When sailor demand called for an offshore
one-design in the late 1970s, Tartan
Marine answered with the Tartan Ten.
Many racers were unsatisfied with the
high-cost, arms-race style of racing
under the IOR and were unimpressed with
the rule-driven boats. The market needed
a racer in the 30 foot range that could
double as a family cruiser/daysailer.
The 1978 Sparkman and Stephens-designed
33-foot Tartan helped define the new
category of offshore one-design: the
ability ot handle coastal and offshore
racing with the appeal of a one-design
and a small family weekend cruiser.
Tartan Ten entered the scene with a
new look: flush deck with cockpit-led
controls keeps everything clean for
easy sailing. A fractional rig carries
an easily handled 100% jib. Its broad
stern, designed with offshore downwind
performance in mind, opens up the cockpit
for multiple crew members. Tartan introduced
these features, most of which can be
found on today’s offshore one-designs,
for half the cost of the popular One
Tonners at the time.
sacrificing speed for comfort, the
Tartan Ten’s modest six-berth
interior was a large improvement over
the stripped racing interiors of the
time. Reflecting the boat’s
all-around purpose, the cabin provides
comfort for an offshore crew, a regatta
liveaboard, or during a family overnight.
Marine’s effect on the racing
community with the T10 went beyond
the boat. Now Sailors could forget
about their boat’s rating and
compete boat for boat. Inshore, Tartan’s
energized approach to fleet development,
spawned large fleets throughout the
Midwest. The all purpose mission of
the Tartan Ten: ready for offshore,
good around the buoys, and fun for
the small-family cruise or daysail.
Josh Adams, SAIL Magazine