Ericson 23 Worth Buying?? - SailNet Community

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Old 04-02-2007
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Ericson 23 Worth Buying??

I'm just headed off to look at an Ericson 23, probably about 1976. Condition is probably neglected but not beyond some reasonable work. It has an older outboard, and a trailer. I was looking for a bigger boat, around 27, but I thought being a new sailor this might be a good boat to start with. Anyone have any knowlegde about this particular boat? Also, I'm concerned I might end up pouring a bunch of money into this boat, and end up with the price of a 27' foot boat, but have a 23' boat that is not worth near what I have into it. I don't have a feel for cost when it relates to fixing up a sailboat. Thanks in advance for any comments, I appreciate it.
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Old 04-02-2007
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I don't know a ton about Ericsons, but I have had my share of 22'-25' boats. I think 23' is a perfect starter size. 27', although only a few feet longer, is a much bigger boat that takes a little experience to handle (mostly docking) and certainly is not easily trailerable. But what ever you decide, you'll always have the problem of putting in more money than you'll ever get back. Whether it be 23' or a 40', it's the same problem. "A hole in the water......"
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Old 04-02-2007
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If you have doubts about it...then that is probably your subconcious mind telling you something. what are they asking for it? Is the price low enough that you can afford to do the upgrades without spending a lot more than the boat is going to be worth? If so, then do it... if not, then take a pass. Boats aren't good investments, the return you get on a boat isn't normally measured in dollars and cents.
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Old 04-02-2007
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All things being equal a 23'er is just a smaller hole in the water than a 27'er. I've heard you can sail a 8' dinghy an still have fun.

It's the 'all things being equal' part you are probably asking about and unfortunately we can't answer that since we can't see the boat. It's hard to know what your looking at as a beginner, I know, I am going through that process of learning myself. I decided I would rather learn and make my mistakes on a smaller scale, so I went the under 25' route for my first 'real' keelboat. I also made sure I looked at a number of boats in my price/size range so I could start to get a feel for what condition they usually are in and what to look for. I sought the advice of experienced boat owners/sailor. I made a list of what would be acceptable repairs and what wouldn't based on research into probably costs. And I still made some mistakes, fortunately they were 1k mistakes, not 5k mistakes. I'm sure I'll make some more, but fortunately I'm learning them on a smaller, more manageable scale.

Cost might not be an issue for you however, and you may be more lucky than me.
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One idea, offer much less for the boat without the motor if you aren't sure and get a good used one or new. I'm guessing that for that size/age boat the motor and sails are actually what you are buying assuming the hull is ok (if it isn't, run, not walk away). I did that very thing since one of the things on my list was 'must get new/reliable' motor. I figured best way to do that was buy a boat without one and then get a new one. I spent roughly the same for the new motor as I did the boat.

See my costs at the link below for an idea:
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...tml#post125526
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Thanks, appreciate the comments. I understand that boats are not an investment, and I'm prepared to maybe have the boat not be worth what I get into it, just I don't want to be wildly out there. Does anyone have any comments about this particular boat, Ericson 23, performance, etc.? The boat appears to be sound, somewhat neglected, plan to have someone who knows more look at it. The trailer looks serviceable, dual axle, some rust. I don't know the condition yet of the sails and outboard. The asking price is $3000. Thanks again.
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Sailing Magazine

I found this article, pretty good reading, can't personally vouch for it's veracity.
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Old 04-02-2007
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$3,000.00 is a good price to pay for a first boat. You're going to end up spending money - regardless of what boat you buy. Even with a new boat, there is always something that you need (or think you do). Roughly, you can expect to sell a used boat for what you paid for it, if you maintain it. If you make it beautiful, you'll get more than you paid for it, but keep in mind that it will always be an old boat, and there is a certain range of prices associated with any given model year.

You will not recoup all of the money that you spend on repairs. And how much you get back depends entirely on whether someone falls in love with it or not when you want to sell.

As far as the specific boat goes - I will probably get pooped on from great heights for saying this, but there is not really a huge difference between the 23 and 24 foot volume production boats. There are some character boats out there for sure, but generally Pearson, O'Day, Bristol, Ericson, C&C, etc. are all decent starter boats.

If you're looking at larger boats, then this 23 is probably not a stretch for you - which is a good situation to be in. You can refit here fairly well, have some excellent adventures, and not be boat poor. Good luck !
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good points sailormann, I would add the following..

Everyone talks about the tradeoff negatives with smaller boats (under 25'), but I chose something 24' for one very strong positive tradeoff.

Smaller boats are more fun to sail, they are more responsive to what you do with them. If you wanna really really learn to sail your a__ off, race a small boat. I have fatally cold water where I live, so I got the smallest boat I could be reasonably certain of not tipping over unless I do stupid race things ( which I might do anyway if I have able crew and my family is safe and dry on the docks ). After I learn to sail my a__ off I'll get a larger boat to cruise in.

Oh, and one more thing. DO NOT PAY WHAT THEY ASK.
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Old 04-03-2007
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Me - I love smallboats - biggest I've ever had is 30 feet and can't think of a reason to upsize - maybe if I had kids or liked having people around...but the bigger boats I have sailed have never given me that pick up and go feeling that a small boat does. Even 30 feet is a little heavy for my taste but I'm old now and like the refrigerator
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