Tartan Ten

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Tartan Ten
T Ten sail emblem
Two Tartan Ten sailboats rafted together.
DesignerSparkman & Stephens
No. built378
  • Tartan Yachts
  • SOCA Sailboats
Crew6 – 10
Boat weight7,100 lb (3,200 kg)
LOA10 m (33 ft)
LWL8.2 m (27 ft)
Beam2.8 m (9 ft 2 in)
Hull draft1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Hull appendages
Keel/board typeFixed lead keel
Ballast3,340 lb (1,510 kg)
Total sail area486 sq ft (45.2 m2)

The Tartan Ten, (aka T-10), is a 10 metre keelboat designed by Sparkman & Stephens in 1978 and built by Tartan Yachts. Tartan produced 378 hulls before ending production in 1988.[1]


A Tartan Ten competing in the 2009 East Bay Regatta

The T-10 is a sloop design with 7/8th fractional rig, symmetrical spinnaker, lead keel, aluminum mast and boom, and balsawood-cored fibreglass hull. It can sleep six (2 in V-berth, 2 in midship berths, and 2 in aft quarter berths), has a small sink, and a portable toilet. The Tartan Ten has a flush deck to facilitate deck movement during a race, and this is normally an easy way to identify the boat. The T-10 was designed primarily for racing in a local area (aka "Daysailing"), but that doesn't stop sailors from racing the boat on long races as well. In 2006 twenty-five T-10s participated in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, a popular 333-mile race along the length of Lake Michigan from Chicago, IL to Mackinac Island, MI. Heavily modified T10s have also competed in the Victoria to Maui and the Bermuda 1-2. Such races are beyond the design parameters of the craft.


While an older design, T-10s remain popular racing sail boats, especially in the US Midwest. Their popularity is driven, many believe, by two factors. First, there are still many T-10s racing in one-design format, which makes it a fun fleet in which to participate. Second, T-10s are cheap when compared to equivalently sized sail boats currently sold. Many older T-10s built in the 1970s and 1980s have been refurbished by their owners and continue to race regularly. In Chicago, IL, as many as 20 to 30 T-10s race consistently on almost every weekend of the summer. In large regattas as many as 37 T-10s have raced in recent years. In the 2006 Land's End National Offshore One Design (NOOD) regatta in Chicago, IL, 33 T-10's raced.

One-design class[edit]

The Tartan Ten "Stampede" competing in the 2009 East Bay Regatta, in the Bras d'Or Lake, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

The T-10 class races under a set of rules using the "one-design" philosophy, limiting modifications, sails, materials, crew size, and other parameters in order to keep the boats as equal as possible. This allows racing without time handicaps or boat ratings, and the boat that crosses the finish line first wins. Additionally, the T-10 one-design class rules are designed to limit benefits due to unlimited budgets with annual limits on new sail acquisition. One-design racing keeps the fleet of boats very competitive with each other and provides for exciting racing even though they may not be as fast as newer boats.


Two LS-10's rafted together.

Starting in the early-2000's and continuing through the mid-2010's, Southern Caribbean (SOCA) Sailboats, LTD., known for producing the Melges 32, produced and marketed a newer version of the T-10, called the LS-10, which was based on original molds and designed to conform to the T-10 class rules for one-design racing, but with improved comfort, functionality, and layout.[2][3][4]

Reviews and awards[edit]

The Tartan Ten was inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame in 1998.

In August, 2010, Adam Cort in Sail Magazine's Cult Boats column wrote about the T-10, concluding: "Today, a quarter century after the last new Tartan Ten popped out of its mould, the class appears to be as strong as ever. Fleets of 30 or more boats are still typical at sanctioned regattas, and the cut-throat fleets in the Chicago area are a sight to behold. It’s been said the success of a one-design class is as much a product of the people who support it as the boat itself. If that’s the case, the Tartan Ten will remain a force in sailing for years to come." (Cort, Sail Magazine, August, 2010 at 68)

In August 2012, Scott Irwin's Team Iball won the 2012 Tartan Ten North American Championship, which took place at Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland, Ohio.[5]


  1. ^ Cort, Adam (August 2010). "The All-Arounder" (PDF). Sail Magazine. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  2. ^ "LS10". Archived from the original on 24 November 2005. Retrieved 12 September 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Kretschmer, John (10 November 2008). "LS-10". Sailing Magazine. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  4. ^ "2001 Soca Boats LS-10 / T-10". Boat Trader. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  5. ^ "2012 NAC Results". Tartan Ten website.

External links[edit]