De 40e verjaardag van de S&S Tartan 34 C.

Van dit bijzondere zeilschip, ontwerp 1904, van de hand van Olin Stephens en gebouwd door Douglas and McLeod Plastics, later Tartan Marine, zijn 525 exemplaren gebouwd tussen de jaren 1967 en 1978. De meeste van deze zeewaardige schepen varen nog rond en ongeveer 200 van de enthousiaste eigenaren zijn verenigd in de TCA (Tartan Classics Association). De meeste schepen varen in de USA met de grootste concentratie in de Chesepeak Bay en de grote meren. Tot nu toe zijn vier schepen naar Europa gehaald, één naar Duitsland (hull nº 1!), twee naar Nederland en één (yawl uitvoering) naar Denemarken. Het naar Europa (Nederland) halen van een schip is op zich al een verhaal apart, het wordt te veel om dat in dit artikel te verwerken. Gedurende dit verjaardagsjaar worden tal van zeilevenementen georganiseerd, zie hiervoor en andere informatie de website en

Het ontwerp is vlak na de in Europa bekende DEB 33 ontworpen en gebouwd en heeft een groot aantal gelijkenissen toch wijkt het op een aantal punten af waardoor het (naar mijn idee) een veel geslaagder ontwerp is. De T34 C is niet zoals de meeste jachten in Europa in die jaren “in een vorm gedrongen” door de IOR regels en de romp is daardoor iets voller, hetgeen veel binnenruimte geeft, er zijn zes kooien voor (grote) volwassenen.

Technisch gezien heeft het ontwerp een aantal typische S&S kenmerken. Zo staat de motor boven de kiel (dichtbij het zwaartepunt) net als de water en brandstoftank die in de midscheeps zijn geplaatst. Het ontwerp is een kielmidzwaard, het midzwaard heeft een de vorm van een vleugelprofiel en kan in elke gewenste positie gesteld worden door een listig systeem met een hefboom en kabels, geheel onder de vloer weggewerkt. Het mooi gevormde midzwaard zorgt voor zeer acceptabele aandewindse eigenschappen en met ruimere koersen kan het worden opgehaald. De diepgang is daardoor variabel van 1.20 meter tot 2.40 meter. Dit geeft zowel aan het zeilen als aan het vaargebied grote flexibiliteit

Het zeilen met een Tartan 34 C is een genot en ondanks dat het ontwerp al 40 jaar oud is wordt je door weing schepen ingehaald, Kortom een zeer gewaardeerde Klassieker of zoals ze in de USA zeggen “a headturner”.
Een familiehistorie
I was born in the Netherlands Europe and raised in a sailing family. In 1937 my grandfather and his brother had a yacht designed and built by de Vries Lentsch , a enormous 18 m yawl , named “Tromp II” , problably influenced by the lines of S&S and specially the Zeearend of C. Bruynzeel.
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During the war they had sunk the Tromp in Hoorn harbour so that the Germans would not take her as a war present. My grandfather sold the Tromp in the 70’s after a fire in the winterplace. Late 1990’s the Tromp II was spotted in the waters near of New Zealand.
The son of the designer handed this fotos to me some years ago. On the foto below De Vries Lentsch himself is standing on the deck.
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Before I was born my farther have had built a 24 ft yawl “Amuthe” also designed by de W. Vries Lentsch jr. (the son), I think greatly influenced by the S&S Dolphin and the S&S 22 Sailmaster. So during my young years I was already poisoned with S&S lines.
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In 1973 (I was ten years old) my father bought a real S&S Aqua 30 ft built by the Aquafibre Yard of Lymington UK, the “Saskia”, named after my sister.
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With our family we sailed weekends and holydays on board of Saskia and in that days it was a real “American S&S” eye catcher. My father sailed many races with her.
After some years my father had to sell “Saskia” for health reasons, the man who bought Saskia went on racing even more than my father did and I became a crewmember, we sailed almost all Dutch and some international races and did a lot of cruising.
Some years later a sailmate and I bought a S&S Sailmaster 22 daysailor, “Juffrouw” (with centerboard) the ideal sailingcraft for our Dutch Waddenzee (nice Dutch tidal waters).
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But with a growing family a 22 ft daysailor is a littlebit small and we were looking for a bigger boat with the same characteristics as “Juffrouw” and of course it should be a S&S. That is not an easy job there are almost none in Europe, there are no attractive boats of that type, to build one of ourselves was not really an option. After a while we were boatless….
Than suddenly in the Wave (the S&S newsletter) was an article by George Colligan about the Tartan 34 Centerboard! This gave new hope.
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This is a S&S Sailmaster 22 but then of 34 feet! Unbelievable. Just that single article changed my (our)sailing life! After a while I contacted George Colligan and I wasin contact with him for 2 years and asked about all subjects of this boat you can imagine. In Europe in my opinion most yachts built during that period are influenced by the IOR racing rules (narrow ends and deep fin keels) as you also can see on the popular S&S 34. There are very few usefull centerboarders available, the DEB 33 is an option but not as nice as the Tartan. Spring 2005 my sailing friend Robert Jan went to the USA and George and Susan welcomed him on board Timujin to have a look, take pictures and ask questions. He felt it is the good type of boat, it should fit me was his opinion.
Summer 2005 my plans became more serious. I read the story about Rubicon and contacted Jürgen. We were very welcome on board Rubicon in Hamburg Germany. And indeed this boat felt perfect. During our vacation I felt a littlebit “landsick” and my plans to search for a Tartan grew. I was looking at the website, “yachtworld .com” and George tipped me on Aponivi, Vixen and Dawn Piper. September 2005, contacting Aponivi: just sold. Than contacting Jack Waddell for Vixen and Eric Phipps for Dawn Piper. Both boats were almost sold, there were deposits on them, but if I was in time Vixen was availlable.
Another thing was the transport. There was only one shipment from the east coast to Holland this season. If I want a boat at that moment there was not much time left. I had a list of all boats for sale on the USA Eastcoast from Chespeake Bay up to Maine. Many emails went over the ocean and my good friend Margriet (she is translator for profession) helped me a lot when the English language was sometimes not clear to me.
End of September I booked a trip to NY and tried to contact all boats near Vixen. I could stay with my uncle and borrow his car to visit the boats. Annapolis Sailyard by the person of Richard Kahn the broker of Bracer wrote: “ Although I have a boatshow I will get you on board Bracer, because she is a great boat and you will not be disappointed”.

Before leaving the Netherlands I called Margriet to thank her for all effort she put in translating things for me and told her I was really going to the States.
What a coincidence she said because my husband and I also go to NY that weekend! We had a wonderfull stay in NY and looked at Vixen and all places to be in NY city. To see more boats was not possible in a weekend.
Back in Holland it turned out to be to complicated to work out the deal on Vixen for two private persons…. No Tartan……

After some days I was thinking; to go to the USA for every single boat that may be interesting is to complicated, I have to find another way.
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Than I called Annapolis Sailyard and asked Richard Kahn if they were used to International transports and exporting boats? The answer was: “ Yes Sir, that our daily business”, I replied ”, “OK than may be you get me on board Bracer, but in Europe! And a really hectic week started.
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If the boat is worth its money I want to buy her, but than next week it should be on board the freighter!? Where there is a will there is a way! (we say in Holland).

But how can you thrust people you never met and who live on the other side of the Ocean? And If they lie? And, and, and, etc…..

I asked the S&S office for a relaillable surveyor, Mitchell Gibbons Neff gave me the phone number of Fred Wise who did a great and very quick surveyjob. His comments” Ok the boat is above average but not perfect, if that is what you are looking for, lets go ahead”. I replied: ”Ok let’s go ahead!”

Meanwhile I was sending and receiving very many emails for insurance, transport documents, payments etc. Richard was working on the documents, delivery skipper, etc. in the USA. To avoid mistakes and misunderstandings, every email was also seen and checked by George Colligan, Rob Snoeks (S&S Ass.), Margriet and Jan Maarten Boissevain (of Sevenstar).
Than Bracer was sailed to Baltimore where George Colligan saw her and could tell me much of her by word and photos.
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George also joined Bracer to the freither and reported the story while we were drinking champagne when she was lifted on board the freighter
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30 October the Scheldegracht is heading for Europe, Netherlands or Belgium. 23 November Scheldegracht arrives in Zeebrugge Belgium. Just before our departure to Zeebrugge I checked my mail and the awfull sad message from Susan of the passing of George arrived us. It gave us a very black feeling.

In Zeebrugge Bracer was taken of the Scheldegracht and indeed, as Richard Kahn told me, she is not disappointing me! She is a great boat and the basics are good.

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Meanwhile we sailed Bracer to her winterplace and major maintenance is started.
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