The Tartan 33 and 33R

| History | Common Upgrades | Price History | Specifications | T33R |

Tartans in the Middle

By J. R. Smith
#44 Radiant

It's tough to be the middle kid and get attention you deserve when you have over 20 great siblings.

The Tartan 33 and 33R are sandwiched between other classics ranging from the venerable Tartan 26 to the hefty Tartan 40. Depending on how you count, the Tartan 33 was either the fifth or sixth best-selling boat in the firm's history.

Tartan "classics" are considered, by many owners and sailing writers alike, to include Tartans built before 1990 and in most cases birthed on the drawing boards of the revered Sparkman & Stephens (S&S) shop.

Complete information about the 33's can be found in the paragraphs below, including diagrams, photos, fresh info from S&S, specs, sailing tips from owners, common upgrades, and a whole bunch more.

I'd like to sincerely thank all of those who provided details, ideas, feedback and support.


The T33 owes part of its heritage to the Tartan Ten, also a 33' design. Later, the T34-2 used concepts introduced in the T33. The very popular T34C (centerboard) enjoyed a 500+ production run between 1967 and 1978 and was heading for the sunset. Two fresh concepts were rising. The Tartan Ten, one of Tim Jackett's first projects, was positioned as an offshore one-design. This lighter, faster, no-nonsense boat thrived and 379 were built.

Model Years Number
T34C 1967-78 525
Tartan 10 1978-89 379
T33 & 33R 1979-84 215
T34-2 1984-89 110

While the Ten appealed to racers, it was slight on cruising accommodations and amenities. The market was changing and cruiser/racers with more beam, headroom, and easier- to- manage rigs were becoming very attractive. It's not prudent to ignore trends so Tartan and S&S went to work (note 1).

Tartan's answer was the T33, sporting a 7/8 fractional rig, 33'8" LOA, a respectable 28'10" waterline, and a beam of nearly 11'. The new Scheel keel, offering about a four-and-a half-foot draft, allowed cruisers to gunkhole in skinny waters without the need for a centerboard mechanism and still grab relatively good speed on windy days.

Currently, about 60 of the T33s and nine of the T33Rs are accounted for on the Tartan Owners website. Geographically, the boats are more numerous in the Great Lakes and along the East coast.

Sparkman & Stephens - The Design

The S&S collaboration with Tartan involved 14 models between 1960 and 1984 with a total of some 3,400 boats built. The first S&S design was the Tartan 27 and the last was the Tartan 40 (note 2).

Tartan asked S&S for a new cruising boat design in May of 1978. Reportedly, sales of the T34 and T30 were slowing and a new design was needed. According to the S&S press release:

The Tartan 33 was introduced to the yachting public on July 1979. The T-33 was designed as a comfortable cruising boat with good sailing performance. Many of the lessons learned on the Tartan Ten were incorporated into this design. The trials aboard the T-33 and the sale of more than forty units to date confirm that the design targets have been met. A comfortable cruising boat for deep water and shallow water. In addition, a yacht which is easy to sail and still capable of performing on any point of sail under varied conditions.

Did the final product match the original specifications from Tartan? Not exactly, but then designs have a habit of evolving. Tartan originally requested a 7/8 fractional rig, spade rudder, 33' overall, a deck-stepped mast, a basic weight of 9,500 lbs. (assuming 4,400lbs of ballast) and a Scheel keel or centerboard. The boat manufactured came with a keel-stepped mast and was about 1,000 lbs. heavier. Obviously there was no centerboard version. The navigation station and connection to the quarter berth was successful on the Tartan 37 and translated to the T33 design.

In August of 1981 the basic T33 design was modified to include a deep fin keel, a different rudder, and a masthead sail plan. This was the T-33R (racing) design.

The Boat

Overall, the Tartan 33 is a well-built straightforward cruiser/racer, with good storage and simple, accessible systems, which will hit hull speed given the right conditions and an able crew. Comfortable enough for four on weekends, the boat will also deliver safe and secure long-distance capability for coastal cruising couples. She's no turbo on the racecourse but she wins her share against some of the best in class and can be singled-handed with comparative ease. The Universal 5424 (24 hp) diesel pushes her nicely through the water at 5.5-6.5 kts, cruise-loaded, usually burning half-a-gallon per hour.

Most cruiser/racers are compromise boats. For the most part, T33s favor the cruising side of the equation. Conversely, the Tartan Tens and T33Rs favor the racing side.

Hello Blue Water?

Blue-water capability is generally on the mind of a cruising sailor. Is the T33 designed to be blue-water capable? Yes, given the proper gear, boat condition, and an experienced crew. A spokesperson for S&S recently stated, "Each owner must decide for himself, or by professional survey, the structural condition of the hull and deck, rig condition, and safety gear required for extended passages.  With proper condition and the skipper knowledge suitable to offshore passage making, we see no reason that a T33 can't travel world wide (in moderate climes)."

At this writing, we know that T33s have made the commute from the East coast to Bermuda and back and a good number have cruised the Caribbean.

According to S&S, "A typical IMS club-certificate for the T33 lists a limit of positive stability of 119º - adequate for offshore work." In addition, due to Rod Stephens commitment to proper offshore design, the T33 includes a deep, safe cockpit with drains, more than adequate handholds, and sea berths.

Deck and Cockpit

For the most part, the deck is clean and uncluttered. The cockpit is large with proportioned coamings and long enough seats to lure warm-weather sleepers. Seatbacks provide ample support. Winches are well placed and appropriately sized. Wheel steering was standard.

If you hate to do brightwork, you'll love the deck of the T33. The coachroof grab rails and a bit of companionway trim can be spiffed-up in a weekend. Some models had teak toe-rails but the most were equipped with slotted aluminum rails. All were through-bolted, giving the deck-to-hull bond superior integrity.

Photo: Bob Weismantel
Another hallmark of the T33 is the S&S-designed molded breakwater on the coachroof. Port and starboard channels permit various halyards and lines to be lead aft in uninterrupted fashion.

Molded non-skid on horizontal deck surfaces is a decided plus. Double lifelines and double-rail pulpits and stern rails were also standard.

If you don't like a foredeck anchor well, that's good. Most original T33s owners didn't order one. There is a hawse pipe that feeds chain and line into a locker that runs from the bow to the vee berth forward bulkhead. It is vented, drained, and has access via a louvered door in the vee. Anchor rollers were optional but highly desired.


The T33 and T33R interiors were very similar. The most notable difference is that the mast enters the head in the T33 while on the T33R it enters the salon. In some of the earlier models, the interior finish was a tad dark but overall you'll find T33s have very good joinery work. The interior is quite unique for a production boat, with generous use of solid teak. When compared with newer boats in the category, the T33 sports lavish teak where other manufacturers have increased interior fiberglass.

There's not enough room for a 42" plasma TV but the interior of the T33 has all the basics. Some find it more than adequate for a cruising couple; others consider it rather minimal. If you examine the drawing below, it looks like the T33 can actually sleep six-to-seven adults. That's what it looks like; in reality, if a modicum of comfort is required, it's three-to-four adults and maybe two children. Headroom is adequate for a six-footer and the pull-down salon table will seat four and in a pinch five for dinner.

One handy feature is the headliner design. By removing the teak retaining strips and sliding out the panels, you have comparatively easy access to the coachroof. This is particularly convenient when you need to check exiting fittings exiting the coachroof or when installing new fittings. There's also enough room to install a thin layer of insulating material. Headliner removal on the T33R is a little more difficult.

Among some reviewers and owners, the cabin layout was a matter of some discord which seemed focused on the initial port side design. Forward of the nav station is a large icebox. This grabbed enough space to render the port settee useless for sleeping. It is narrow and lightly cushioned, on the other hand, behind the settee are two ample storage compartments and on top the nearly full-length pilot berth.

Later models offered accommodation plan "B" (shown). With this plan, the icebox was moved to the galley well, the settee lengthened, and the pilot berth replaced by storage lockers. Did this re-arrangement make new T33 buyers any happier? Obviously, yes, since people bought boats with the new interior design. Fortunately there are enough of both layouts available on the previously-enjoyed market to meet current buyer preferences.

Photo: Bob Weismantel
Everything in the galley is within easy reach. For a boat its size it's a functional setup. In the early 1980s the pressure alcohol stove seemed like a good idea. While some owners deal with it, others express great trepidation and consider its replacement high on the to-do list.

Could the sink be a little larger? Yes but you can work around that and it is rather deep. Across from the galley is the navigation station, with a stow-upright 24" x 30" chart table. For those of us who enjoy working with paper charts the table is functional. Factory lighting for the nav station was minimal. While the curved built-in nav station seat is not squarely aligned with the table, it is workable. On some boats, the vented locker outboard of the table has been sacrificed for additional electronics; some newer models are equipped with chart storage underneath the nav table (plan B).

Breaker panels are mounted above the nav table and are easily removed for access to the breakers and wiring. Amp and voltmeters were standard.

Given eight opening ports in the cabin, cross ventilation is rather good. The overwhelming majority of owners have added one or two fans in the main cabin and the vee berth. Screened hatchboards are recommended for warm climes. Dual cowl vents were standard but most owners have added powered vents. The primary opening hatch is in the vee. Some models have an additional hatch in the cabin.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is the head. Whilst seated for duty, the mast immediately confronts one's left knee and one's right knee butts the vanity. And if you haven't followed the latest trend diet, you might feel somewhat cramped. Of course you could also consider the compact head design as highly functional in rough seas, keeping crew members securely on station. We've heard of some owners cutting into the vanity to grab more leg room but its not an easy fix given the hose arrangements. There is ample room to shower and the shower drains to a separate sump in the bilge. Watch the headroom over the vanity and toilet.

Fortunately there are doors between the main cabin and the head and the head and the vee berth. Grab rails are numerous and logically positioned throughout the cabin.


For its size, the T33 can handle a good deal of gear. Most boats have 18 lockers and storage areas including a long and deep lazarette cockpit locker. The lazarette locker is big enough for spare anchors, rodes, fenders, docklines, storm sails, a deflated inflatable, and probably little Billy's tricycle.

Most of the cabin storage is on the port side. Sails can be stowed underneath the port vee-berth, in the aft storage compartment under the port quarter berth, or in the cockpit locker. There are over 22 lockers and cubbies on models that have captured the port pilot berth and have added lockers above each side of the vee berth. There are two hanging lockers located in the head, with the port locker being the larger. On some models, a factory-installed locker replaces the space under the stove that would have been occupied by the oven. Outboard of the galley sink there is a storage well on some models, on others, the lid leads to the refrigeration unit or icebox.

Batteries are underneath the forward portion of the port quarter berth. There's room for a starter battery and deep-cycle house battery (group-27s) but not much else. One owner had another battery holder built and has two 6-volt golf cart batteries as well as a 12-volt starting battery in this compartment It is convenient to the power panel and the engine. Aft of the batteries is the fuel tank and at the foot of the quarter berth, awkward to access, is a sizeable storage area.

Then there's the cavern accessed from the lazarette. Between the stern and the water heater, there is considerable storage space. The problem is that it is hard to access and you have to install brackets, ties, or braces to prevent stored-stuff from impeding proper functioning of the steering mechanisms.

Hull and Keel

T33s have sturdy, well-crafted hulls. Coring was used in both the deck and hull and through-hulls were epoxied. The bow is solid below the waterline. Like any classic sailboat, there's the possibility of water intrusion and deck fittings and through-hulls should be checked regularly and repaired properly.

Photo: Jim Smith

There have been few reports of blistering. A number of boats have been sanded or sandblasted and given a prophylactic barrier treatment. In other words, just because a T33 hull has a barrier coat, don't assume it had blisters.

A good number of owners have remarked about what looks like a triangular "patch" in the hull/keel joint area that keeps "opening." It's not a threat to the integrity of the hull or the keel. Mike Titgemeyer, of Tartan C&C Yachts of Annapolis, says, "The triangle is a fiberglass insert that was fitted when the keel was installed. This allowed Tartan to put a deep keel or Scheel keel on the same stub, as the Scheel keel is much longer than the deep fin. The triangle is fiberglass.  That joint will require the same type of maintenance the keel/hull joint requires."

Scheel Keels were offered on nearly 50 different boat designs, including some Pacific Seacraft models. Increased demand for shallow draft boats without a centerboard was spurred, at least in part, by the concomitant increase in the Florida and Bahamas charter trade. Henry Scheel designed and patented the keel. The concept was to reduce draft, eliminate the centerboard, and provide sufficient ballast while keeping a low center of gravity. Further, the entire keel system had to be sturdy enough to withstand groundings. Keel bolts on T33s and T33Rs are directly accessible via the bilge.

Scheel Keel Design Objectives:
  • Reduce draft
  • Eliminate centerboard
  • Low ballast/center of gravity
  • Reduce leeward-to-windward water flow

Engine and Transmission

Access to the engine is very good. Pulling the engine hood, under the companionway ladder, allows access to the front of the engine to change the belt, replace the impeller, and add oil or coolant (see photo below). By removing the two panels in the starboard lazarette cockpit locker you have easy access to the transmission, stuffing box, front of the water header, most of the engine hoses, the heat exchanger, and the fuel and oil filters. You can also pull the inboard panels in the quarter berth for additional access.

Photo: Bob Weismantel

Most of the Universal 5424s are still in service and parts are available without scrounging salvage yards (note 4). Versions of the engine manual and a parts manual are still available. There are a number of Universal/Westerbeke dealers that supply 5424 engine parts. Many parts can also be located via a Kubota tractor dealer, but don't mention the word "marine", some find that as alien as Pashtu and will immediately say; "we don't handle those."

Sound insulation standards have risen substantially since the T33s were built. More than likely you'll need to upgrade the insulation, not only on the molded engine cover but also on the side panels. Some actually sound like tractor engines. Well, maybe because they basically are tractor engines, Kubota blocks marinized by Universal.

Unfortunately the aluminum fuel tank did not come with a cleanout/inspection port, although with a jury-rigged pump system, you can clean the tank by removing the fill gauge and inserting the suction hose. The Hurth gears, transmissions, are another matter. More than one T33 owner has had to install either a new or rebuilt gear but it's not unusual for an engine to outlast several transmissions.

Sailing the T33

No, the Scheel keel doesn't allow the boats to point as well as those with deep fins but it offers reputable performance. The PRHF rating is about 159. T33s like reaching, heavier air, and to sail relatively flat. The end-of-boom mainsheet is directly in front of the helm. Reefing is generally done at the mast, though some have more advanced systems. Halyards can be raised at the mast or in the cockpit. A good number have spinnakers which clearly improves light air performance.

Bridge clearance is listed at 51.5' but for many boats with wind instruments, VHF antennas, and the like at the masthead, it's safer to think 54' of clearance. Its always wise to measure it yourself. The shallow draft allows you to get into places other boats can't but the tall keel-stepped mast prevents you from passing under certain bridges. You'll be OK in the lower ICW but not the New Jersey section. The tall mast allows the T33 to carry a main of about 300 square feet.

The T33's sailing capabilities are very good with excellent tracking, partly due to the long length of the Scheel keel. Bob Weismantel, owner of Larina said, "I race as crew on a variety of boats with fin keels that take a lot of close attention to keep them on course. When I come back to my T33 after a rough day on the course on other boats the T-33 feels like power steering, the boat performs with so little effort."

Leo Corsetti, owner of Satisfaction says, "When sailing back from Provincetown (Cape Cod) we often encounter 30 knots (broad reach) of wind from the SW creating 5 to 6 foot seas. One reef in the main with a 135 jib and the boat sails well balanced, like a champ, to her home port of Winthrop, MA."

Headsails in the 135- to-155% range are fairly common. Bill Coster, on Silent Passage, writes, "We race our T33 very successfully. The boat reaches very well but won't point with C&C 33's, O'Days or similar boats but will catch and pass them on the reaches and runs. If it's just you and your wife, invest in a 135 take a higher PHRF rating and most of the time you will do as well as if you had a 155."

Photo: Gregg Sawyer
Scott Wolff, skipper of Wolff Trap has raced his T33, in mostly light air conditions, successfully for over six years in the non-spinnaker class. He suggests you "need a folding prop, a good light 155, an experienced hand at the mainsheet, a glass smooth bottom with clean running gear, and that you not heel more than 17-20 degrees. It pays to know your keel actsdifferently than a fin keel." "I'm not kidding," adds Wolff, "we are a bullet in light air.  Only boats like the J24, Hunter 26 and Capri's can hang with us in flat water."

Needless to say, fractional rigs usually sport big mains and the T33 is no exception. A number of owners urge early reefing when the wind builds. It's a big main and its wise to be ahead of conditions. If its original canvas, its likely to be heavy too. Weismantel suggests, "Keeping the mainsheet trimmed well to windward enhances mainsail performance. As to trimming the main, it is very important to have adequate flattening and reefing lines to sail the boat efficiently."

How does the boat handle in medium seas? Larry Luck of Kelpie says, "the boat performs better than I can sail it.  My only experience, to date, in big water was her delivery from Cape Cod to Cape Charles and she handled beautifully in 25-30 knots of wind and 6-8 foot seas from the stern quarter."

Common Upgrades and Fixes

Face it, even the youngest T33 is over 20 years old and like any classic vessel a lot depends on how the boat was treated by the previous owner(s). One of the most common upgrades is to swap-out the pressure alcohol stove/oven for a passive alcohol (Origo) or propane unit. The good news is that most new units either require little or no retro-fitting. Losing the alcohol tank, underneath the galley sink, will yield even more storage space.

As with any sailboat of similar vintage, there are bound to be instances of worn or fashion-crisis interiors, a leaky portlight here and there, spider cracks in the gelcoat, and questionable rigging. Fortunately, these common issues are not "deal-killers." If you have the original cushions there's a good chance the foam is fairly tired and should be replaced anyway.

If your T33 has some sole problems, check the starboard water tank. When you over-fill the water congregates at the base of the starboard tank locker. After a while this seal breaks down and water seeps across the sole into the bilge. You should also check the inspection port lids and the hose connections. The original diaphragm water pump on many T33s is still going strong but don't be shocked to see a replacement.

The mast bridge plate and step should be examined and repaired as necessary (note 3). Since the mast has open fittings; it is not immune to saltwater intrusion. If you haven't pulled the mast, do so, and inspect the bottom for signs of corrosion. Mast corrosion around the chocks is also a strong possibility. Catching corrosion before it gets too far is the key.

Like many of her earlier siblings, some of the T33 have forward eyebrow nav lights, which although functional are often hard to see in a busy seaway. Others were delivered with pulpit-mounted lights. Its not unusual for "eyebrow" owners to install new nav lights on the bow pulpit and/or put a tri-color on the masthead.

Photo: Jim Smith
Another mast-related concern is the wiring. More than a few owners have had to completely rewire the mast. Some have the original wiring channels inside the mast but in most cases these have deteriorated and prove more of a hassle than they are worth. Oh, you'll either need to be ingenious or you'll need more than a 50' wire feed or snake to wrestle the new wire into place.

AC wiring is ample and properly installed. You'll want to replace the original AC outlet over the sink in the main cabin with a GFI, this will control the other two outlets, one in the main cabin and the other in the head. Many owners have replaced all original outlets with GFIs. There is a polarity indicator mounted on the aft side of the nav station locker.

A few of the boats were not equipped with electric bilge pumps. Occasionally, you'll find a boat where the electric bilge pump is run aft to the tee for the cockpit manual pump. That's a pretty long, uphill run for most 12-volt bilge mounted units. There is a sump pump, usually mounted under the galley sink that might need replacement but remember, it was designed to drain the sump, not serve as a high capacity bilge pump.

Surprising as it may seem, a healthy number of the original instruments are still working fine but it's fairly certain that you will be replacing a depth or wind unit in the not too distant future. In some cases, like Raymarine's, the depth and speedo sending units are drop-ins for the original Datamarine units. This is not the case with Signet equipment. Installing new display units usually requires some modifications. The early T33s instruments were often bulkhead mounted which is not good for the skipper trying to stare past cockpit denizens to check wind or depth. Autopilots are a common upgrade.

A new, larger (3" diameter) heat exchanger is also a common upgrade on the earlier models (1979-80). The impact of the undersized heat exchanger wasn't immediately noticed, since many boats sailed mainly in colder northern waters. When the boats headed south, where average sea temperatures were higher, overheating became a common problem. The fix? In most cases installing a larger heat exchanger solved the difficulty. Of course there could be many other reasons for engine overheating.

The Go Fast Alternative - The T33R

The T33R was designed more as a racer than a cruiser. "Rs" all have masthead rigs, with a smaller high aspect ratio main, and 6'3" fin keels. The T33 and T33R share the same hull. The T-33R is a double-spreader rig with a shorter mast moved aft about a foot. The mast is stepped through the salon rather than through the head making the table a bear to open. The T33R interior has the standard amenities.

T33Rs sported beefier gear. Peter Crawford on Wind of Freedom says, "The 33R also came with a bigger wheel (40" I believe); also the winches are bigger (Lewmar 44 3-speeds) and so is the spinnaker gear. The secondary winches, two Lewmar 30s at the corners of the cabin house were also probably standard."

Sailing the T33R is fairly straightforward. "Downwind without a spinnaker, she is underpowered.  Light air upwind performance is excellent and the boat is very well balanced in most conditions.  You need to work the helm on a reach, though.  Downwind or on a reach in heavy air, she'll really move.  The rig is sturdy but difficult to bend with a backstay adjuster.  The mast, which has in-line shrouds, tends to pump in some conditions, even with the babystay tight," says Crawford.

Tom Jaworksi, owner of Sorceress, states "The 33R will point with the best of them, and does well in light airs if the bottom is clean.  Downwind without a spinnaker, she struggles a bit in winds less than 10-15 knots.  I heard from one 33R owner that he competed head to head with a Frers 33 quite successfully, the latter being a couple of thousand pounds lighter, but with similar sail area."

Paul Otto, skipper of Magic, likes the deep keel as "This allows 'Magic' to go to windward with the best of them. In spite of it however, she's a bit on the tender side and I start to reef early. She sails best pretty flat."

Price History

Apparently the base model in 1979 listed for about $46,500. At the end of the production run, the base T33 cost about $66,000. The Tartan Owners website shows hull #4 of the T33 production run and hull #1 of the T33R run are still in service.

Excluding Tartan-Tens, which are often listed with T33s by brokers, there were about a dozen boats available for sale in December 2004. The low was a T33R for under $20,000. The standard T33 asking prices ranged from a 1981 model at $45,500 to a 1980 at $24,900. The higher priced boats are usually equipped with more electronics, such as autopilot, custom canvas (bimini/dodger), and sometimes radar.

The general trend has been for the average boat, in good condition, to sell in the $33-37k bracket. Well-found boats traditionally trade well above $40,000. Like many of her sister classic Tartans, it's fair to say the T33 is holding value and the general depreciation curve has flattened. In fact, there is evidence that the negotiated prices might be edging up, partly due to the relatively short supply of quality classic production boats in this size range and the value-added by the Tartan and S&S brands

T33 Connections

If you are in the market for a Tartan 33 perhaps your best resource is current owners. They and their well considered advice can be found at and by joining the Tartan discussion lists/forums, kindly provided by and

Finally, this review was made possible by the fantastic group of active and caring T33 and T33R owners. I've tried to acknowledge some of them at end of this piece. Like other Tartan models, the boats have not only brought many years of safe passages to their skippers, they've also brought the skippers together. If you have a problem, help is usually just an email away.

© James R. Smith, 2005. All rights reserved. The author can be contacted at: or



  1. See Dan Spurr's article detailing Tartan's business history. Of course we'll never forgive him for omitting the T33 part of the story.
  2. Correspondence with S&S Design Department, January 2005.
  3. See Bob Weismantel's "Larina" website for details on mast step and bridge inspection and repair.
  4. For Universal diesel history details, see Robert Hess's website noted elsewhere.


Ted Brewer, "The Tartan 33 and the Scheel Keel," Good Old Boat, September/October, 2001.

Karen Larson,"Bristol is Beautiful," Good Old Boat, September/October, 2001. Story of Russ and Joanne Clepper's refit of a 1980 T33.

Dan Spurr, "Tartan Yachts" Good Old Boat, November 2003. A comprehensive review of Tartan's history, principles, and boats. This is a good read for current and potential owners but the T33 and T33R receive very little attention.

"Tartan 33," Practical Boat Buying / Practical Sailor, July 1, 1989.


Tartan Yachts, drawings of T33
Leo Corsetti, "Satisfaction," T33
Peter Crawford, "Wind of Freedom," T33R
Ron Hilliard, "Allegro," T33R
Josephine Ilagan ,Sparkman & Stephens Inc.
Tom Jaworski, "Sorceress," T33R
Larry Luck, "Kelpie, " T33
Paul Otto, "Magic," T33R
Garth Reynolds, "Koinonia," T33
Gregg Sawyer, "Womble," T33
Morgan Steinmetz
Mike Titgemeyer, Tartan C&C Yachts of Annapolis
Bob Weismantel, "Larina," T33
Scott Wolff, "Wolff Trap" T33
Jim Lazar, "Sybaris" T33


Tartan 33
Designer: Sparkman & Stephens, Inc
Manufactured 1979-1984
Number of Hulls: 215 (14 masthead T33Rs, racing models)

Basic Specifications:

LOA: 33.67' LWL: 28.83 Beam: 10.96'
Draft: Scheel Keel- 4.46' Deep Fin-6.25'
Ballast 4,400 lbs. (lead)
Displacement--Dry: 10,000+ Wet: 11,300+ (est)
Hull Speed: Approximately 7 kts.
D/L: 186
Hull: hand laid fiberglass mat, woven roving, balsa coring in hull/deck
Bridge Clearance: Fractional 51.5' Masthead: 48.5'
(But don't guess, measure it yourself.)


Mast: 7.2"x 4.5" elliptical section 6061-T6 aluminum
Boom: 3.5" x 5.0" elliptical 6061-T6 aluminum alloy
Two jiffy reefs

Fractional Rig 7/8:

I: 36.50' J: 12.5' P: 41.75' E: 14.50' (design basis and early production)
I: 39.00' J: 12.5' P: 41.75' E: 13.75' (later production **)
Sail Area: 531.00 sq. ft.
** hull no. 23 earliest confirmed

Racing Rig:

I: 44.75' J; 13.56 P: 39.18 E: 11.87'
Sail Area: 535.94 sq. ft.
PHRF*: Fractional Approx. 159, Racing Approx. 135

Basic Wire Compliment (all stainless):

Shrouds: upper & lower 9/32" 1x19
Headstay ¼" 1x19
Split Backstay: Upper 7/32" 1x19, lower-split 7/32" 7x19


V double 6'4"
Starboard double
Aft Port Quarter Berth (cramped double)
Port Pilot/sea berth


Gimbled two burner pressure alcohol stove (oven optional)
Ice box 6 cubic ft, refrigeration (optional)
Deep stainless sink w/manual water pump
Pressure water


Marine toilet w/holding tank
Pressure water
Basin w/shower head, shower curtain on track
2 Closets and 2 storage drawers


Universal 5424 3-cyl diesel 24 h.p., freshwater cooled
Transmission: Hurth* gear ratio varies, usually 2:1
Prop: 2-blade 16x11x1, 3-blade 16x10x1

Approximate Capacities:

Water: 62 gal. (30 gal v tank, 32gal starboard tank) plastic
Fuel: 26 gal. aluminum
Holding: 14-19 plastic


Port nav station w/24"x30" fold down chart table
Molded non-skid on horizontal portions of deck, usually tan
Pedestal steering, 32" stainless wheel, pedestal mounted throttle/shifter
All standing rigging lightening grounded
Ports: 8 opening, 4x14"
Thru- hulls: bronze, stainless

*Specifications vary somewhat, the above taken from Tartan literature.