Originally Posted by Grand River Raider
I'm interested in the names of those half dozen. Would they include Pearson and Ericson? Cape Dory? (Yes, I know that is only 3
And this was what I was trying to get at in my OP about build quality. The reputation seems to be that some of the builders, even if no longer in business, produced a superior product to some of the current manufacturers. I'm still trying to grasp exactly what superior build quality refers to and perhaps I'll have to fall back to the car analogy that is sometimes used to rank boats...however incomplete that may be.
I'd say Pearson and Ericson make very nice boats that will suit your purposes well. Just find the right example and you should be fine. I've had friends cruise the Great Lakes on everything from a Catalina 27 to a C&C 61. Another friend was the first to windsurf across Lake Michigan in 1980!
Within the whole 'manufacture' discussion are outstanding individual designs. And of course budget not only to buy, but to maintain. Don't underestimate this. Costs rise exponentially roughly every 5 feet.
Of the Ericson boats that deserve special attention are those that were originally built by Olson ( Pacific Boat Works... outstanding glass work!) and the molds sold to Ericson after PBW went out of business: the Olson 34 and Olson 911. The Pacific Boat Works 911(s) is lighter and superior in build to the Ericson 911(se), but are great 30' boats from the board of the late Carl Schumaker. The Olson 34 is a great boat as well. Both the 911 and 34 are hard to come by as their owners are loath to part with them.
Others off the top of my head that haven't appeared in this thread:
Yankee 30, Olson 911, S2 9.1 or 10.3, J-34 or 35c (the nod goes to the 35c), Alsberg Bros Express 34. (Both the Express 34 and J35c where built in very limited numbers and both are very popular with their owners so hard to find.)
Then there are a number of C&C's (pre-Tartan and post Tartan ownership) that are popular, widely available, and have great user group info available. If you had the cash, an older S&S small Swan (36,37, or 38) would be nice, as might a Hinckley Pilot 35 ( a very different and older design than any of the aforementioned) CS made some very nice boats as well that are worth looking at. In the end, the right boat will not only be mechanically and structurally sound, but you'll just like looking at it in the slip! If you don't like the one you're dancing with, you'll always be looking for something else and focus is important. It's not just a boat, it's a life style!
You can find more basic info on the boats mentioned here: