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boat-review-sail-tartan_4300-largeThere is something about a Tartan that stops you in your tracks – that makes you look again. It's a beautiful boat that meets the demands perfectly of anyone who wants a comfortable and somewhat elegant option for their offshore adventures. The classic long waterline look is becoming unique in its own right. The evolution and ever increasing presence of the tear drop windows, sloping decks and more truly represent the – if you will – avante garde designs we are seeing in more and more boats.

Here, Tim Jackett has matched traditional profiling with the latest in technology and trends perfectly. I am a real fan of the low coach roof look, I must say, but I am just as impressed with how the Tartan team (under Jackett's leadership) has made a boat that truly performs. From the extra thick teak floors below to the use of the latest in composites and rig technology, the 4300 has just a bunch of great features that must be considered.

From the dock, you are immediately taken aback by the wonderful white composite mast and pocket boom system. The double spreader rig and tall tapered mast easily support a larger roached full batten mainsail that slides up the mast with ease, utilizing the Harken Bat Car system. Of note is the use of composites to build the keel stepped spar that's lighter and stiffer than aluminum ensuring great stability and solid sailing dynamics. In fact, the lighter mast aloft provides an offset equal to 500 kg of crew weight on the rail.

Tartan's moniker is Cruise Control Rig that also boasts a 100% self tacking jib and an optional 150% reacher. The outboard tracks for reaching are a nice touch. The two Harken furlers work perfectly and I must say the pocket boom well placed above the cockpit is a wonderful feature, allowing almost effortless stowage of the huge mainsail with an integrated simple zipper system for the mainsail cover.

Our test sail gave us a cross range of wind conditions from 7 knots gusting to 14 knots. The boat was wonderfully balanced and stiff and its ability to point high was not compromised at all by the low CG beavertail keel (3,062 kg.) that we think is the perfect length at 5'10". This is a cruising keel that has solid sailing dynamics. Upwind speed was an easy 8 knots and steering and visibility were wonderful.

On deck, the ample cockpit is graced by a large single 48-inch, leather-covered steering wheel and the expected storage lockers. A nice easy walkthrough transom allows access to the swimming platform.

Four Harken self-tailing winches and the control lines are well placed for easy control and trimming. Double lifelines are well mounted and strong; there is more than enough passageway forward; one would feel most comfortable in any weather if the need to move forward arose.

Below decks, ventilation is more than adequate with our classic Dorade vents, 6 deck hatches and 14 opening portlights. It's bright with its well-fitted cherry woodworking, welcoming throughout; the layout available in both two-cabin and three-cabin all center around a wonderful living space. The navigation station is, to say the least, decadent; the central dining area is graced by a perfect wraparound settee. To port, the settee can be converted into a double berth when required, allowing for seven people on board in the two-cabin configuration and nine in the three-cabin layout. Our test boat came with the single aft cabin layout with an athwartships double berth that presented a great live aboard space for guests. This configuration allowed the designers to have a larger port storage locker under the port cockpit seat.

The L-shaped galley is to port just forward of the Nav station. It has 9" deep, double sinks with premium marine grade galley faucet and manual foot pump with swivel spigot. Counters are Granicote and available in several designer colours. There is ample storage under the galley sink through ventilated raised panel cherry doors and a hinge out galley trash bin .There is a moulded icebox with Granicote solid surface counter top and 4" foam insulation insulated for front and top load access with an insulated divider in box. The gimballed stove is well placed for cooking underway in any seas.

Forward, the owner's cabin has a neat island double bed allowing easy access and there is wonderfully designed storage below with the aft facing drawer system. The large ensuite head is perfectly configured with a nice shower.

All in all, this boat is a wonderful balance of style, function and technology that's hard to match and it would be a wonderful choice for those who want luxury and performance rolled into one.

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!