sully75
04-16-2013, 05:41 PM
yup. I'd probably go Triton if there was an equivalent one available. Although I'm maybe not as anti-centerboard as I was after seeing how nicely this one works.

Figment
04-16-2013, 06:39 PM
Will anyone else be aboard for these ocean crossings?

Where and how will the boat be used in the years prior to the big blue water?

What attributes of the Triton appeal to you, other than the blue water history?

What's your budget?

What is your tolerance for it being a project vs a sail-away?

sully75
04-16-2013, 06:43 PM
Will anyone else be aboard for these ocean crossings?

Maybe/maybe not. 1 person max most likely. Something singlehandable is essential.

Where and how will the boat be used in the years prior to the big blue water?

Hopefully one two month trip a year, east coast based. I'm fascinated with sailing as far as Newfoundland, but it seems like something I'd work up to. Possibly a trip to Maine this summer if I get a boat in time.

What attributes of the Triton appeal to you, other than the blue water history?

Cheap, relatively readily available, forgiving. Customizable (kind of a blank slate as a lot of them need a lot of updating)

What's your budget?

I don't have one :( $5k is my upper limit right now, for acquiring the boat. Surprisingly there is quite a bit available at that price, but finding something that doesn't need a huge amount of work is a little tougher.

bamamick
04-16-2013, 07:21 PM
Please keep this thread going, as it is quite interesting.

Best of luck with your search, and your journey, should you ever get to do it.

Just my two cents: you are going to spend many, many times the cost of the boat on the things you will need to cruise her and be able to live aboard, so keep the initial costs versus the long-term expenses in mind when making a choice.

Mickey Lake

Chip-skiff
04-16-2013, 07:36 PM
For an ocean crossing, I'd look at the headroom. After a few days, having to bend over or crook my neck to do galley work or move about the cabin gives me trouble. I seem to recall that the Pearson has excellent headroom; don't know about the Tartan 27. Your size and flexibilty matter, of course.

Ian McColgin
04-16-2013, 07:37 PM
Many times ? Maybe not. Make sure of the engine. If the boat's older, you'll not be happy till you get sails. NO REFRIGERATOR. Everything that needs refrigeration is bad for you off-shore anyway. A wet rag over a beer will bring it to an acceptable temperature in ten minutes or so. No pressure water system - foot pumps do all you could need - and certainly no hot water. You should have a good stove. There's your hot water sourse. Pour into a pump up garden sprayer for your go anywhere shower, hot water dish rince, etc. Keep the electronics very simple and you'll not need expensive batteries or any more than a small solar charger.

KISS &

G'luck

sully75
04-16-2013, 07:42 PM
It wasn't uncomfortable to stand in, just about an inch less than I need.

I am kind of pondering that you can get a dinghy on the deck of the Triton but I'm not sure if you can on the Tartan. Having to always tow a dinghy would be kind of irritating I think.

Ian McColgin
04-16-2013, 08:12 PM
Towing a dink is not irritating. It's out.

It was a Triton where I first saw the trick of having detachable bow and stern transoms, the detachable bow letting the dink sit considerably lower on the house, while the detachable stern transom allowed the whole dink to be a glorious rigid dodger.

ccmanuals
04-16-2013, 08:40 PM
I'm certainly not an expert on this but 27' crossing an ocean seems to be a tad small.

Hwyl
04-16-2013, 08:50 PM
Many times ? Maybe not. Make sure of the engine. If the boat's older, you'll not be happy till you get sails. NO REFRIGERATOR. Everything that needs refrigeration is bad for you off-shore anyway. A wet rag over a beer will bring it to an acceptable temperature in ten minutes or so. No pressure water system - foot pumps do all you could need - and certainly no hot water. You should have a good stove. There's your hot water sourse. Pour into a pump up garden sprayer for your go anywhere shower, hot water dish rince, etc. Keep the electronics very simple and you'll not need expensive batteries or any more than a small solar charger.

KISS &

G'luck


Remind me never to sail with you. Actually I don't drink beer on passages, but a refrigerator is nice, solar panels and wind generators have made them practical.

Ian McColgin
04-16-2013, 08:57 PM
There was a time when 25' was considered about the upper end of what was handy for one person to manage. The single largest sail "limit" has crept up from 350 square feet to 550 square feet and well beyond as sail control systems have improved and fabrics have made things like real working slab reefing an easy reality.

Few would go for one and two ton boats to cross an ocean, as was formerly common, but even a four (or five with full stores) ton boat like the Triton is small enough that it gives with the sea. That's why for the boats under 5 tons - thirty to thirty-five feet - you don't hear so much about major cabin or rigging damage in a storm knock-down or roll over or boarding sea, while with boats over 40' - like ten or more tons - stuff gets broken by the sea more often and the scantlings of those boats have to be proportionately far heavier. The smaller boats are safe because they give way to the water.

Tritons have been circumnavigating and crossing oceans in a most unremarkable manner, free of incident and drama, for a good half century now. I hope that, whatever happens to my consciousness when I slough this mortal coil, I'm able to appreciate about fifty years from now a century old Triton coming in from a couple year circumnavigation . . . to no big fanfare because her people are like her, unassumingly competent.

ccmanuals
04-16-2013, 09:00 PM
There was a time when 25' was considered about the upper end of what was handy for one person to manage. The single largest sail "limit" has crept up from 350 square feet to 550 square feet and well beyond as sail control systems have improved and fabrics have made things like real working slab reefing an easy reality.

Few would go for one and two ton boats to cross an ocean, as was formerly common, but even a four (or five with full stores) ton boat like the Triton is small enough that it gives with the sea. That's why for the boats under 5 tons - thirty to thirty-five feet - you don't hear so much about major cabin or rigging damage in a storm knock-down or roll over or boarding sea, while with boats over 40' - like ten or more tons - stuff gets broken by the sea more often and the scantlings of those boats have to be proportionately far heavier. The smaller boats are safe because they give way to the water.

Tritons have been circumnavigating and crossing oceans in a most unremarkable manner, free of incident and drama, for a good half century now. I hope that, whatever happens to my consciousness when I slough this mortal coil, I'm able to appreciate about fifty years from now a century old Triton coming in from a couple year circumnavigation . . . to no big fanfare because her people are like her, unassumingly competent.

Thanks Ian. Learn something new every day. :)

Figment
04-17-2013, 07:54 AM
OK, you're on a good track.
Your budget needs a reality check, though. Any boat of this size that you pick up for $5k is going to need another $5k before you do a comfortable month-aboard, and another $15k after that before you go crossing oceans. Spread over several years you could easily double that.

I happen to know of a local Triton for sale in your price range, essentially a one-owner boat (currently owned by 2nd generation, etc) that is as bone-stock-original as they come (be very wary of "improvements" which depart significantly from the original), but I also know that you'll spend $3k on sails at least before you really go anywhere, and that assumes that the balsa deck core is ok, which is unlikely.


Towing a dink is not irritating. It's out.

It was a Triton where I first saw the trick of having detachable bow and stern transoms, the detachable bow letting the dink sit considerably lower on the house, while the detachable stern transom allowed the whole dink to be a glorious rigid dodger.

I built a dink to the specific criteria that it could stow on the Triton's foredeck. Which it did, maybe four or five times, huge PITA, though maybe a high-cut RF jib would have reduced the annoyance. The rest of its life was spent happily under tow. Even a two-piece nesting dink would be inconvenient to stow on deck.
On the cabin top, any meaningful or practical dink is going to get in the way of a rigid vang, which is non-negotiable these days IMHO.

Long story short: If the decks are in good shape, go buy that Tartan. Quickly.

I loved my Triton, yes, but the T27 has a few attributes which the Triton dearly wanted.
That extra 8" of beam is not insignificant, it more than makes up for the reduced LOA, particularly since the LWL is the same.
the T27 has the galley forward and starboard, which is sensible on a boat of this size.
The keel-stepped masthead rig is better I think than the deck-stepped fractional.

Figment
04-17-2013, 08:19 AM
Oh, and if you do continue the search for a Triton, know that they're not all the same, lots of incremental improvements over the run. Best to find a hull number 380 or higher.

sully75
04-17-2013, 08:43 AM
I have no delusions about costs...I worked in a yacht yard when I was younger and kind of vowed never to own a boat. I guess you get dumber as you get older. Something like that.

This boat is pretty clean though. The guy has sailed it a lot around here. There's a small amount of damage to the rubrail and a couple of lights that need replacing and otherwise it looks good to go overboard for now. The mainsail sounds like it will need replacing in the short run. He has it blocked up high and dropped the centerboard down for me. He just replaced the pin and pennant. A fair amount of work (but no overhaul) to the Atomic 4 and he says it's been reliable.

So we'll see. I'm going to raise my offer...

Ian McColgin
04-17-2013, 09:30 AM
Towing a dink is fine for daysailing and the sort of coastal cruising that's really consecutive daysailing. It's not on for even a little long-shore jaunt like Provincetown to Bar Harbor much less ocean travel.

I'm a great believer in on-deck, not stern davits. Those off-shore sailors I know who have davits for the convenience of it all while coastal cruising bring the dink on deck for a passage.

Lifting systems matter a lot. Most on deck notions involve the main halyard and if the mast has little rake, the dink will be pulled forward along the main shrouds. This is both a little pain, clearing the shrouds becoming work, and a convenience in that it puts the dink right alongside where you're working the winch. Granuaile had a wire reel halyard winch and I could wind-up the dink with one hand and pole it away from the lifelines and shrouds. Your system may vary, depending on halyards, dink weight, etc.

Flipping the dink for stowage is another issue. I've found that if you have three lifting lines each about as long as the boat. One can be on the outside of the stem or bow transom. The other two can be located at the corners of the stern transom. Done right, these are long enough and the angle up allows enough room that it's easy to tie the dink off about waist high, get to the stern, and flip her over. Then you can sway her down into her chocks. Once I had this well arranged on Granuaile I found it almost as convenient and certainly more trouble-free than towing.

G'luck

sully75
04-17-2013, 09:46 AM
Ian,

Just sent you an email about something else entirely.

I guess muscling the dink on deck is not practical? I thought that was the way it was done. I have a lot to learn...

Paul

sully75
05-05-2013, 08:29 PM
Tartan #1 fell through (mildly heartbroken). Going to look at Tartan #2 tomorrow (more expensive but maybe more and newer sails). Thanks for the thoughts.