New Tartan 4000 has a Lot to Like

The newest offering from this American builder turned in a hot ride on an early spring New England day.

Tartan 4000

The new Tartan 4000, just launched in early March, sits at the dock, ready to sail.Mark Pillsbury

On a very spring-like March morning, I met Tim Jackett on the dock at McMichaels, in Mamaroneck, N.Y., to have a look at the newly launched Tartan 4000. Tim is Tartan’s chief designer, chief operating office, and the guy responsible for a whole string of very well respected cruising sailboats and slippery racer/cruisers sold under the C&C brand.

There’s a lot of the traditional Tartan to found on this latest Jackett design: rich woodwork throughout the interior, careful attention to joinery, beefy deck hardware, double forestay Cruise Control Rig that includes a carbon spar, swept-back spreaders and carbon pocket boom.

There are a few surprises as well. Let’s start with the twin wheels mounted on carbon-fiber pedestals that let Jackett expand the width of the cockpit without widening the hull where it meets the water. The result is a boat that still tracks well under sail and a cockpit made for lounging while doing so. It also allows for a walk-through transom to make life easier when boarding, either from the dinghy or dock. As with a couple of earlier Tartans, the transom looks solid, but has a fold-down door that doubles as a swim platform when you need it to.

In a breeze that hovered in the low teens, the 4000 pushed through a light chop with authority, and the versatile sail plan—self-tending jib on the inner forestay, big screecher on the outer—gave us plenty of tools to keep our boat speed up.

You'll find a complete review of the new 4000 in Cruising World later this year, but a for a sneak preview of a few of the details that contribute to it being a lovely boat to sail, check out the photo gallery I brought back with me.