Discover Types & Styles

Tartan Boats: A Comprehensive Guide to Performance and Craftsmanship

Tartan Yachts, an American boat builder located in Painesville, Ohio, has been specializing in the design and manufacture of fiberglass sailboats since its founding in 1971. Established by Charles Britton as a result of acquiring the remains of the Douglass & McLeod company after a fire destroyed its factory, Tartan Yachts has become an industry leader in producing world-class, heirloom-quality yachts that deliver superior all-around performance.

With a rich history and dedication to craftsmanship, their yachts range in size from 26 feet to 53 feet, catering to a variety of sailing enthusiasts. Their production facility, boasting 76,000 square feet, is a testament to the brand's commitment to quality, innovation, and growth. Aspiring and experienced sailors alike can appreciate Tartan Yachts for their fusion of tradition and cutting-edge technology to create yacht models that truly stand the test of time.

History and Founding

Tartan Marine, also known as Tartan Yachts, is an American boat builder based in Painesville, Ohio, near Lake Erie. The company was founded by Charles Britton in 1971 and specializes in the design and manufacture of fiberglass sailboats.

Tartan's journey began in 1960 when Charlie Britton collaborated with the renowned design firm of Sparkman and Stephens, as well as with builder Douglass and McLeod of Grand River, Ohio. This collaboration resulted in the development of Tartan's first model, the Tartan 27.

Throughout the years, Tartan Yachts has continued to grow and evolve. With over 50 years of heritage and history, Tartan Yachts remains dedicated to providing quality products and services for the next 50 years. The company represents the pride of owning a Tartan Yacht in the United States and around the world.

By staying true to their founding principles and consistently delivering quality sailboats, Tartan Yachts has established a reputation for excellence in the boating industry. Today, they continue to innovate and introduce new models, ensuring that the Tartan name remains synonymous with exceptional design, performance, and sailing experience.

Tartan Models and Features

Tartan Yachts is known for producing high-quality performance sailboats with hand-crafted interiors and innovative designs. In this section, we will discuss some of the popular models and their unique features, including Racer/Cruisers, Sloops, Cruisers, and Deck Saloons.


Tartan offers a variety of racer/cruiser models that are designed for both exceptional sailing performance and comfortable cruising. Some notable models include:

  • Tartan 365: A mid-sized racer/cruiser featuring a powerful sail plan, sleek hull design, and a comfortable interior layout, perfect for weekend sailing or offshore adventures.
  • Tartan 395: Combining modern design with traditional craftsmanship, the 395 offers a spacious cockpit, high-performance rig, and comfortable accommodations for extended cruising.


Tartan's sloop models provide sailors with a balanced combination of performance and comfort. Some popular models are:

  • Tartan 37: A classic Sparkman & Stephens design known for its versatile swing-keel and solid construction, making it ideal for coastal cruising and offshore passages.
  • Tartan 455: Redefining performance cruising, this model features a sleek design, powerful sail plan, and luxurious interiors for those looking for a high-performance sailing yacht.


Cruising sailboats from Tartan prioritize comfort, safety, and luxury for extended trips on the water. Key models include:

  • Tartan 245: A small cruiser with a spacious feel, offering ample storage and living space for its size, making it a perfect option for those looking for a compact and easy-to-handle sailboat.
  • Tartan 5300: A flagship model offering exceptional performance and long-range capabilities, equipped with a spacious interior, including a massive owner's suite, making it an ideal yacht for luxury cruising.

Deck Saloon

Although not specifically mentioned in the search results, Tartan yachts in general offer innovative and comfortable deck saloon layouts that deliver ample natural light and ventilation throughout the yacht while maintaining performance and handling capabilities.

In summary, Tartan Yachts cater to a wide range of sailors, from casual cruisers to long-range explorers, offering a diverse fleet of sailboats designed for performance and comfort. With an array of models like Tartan 37, Tartan 365, Tartan 395, and Tartan 455, there is something to suit every sailor's needs and preferences.

Performance and Design

Tartan Yachts is a prominent name in the sailing world, renowned for its high-quality sailboats that fuse performance and design seamlessly. One of their notable models, the Tartan 365, exemplifies this focus by incorporating a narrow waterline at beam max, fine lines aft, and a powerful bow to create a vessel that looks ready to fly even when stationary.

Designed by the talented team at Tartan Yachts, these performance cruising yachts have been crafted to perform exceptionally well in various sailing conditions. Their designs draw inspiration from both American and European approaches, as seen in the popular Tartan 3500 model.

Some key design features that contribute to Tartan Yachts' performance include:

  • Narrow waterlines that minimize surface friction
  • Fine lines aft, providing a sleek and efficient shape
  • Powerful bows designed for optimal hydrodynamics
  • High-quality materials and craftsmanship for added durability

In addition to their focus on performance, Tartan Yachts also emphasizes comfort and usability for families and recreational sailors. With spacious interiors and thoughtful layouts, these boats cater to the needs of modern sailors without compromising on performance.

Over the years, Tartan Yachts has introduced a range of new models including the T-28, the 3500, and the 4600, as mentioned in this Practical Sailor article. They also have a 41-footer in the works, showcasing their dedication to continuously improving and expanding their offerings.

In summary, Tartan Yachts' focus on performance and design, as well as their commitment to incorporating the best qualities from American and European design approaches, sets them apart in the world of sailing. Their sailboats cater to a wide range of sailors, from performance enthusiasts to families seeking comfort and usability in their cruising experience.

Boats for Sale

Tartan Yachts offers a variety of boats for sale, including both new vessels and pre-owned options. Their models are known for their quality and luxurious designs, appealing to a wide range of boating enthusiasts.

The company offers several different types of boats, ranging from smaller, more affordable models to larger, high-end yachts. Some popular Tartan models available for sale include the Tartan 37, Tartan 365, Tartan 455, and Tartan 395. Prices for Tartan boats can start as low as $9,126 and go up to $1,143,300 for the most exquisite yachts.

When searching for used Tartan yachts, potential buyers can explore pre-owned sailboats offered by Tartan Yachts directly. Additionally, they can consult various boat dealers and online platforms like Boat Trader and YachtWorld, which provide extensive listings of Tartan boats.

Since the choice of a Tartan boat depends on individual preferences, needs, and budget, it is essential to research available models and their features before making a decision. Factors such as fuel type, hull type, and boat size should also be considered when selecting the right Tartan yacht.

To summarize, Tartan boats for sale are available in various models and price ranges, catering to different preferences and budgets. Buyers can explore both new vessels and used yachts through multiple channels, including Tartan Yachts, dealers, and online platforms. By thoroughly researching available options and considering essential factors such as fuel and hull types, buyers can confidently select their ideal Tartan boat.

Propulsion Systems

Tartan Boats are known for their moderate displacement performance cruisers, with the company producing around 90-100 boats per year. When it comes to propulsion systems, Tartan Boats can vary in their available options. This section will discuss diesel, gas, and alternative propulsion systems in the context of Tartan Boats.

Diesel engines are common in sailboats and cruisers due to their fuel efficiency, durability, and reliability. Tartan Yachts, being performance cruisers, may also sport diesel engines. These engines are designed to provide a good balance of power and efficiency, making them a popular choice for long cruises or extended stays on the water.

Gas engines, on the other hand, are typically lighter and offer faster speeds but at the expense of fuel efficiency. While gas engines might not be as prevalent in Tartan Yachts, it's still possible for some models to be equipped with them, depending on the boat's intended use and consumer preferences.

Alternative propulsion systems are gaining traction in the boating world. Although not specifically mentioned in relation to Tartan Yachts, it's worth noting that certain new models of boats are being designed with electric or hybrid propulsion systems. These systems offer a quieter, more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional diesel or gas engines.

In summary, Tartan Yachts may feature various propulsion systems, with diesel being a popular choice due to its efficiency and reliability. Gas engines can also be found in some models, while alternative propulsion systems are becoming more prevalent in the boating industry.

Sailing and Racing

Tartan Yachts has a rich history of producing high-quality sailboats that cater to both family sailing adventures and competitive racing endeavors. With a range of models designed for varying levels of expertise and purpose, Tartan boats are built to deliver unparalleled strength and control.

One notable example of Tartan's racing prowess is the Tartan 101 cruiser. Built for speed, this yacht embodies the qualities that sailing and racing enthusiasts seek, such as an efficient hull design, a powerful sail plan, and a responsive helm. The Tartan 101 is not only fast but also comfortable, making it an ideal choice for a racer/cruiser.

In addition to speed-focused models, Tartan sailboats offer excellent performance for cruisers who prioritize comfort and ease of handling. The Tartan 3700, for instance, is a sleek and spacious design that caters to families who desire an unforgettable sailing experience. With its meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, the Tartan 3700 allows for leisurely cruising without sacrificing performance capabilities.

Furthermore, the Tartan 245 has recently debuted, showcasing a compact 24-foot design that still manages to offer remarkable features for both sailing and racing. This model stands out for its versatility, appealing to sailors who seek the best of both worlds: a vessel that can participate in competitive races while still providing the stability and comfort needed for relaxed cruising.

Some of the significant advantages of sailing and racing with Tartan sailboats include:

  • Advanced hull designs and sail plans for optimal speed and control
  • A range of models specifically tailored for racer/cruiser lifestyles
  • High-quality materials and craftsmanship ensuring durability and reliability
  • A longstanding reputation for performance-focused engineering

In summary, Tartan Yachts offers a diverse selection of sailboats that cater to various sailing and racing needs. From the speed-driven Tartan 101 to the versatile Tartan 245, these yachts provide performance, quality, and satisfaction for both beginners and seasoned sailors.

Cruising Options

Tartan Yachts offers various sailboat models to cater to different cruising needs of their customers. Ranging from monohulls suited for overnight cruises to those designed for day cruising and watersports, there is a suitable option for every sailing enthusiast.

One of the popular models for overnight cruising is the Tartan 4300. This model's traditional design incorporates modern performance characteristics, making it a comfortable and efficient choice for long-distance endeavors. The 4300 is not only visually appealing but also provides excellent stability and ease of handling.

For sailors interested in watersports or day cruising, the Tartan 3800 represents a reliable and balanced option. This sailboat is designed to perform exceptionally well in various weather conditions, providing a pleasurable and safe experience for its occupants. Its comfortable and functional layout ensures a fun day out at sea.

Another notable model for those seeking versatility in their cruising options is the Tartan 4400. This sailboat is designed for smooth sailing and easy handling, making it suitable for both day cruising and overnight journeys. Its spacious and well-appointed interiors ensure a comfortable stay while its optimized rig configuration enhances performance.

The Tartan 395 is another excellent choice for cruisers in search of a monohull that combines modern construction with a traditional design. This model is perfect for those who value elegance and performance in their sailing experience. Its innovative features make it highly maneuverable and capable of handling various cruising conditions.

In summary, Tartan Yachts presents diverse cruising options through their carefully designed models. Whether one is looking for overnight cruising capabilities, watersports, day cruising, or monohull sailing, Tartan Yachts has a suitable sailboat to offer.

Boat Specifications

Tartan Yachts is a company known for producing high-quality sailboats that cater to a wide range of sailing enthusiasts. In this section, we will discuss the specifications of some popular Tartan sailboats and how their displacement, deep draft, and wide beam contribute to their overall performance.

The Tartan 245 is designed for clean sailing fun and cater to people of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds. The boat has a displacement of 2585 lbs, making it a relatively light and easy-to-handle vessel. With a draft of 4.8 ft, it provides good stability and performance in diverse sailing conditions.

Another popular model is the Tartan 372, designed with double spreaders and a babystay for rigging. It has a displacement of 16,150 lbs, ensuring optimum stability and seaworthiness. The deep draft of 6.25 ft contributes to excellent handling and the ability to navigate in more challenging waters. Its rig has around four inches of pre-bend, and the boat's sail area-to-displacement (SA/D) ratio is 17.53, indicating a well-powered rig suitable for club racing in most conditions, except very light air.

The Tartan 3500 is another successful model by Tim Jackett that beautifully synthesizes both American and European design approaches. With a displacement of 12,427 lbs, it strikes a balance between stability, comfort, and performance. Its deep draft of 5.5 ft ensures good stability and the ability to sail in varied weather conditions. Moreover, its beam of 12 ft provides a spacious and comfortable interior for the entire family.

In summary, Tartan Yachts offers a variety of sailboats, each with unique specifications that cater to different sailing preferences. Their vessels generally emphasize good stability and performance, achieved through their displacement, deep draft, and wide beam dimensions.

Safety and Storage

Tartan sailboats are known for their quality craftsmanship and performance, which includes a range of safety features on their vessels. One of the hallmarks of the Tartan yachts is their Safety Features Beneath the Surface that reduce the risk of accidents and potential problems that might not be immediately evident, especially on a new boat.

Attention to detail is evident in their construction process, particularly when it comes to structural integrity. Tartan's yachts are built using advanced laminating resins and reinforcements, which ensures that the vessels are strong and reliable. The Tartan 365, for example, manages to remain moderately lightweight at 13,000 pounds, despite being leaner than other models in the line.

In terms of storage, the intelligent design of these yachts provides ample space for gear, provisions, and personal belongings, ensuring that everything has a designated place while keeping the boat organized and clutter-free. Many Tartan models feature clever storage solutions, such as under-seat lockers, cabinets, and hidden compartments to maximize the available space.

When it comes to storage options outside of the boat itself, North Carolina is an ideal location for keeping your Tartan yacht due to its extensive coastline, numerous marinas, and thriving boating community. With plenty of options to choose from, sailors can find suitable storage facilities and docking spots to ensure the safety and well-being of their vessels during the off-season or when not in use.

International Presence

Tartan Yachts, an American boat builder based in Ohio, has made a significant impact in the international sailing community. With their wide range of fiberglass sailboats, they have gained a reputation for quality and performance in various countries worldwide.

In Europe, the market for Tartan Yachts has flourished, with Germany being one of the countries where the brand has had significant presence. German sailing enthusiasts have been drawn to Tartan's combination of modern design, high-quality materials, and excellent craftsmanship.

Some of the factors that have contributed to Tartan Yachts' global success include:

  • Versatile range of sailboat models catering to different needs and preferences
  • Strong dealer network in multiple countries
  • Participation in international boat shows to showcase their latest products

Additionally, Tartan Yachts' growth has been supported by partnerships and acquisitions. In recent years, Seattle Yachts International acquired Tartan Yachts, further expanding the company's reach and distribution capabilities. This move has enabled Tartan to better serve its growing international clientele and continue pushing the boundaries of sailboat design and construction.

As Tartan Yachts expands its global footprint, they maintain a commitment to quality, performance, and innovation, continually attracting sailors from different backgrounds and regions, including countries like Germany, Canada, Italy, and Antigua and Barbuda.

Resources and Newsletter

Tartan Boats is a renowned boat builder that specializes in high-quality, performance sailboats. Apart from providing well-crafted vessels, Tartan also offers resources and newsletters for its community of boat owners and enthusiasts.

An excellent platform for Tartan boat owners is the Tartan Owners Northeast, or TONE. This organization aims to create a sense of fellowship among Tartan owners by providing forums for exchanging information, as well as hosting boating and social events. Boat owners can join the TONE community to stay up to date on events, resources, and engage in informative discussions.

TONE also publishes a newsletter called the Nor'Easter, which covers a variety of topics that directly affect Tartan owners. Some issues may include:

  • President's Report
  • Coast Guard Notes
  • Ocean Racing
  • Tartan Musings
  • Weather
  • Windlass Upgrade
  • Tartan Tips

These newsletters offer an excellent way for Tartan boat owners to stay informed on news, updates, and practical tips.

In addition to TONE's platform, Life of Sailing is another valuable resource that discusses Tartan Yachts. This website provides helpful articles on common issues with Tartan sailboats, giving insights and guidance to owners and enthusiasts alike.

Sailing Magazine also features articles on specific Tartan boat models, such as the Tartan 30. These articles provide readers with an in-depth overview of the boat's capabilities, construction, and performance, making it a valuable resource for prospective buyers or current owners looking to learn more about their vessel.

By utilizing these resources and newsletters, Tartan boat owners and enthusiasts can enhance their sailing experience, build a sense of community, and stay up to date on important information related to their beloved vessels. 


© 2024 SeaMag. All rights reserved.