Tartan 37′

This is my current boat, a 1978 Tartan 37′, or, The Almost Perfect Sailboat. I am using her as a template for the new LUCKY GIRL. I have measured everything on the boat and through personal experience learned what works and what doesn’t. For example, the berths are all a little too short, but the companionway without bridge deck is almost perfect. The cockpit is very ergometric, but the seats are 18 inch too short. I have taken all the good points of the boat and stretched it out to 43.56′. My new cockpit is about 36 inches longer overall.

The Tartan 37 is a great sailing boat, in that it has very good balance. One sail on a windy will convince you that this is a boat that will take care of you. It is interesting how in plan view it looks so much fatter than my new LUCKY GIRL. The two boats have almost the same beam but the new boat has 6′ more LOA and 8′ more LWL.























The image above is for the racing version  called the Tartan 38, with a taller double spreader rig and a deep keel . My boat has the deep keel but shorter single spreader rig. The interior is the same with the exception that the pipe berths are a conventional V berth.

Most of the Tartan 37’s were built as centerboard models. Only 10% or so were built as the deep keel model. Draft of the deep keel is 6’7″.

2253-C2 sail plan300[1]












What a great looking boat. The Tartan 37 still looks good today, 39 years after she was designed. A great sailing boat too, but with what I think is too small of a rig for day sailing around Puget Sound in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. The new boat will have a much larger carbon fiber rig.

bram sailing May 5 008

My Tartan 37 LUCKY GIRL

Above image LUCKY GIRL in my slip at Edmonds. I need a new dodger.


Although my current boat has a 6’7″ deep keel and skeg hung rudder, the new boat will have 7’11” draft and a spade rudder. I like the way a spade rudder feels like you have fingertip control of the boat but with feedback telling you what the boat is doing. It is like driving a small sports car without power steering.

The same size four blade max prop I intend to use on the new LUCKY GIRL, unless I can fit an 18″ instead of a 16″. This prop makes the boat a dream to handle around the dock.


Here Bram is helping me inspect the new prop.

My favorite Tartan 37 story is about a Seattle sailor who sailed one non stop single handed from New Zealand to Seattle, 8500 miles in 70 days.