Tartan 33

In 1978, Tartan brought out the Tartan Ten, a 33', fairly light, fractionally-rigged "offshore one design." The boat was a huge success: fast, easy to sail, and unencumbered by the design limitations of a rating rule. But the Tartan Ten had one big problem: limited accommodations with stooping headroom, an interior most kindly described as spartan. A hardy crew could take the Tartan Ten on a multi-day race such as the Mackinac, and you might even coax your family aboard for a weekend of camping out. But cruising or extended racing in comfort? Forget it!

Tartan 34

More than 500 Tartan 34s were built between 1968 and 1978. By 1978 the CCA rule was long gone, PHRF racing was beginning to surge, and the MHS (now IMS) was in its infancy. The Tartan 34 had passed from a racer/cruiser to a cruiser, not because the boat had changed, but because sailboat racing had changed. The Tartan 34 was succeeded by the larger, more modern Tartan 37, a boat of exactly the same concept.

Catalina 27

The Catalina 27 has been in production since 1971, and well over 6,000 of them have been built. This is undoubtedly the largest production run of any 27' sailboat in US history, and probably the biggest anywhere. The flip side of the coin is that Catalinas are known as cheaply built boats, with lots of corners cut in places they shouldn't be cut.

Catalina 250

The Catalina 250 is one of a group of relatively lightweight, shallow-draft trailerable cruising boats that appeared in the mid-1990s, utilizing water ballast to provide stability. These boats notably the C-250, the Hunter 26, and the MacGregor 26 all are of very modern design, are relatively inexpensive, and feature workmanship and materials of generally serviceable but by no means superior quality. Their sailing qualities and accommodation plans make them suitable for daysailing and casual overnighting, rather than for serious cruising.

Exploring the Ins and Outs of Bowsprits for Light-air Sails

A salty Kiwi named Ross Norgrove once said that the most important tool for the owner of a wooden yawl adorned with a bowsprit is a sharp ax. To some degree, his witty comment holds true for contemporary sailors contemplating a mini-bowsprit.