Ericson 35 or 27?
I have just sold my 78 Yamaha 25II with the goal of a more room below and in the cockpit so the wife and a guest or two could be comfortable. I had been looking in the 27-28 foot range at Cal 2-27, Cat 27 or erickson 27 or 28. The lack of Cal 2-27s and my preference for the percieved quality of the Ericsons has be zeroing in on a nice 72 Ericson 27 the the owner has maintained quite well.
Now an old sailing pal has introduced me to a club member with a well-maintained 74 Ericson 35. Oh my. This boat has had a blistering problem which has been addressed on two former occasions yet the blisters have returned. I have always loved the Ericson 35 but am concerned about this problem on an otherwise pristine boat.
Does anyone have experience with this? I think I 'd love the larger boat but don't know much about the history of this problem on the 74 Ericson 35.
Any advice or comments will be appreciated.
You need to learn a lot more about the blisters. The mere presence of blisters tends to severely rate down a survey and hence resale value, but they may or may not be a problem. Cosmetic blisters through the gel coat but not deep in the laminate probably should be repaired over time, but they have little effect on the boat. Structural blisters, large in size and deep in the laminate require early attention. A boat with cosmetic blisters can be a great buy.
Blisters that come back...
I think the blisters that worry me the most are the ones that come back after "repair jobs." There's some rather disturbing reports of "bad repair jobs" leading to worse problems than if the blisters have been left alone. We walked away from a boat with blistering problems two years after it had been peeled and epoxied.
We looked seriously at a Ericson 27, and there was a recent article in 48 North about one that the owners really liked (but I don't think the article is online). What worried me a bit was the Practical Sailor review that suggested its performance could be better. We ended up with a C&C 27, but other close contenders were an Islander 28 and a Cal 2-27.
Just had a Ericson 35 MKIII 1985 surveyed with a few blisters below the waterline. Surveyor was very knowledgeable and recommends not doing anything as this is just a symptom of the curing process of the resin in older boats. The blisters are hard and do not reduce the strength of the hull.
The signifigance of a blister situation may vary from minor to major, that your boat's are minor is good for you, but offers no advice to the poster as to the conditions he is facing. That the boat in question has two prior known repair cycles that haven't solved the problem I think is a very bad sign. This should be a red flag to any potential owner to look very closely.
There is quite a difference in the size, sailing performance, maintenance costs, etc. between an Ericson 27 and 35. I agree that Ericsons are lovely boats (I own an Ericson 30+), but you may want to get more clear in your mind about what you really need/want in your next boat, and even consider a few other options (Ericsons or other boats) to help you decide which might be the right boat for you at this time.
If you are still considering an Ericson, you might want to get additional information on the Ericson owners website--very knowledgeable people there on all models of Ericsons.
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