During the course of his Boat of the Year judging duties, panelist Alvah Simon compiles a comprehensive worksheet for each entrant, the bottom column of which he reserves for comments and thoughts to refer to later. These are often lengthy dispatches, but when Simon stepped off the Tartan 4000 and scribbled in his notebook, he summarized the boat in a single word: “Wow.”
Later, during the deliberations in which the Tim Jackett design was honored as the Best Midsize Cruiser, 40 to 45 Feet, he expanded on that pithy synopsis: “The keel-stepped mast, the double-headsail solent rig with the self-tacking jib”—Tartan calls this its Cruise Control Rig—”the bulwarks, and that beautiful varnished caprail, the Tshaped cockpit with the twin helms: All good. I mean, this is a boat.”
Yes it is, and a versatile one at that.
“The performance is really there. It sails very, very well,” said Beth Leonard. “A lot of people will race these boats in events like the Chicago- Mac, but it also really delivers excellent cruising capability. Some builders say they’re building coastal cruisers capable of passagemaking, but this boat really is. I’d take it anywhere. It’s not inexpensive” the sailaway price is $440,000—“but people who have the money and want a solid vessel will be very happy with this Tartan.”
It also brought a smile to the face of Ed Sherman. “It’s got a traditional feel,” he said. “They’ve retained that classic Tartan look, but they’ve also given you ergonomics that work well throughout. And beautiful hardware. The layout is very pleasing. The galley was really impressive. The other little thing I liked about it was the companionway steps; they were nice and wide and on a comfortable angle. It was also easy to go fore and aft, even heeled over. And, of course, it sailed wonderfully.”
Just like a winner should.
-Delivering sensational sailing performance, the 4000 was stiff, fast, weatherly, and fun.
-The boat’s high-tech construction was evident in the infused epoxy/composite hull and deck and in the carbon-fiber mast, boom, and rudder.
-The truly versatile design will shine during coastal cruising and offshore voyaging as well as competitive club or distance racing.