Tartan 4000: A Command Performance
Loaded with comforts, this mid-line family cruiser is a rock-solid sailer. "Boat Review" from our November 2011 issue.
Side decks on the 4000 are wide for easy movement fore and aft. The chainplates mounted inboard, next to the cabin house, also help in this regard and facilitate more aggressive sheeting angles when the boat is sailing closehauled. For windward work, the Cruise Control Rig—think solent setup, featuring dual headstays mounted close to each other—features a self-tacking nonoverlapping jib on the inner stay and a 150-percent genoa on the outer. With two reef points as standard in the German-style double-sheeted main, this arrangement allows multiple sail combinations that can be selected to match the elements.
Conditions for our test sail that late winter day on Long Island Sound featured sunny skies, tolerable temperatures, wind in the low teens, and flat water. We used the electric all-chrome Harken winch on the cabin top to raise the main, and we were off. With the jib set, we cruised right along at 5.5 knots in about 12 knots of breeze, tacking with a turn of the wheel through about 100 degrees. On a reach with the genoa unfurled, we picked up a knot and a half or more as the breeze freshened.
With the two wheels set just forward of a wide seat that folds down to double as a swim and boarding platform, it was easy to find both a comfortable perch and good sightlines to both the horizon and the telltales. The 4000’s motion through the water was smooth and steady, and I found, even below, that I didn’t need the ample handholds included in the design. This sure-footed ride was due, at least in part, to the lead-bulb beavertail keel (a fin or keel/centerboard are other options). The one hitch, as the wind ticked up, was a sticking helm when the carbon rudder and shaft loaded up, indicating that just-launched hull number one needed an adjustment to its wire-and-chain steering gear or a rethink of the rudder bearings. Otherwise, though, the Edson steering provided good feedback to the helmsman.
Under power, the 75-horsepower Volvo turbo with saildrive and four-bladed prop (a 55-horse Volvo is standard) moved us along with authority; thanks to the bow thruster, maneuverability was assured. Jackett said that during sea trials on the previous day, boat speed registered 6.5 knots at 2,000 rpm and topped out at more than 9 knots at 3,200 rpm. I did duck below while we motored to see if the noise level was tolerable. It was.