The Tartan 34-2 Hull ID has the hull number embedded in it. My hull ID is TAR34009J485. The hull number is the third through fifth positions, in this example 009. The remainder identifies the build date and model year.
I have already talked about how the T34-2 main sail is BIG. In my experience, lowering the sail (especially when you are single-handing) requires octopus arms and a stong willingness to wrestle the flogging sail as you stand on the cabin top. I had taken to dropping the sail on deck and scrambling to gather it once down rather than to be beaten by flailing reefing lines.
My solution to these challenges has been to purchase and install a Harken Lazy Jack kit. There are many lazy jack systems and you will have to decide which one you think is best for your boat. You may even decide to make one yourself. After much research, including whether or not to bother with lazy jacks, I chose the largest Harken model because it would provide for three lines on each side of the boom rather than just two. Admittedly, raising the sail now requires more care not to tangle the battens in the lazy jack lines, but it is worth it! Dowsing the sail is now simple, painless, and safe. The sail comes down swiflty into the cradling arms of the lazy jack and it stays there. The result is that I use the main more frequently when I single-hand then I did before.
I did have my local canvas maker put slits in my sail cover. She finished them beautifully with inner vinyl protector and sunbrella overlaps. I am not sure how necessary this really is except that it looks very neat and tidy and covers the sail properly. It takes a few minutes more to get it on than it used to but I have a minute or two extra to spare as I linger after sailing!
My experience with the T34-2 mainsail is that it is BIG! It requires muscle to raise the sail. After much research I purchased a Tides Marine Strong Track system.
The Strong Track is a low friction track that installs in the main mast luff groove. I purchased mine from Sailcare, and Jerry will walk you through what you need. Tides has a measurement kit with disks to put into the luff groove so that they can cut your track custom to your boat. On arrival there is a piece of test track that you use to check whether there is any binding, before you unroll the track. The installation of the track is very easy, aided by some dry lube or diswashing liquid to help it go up the luff groove easily. The sail slugs need to be modified on your sail, and I had three full battens installed at the same time that has made a big difference in weather helm and sail trimming. The sail now goes up more easily -- I can haul it up halfway without the winch, and can winch it to the mast top with much less effort. I am very satisfied with the results and it has made raising the main an easy task for me or the crew.
The following modifications were made to go off-shore:
The slotted aluminum toerail was a very useful tool.
I did most of the work of installing and aligning the equipment on the boat.
Regarding a backstay adjuster, it certainly helps to be able to twist the sail for that added ounce of speed. Having said that, it really depends on the type of sailing you prefer. If you decide to get one then definitely go hydraulic as I don't think you'll get much us from a manual. Of course if you are going to get a backstay adjuster then the corresponding forestay adjuster comes in handy.
The 3GM30F diesel is a 3 cylinder Yanmar located under the companion way ladder. The way to get to it is to take the ladder off by sliding it up and lay it on the settee or something out of the way. There is a latch at the back of the engine cover, unclip it. Then pull it back and lift it up for a second. You kind of have to bump over some coolant lines but then it comes straight out. Just slide the engine cover straight back into the main salon area. You have complete access to all four sides. Behind the Nav Station is the 3/4 berth. The top of the berth is the cockpit floor. To get to the transmission, stuffing box, and shaft is very easy.. the trick to it is how much stuff is on top of the access! haha You have to move everything and lift the cushion directly behind the engine to get the board out to get too them. Just slide it back unto the aft board. The after board is removable to get to the shaft seal. This is a great area to put beer and such. The batteries (2 deep cycle 110's and a starting battery) are under the Navstation seat on the outboard side. The water intake (and ball valve) are in the compartment aft of that.
The biggest thing you will need to do with the engine is to bleed the air out if you run out of fuel. If there is air in the fuel system, the motor will not start no matter how much you try. You will kill the batteries. Bleed it and it will fire right up. At the front of the engine on the left side as you look at it, there is a gray metal fuel jar. On the top of it is a bolt. Look aft and you will see a little lever, that’s the manual fuel pump lever. Crack the bolt open a bit and pump that lever til fuel comes out of the bolthead with no bubbles. Tighten the bolthead up while pumping the lever. Then follow the fuel lines up toward the top of the engine. There is a little bolt with a Phillips head where the lines split into 3 metal lines. Use the big screwdriver to crack that open and pump the lever again til there is a little fuel that runs out by the screwhead then tighten. Now start the engine. Crack that screwhead a bit after the motor is running to get any last bit of air out so the motor runs smoothly.
You also check the oil on the same side as you bleed the fuel line (the starboard side next to the sink). You will see the dipstick and it is self explanatory. Getting the oil out to change it requires starting the motor to warm the oil (it must be very warm/almost hot), putting the pump dipstick tube in the dipstick hole and suck out the oil. About a gallon. The oil filter is on the port side.There are spares behind the back of the port settee with the tools and spare parts.
The transmission oil check is on the transmission housing behind the motor. It is a yellow cap.Check the manual but I believe oil comes to the bottom of the dipstick, it is hard to check because the oil is very clean. It uses the same oil as the engine, Rotella-T 15w-40. No need to change it, just make sure it is at the proper level.
The Nigel Calder manual will spell out aything that you need to fix/investigate and there are all the supplies and tools you should need.
My 1985 Tartan 34-2 had factory screens for the portlights but they were lost by a PO. After much hunting I found that the portlights and screens are available from Pompanette: the portlight is Bomar, part number N3414, and the screen is part number P3000-01. The screens are hand-made @ $59.85 each. The lead time is 2 weeks.
Pompanette also sells the right and left dogs P2000-68 (left) or P2000-69 (right) @ $17.00 each. I asked about a gasket for the portlight and was told that it is only available on the ports with one seam in the aluminum frame.
The screens for the portlights for the 1985 T34-2 are installed with clips on the outside of the portlight. While the portlights can not be closed with the screens installed.
The 1986-89 models may have different portlights and screens. Anyone have that information?
Jack Harris is the owner of "Temptation," a 1985 Tartan 34-2. Jack is a Professor of Sociology and an international consultant to local governments. He sails out of Prinyer's Cove, Picton, Ontario, Canada.
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- Hull #101 - "Athena"
- Hull #109 - "Counterpoint"
- Hull #9 "Temptation"
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