King Ericson or Lapworth Cal
Allright so I am comming closer and closer to actually taking the plunge...buying my first sailboat. From all the research and various degrees of useful advise I have narrowed down my choice to either a Bill Lapworth Cal 34 MKIII or a Bruce King Ericson 35. I have heard little in the way of negative comments on the Cal, while I have heard less overall about the Ericson. I am pretty sure that the Cal has a solid hull but I don't know about the Ericson's hull. The Cal MKIII came standard with a Westerbeke 30hp Diesel, the Ericson came with an A4 so needless to say I am only looking at Ericsons that have been re-powered. The one big positive for me with respect to the cal is that my best friend has a MKII in the same length, I have sailed that boat and done countless hours of work on that boat so I am fairly familiar with the cal. I would love to hear any and all opinions on these two boats.
There is a very good, comprehensive website for Ericson owners, with a good search function, where you can get lots of information on the E35. Do a google search for Ericson yacht owners to find the site.
I have had a Cal 34 Mk III for about 5 years. Like most boat owners, I love my boat! :D Historically, Cal's are reported to have weak tabbing of the bulkheads to hull - but I've not had a problem. Plus, the tabbing is quite accessible if it ever needed repair. Working on the engine is a real bear, though - terribly tight access. The boat handles well, sails well. Great trade-offs in the layout - roomy cockpit but nice sized cabin, too.
I know I'm a bit late with this post -- but I've also owned a Cal 34 III ('76) for the past five years, and love it! As with any older boat they need their share of attention, but its has a solid hull with fairly simple and accessible systems.
As a cruiser, it's very comfortable for the two of us for a week or more on Chesapeake Bay. The 4'9" draft gets you just about anywhere, and the port settee becomes a queen sized berth.
As a racer, it's been a lot of fun. I took seventh place in the 2006 Maryland Governor's Cup (N class, 25 boats). This was done with a fixed three blade machine prop!! (I'm getting a Max-Prop for this year.)
Hope this helps.
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