Quick Look: Tartan 5300

This flagship enjoys clean lines and a clever double-headsail solent rig. A mini review from our January 2009 issue

Tartan

From the nifty double-headsail solent rig on its bow to the stunning drop-down transom gate on its stern, the systems-rich Tartan 5300 is chock full of well-reasoned wonders and surprises.

Not coincidentally, the 5300 sails well, too, as we learned on a day when the breeze never rose above 8 knots and the rangy 53-footer clocked to weather at a respectable 5 to 6 knots under the full-battened main and 105-percent jib. With the boat cracked off as the true wind fizzled to less than 6 knots, we furled the jib and unrolled the big reacher stationed just forward-the second component to that solent rig-and still managed a very respectable 5 knots. I have little doubt that this new design would be well-mannered in a blow.

The 5300 combines a raised saloon with a center cockpit and somehow manages to marry those seemingly contrary elements into a low, clean profile that's accentuated by the carbon-fiber spar and a Leisure Furl Park Avenue-style boom. Tartan's epoxy-based, vacuum-infused laminate construction is top-notch, yielding light yet bulletproof hull forms backed by a 15-year no-blister guarantee. If there's one complaint, it's that the vast array of hydraulics, electronics, machinery, and related systems can seem slightly overwhelming to the average sailor. (Tartan has addressed that concern with detailed handbooks for each.)

The standard cherry interior comes in an array of accommodation plans, giving an owner endless choices. Most interior layouts are balanced by large staterooms forward and aft; the deck-saloon configuration promotes voluminous space down below, particularly in the central living and entertainment areas at the core of the vessel. Tartan clearly decided to make a statement with its flagship, and in that endeavor, the company has succeeded.

Herb McCormick

Specs

LOA 53' 0"
LWL 46' 6"
Beam 16' 1"
Draft (Beavertail; 6'8";
centerboard up/down) 5'6"/9'6"
Sail Area 1,387 sq. ft.
Displacement (Beavertail/ 37,226 lb./ centerboard) 38,225 lb.
Water 250 gal.
Fuel 125 gal.
Engine Volvo 106-hp. diesel
Designer Tim Jackett
Price (base) $1,170,000
Tartan Yachts Inc.
(440) 357-7777
www.tartanyachts.com