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Old 09-11-2003
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First boat: Ericson 27 or Catalina 27?

My wife and I have recently took up sailing. We have a few months of sailing classes and are thinking of buying our first boat.

We live in San Francisco and this would mainly be a day/weekend sailer. We would like a boat that is easy for a beginner to sail but also a boat that will have room for our skills to grow. We also would like to take our friends and family out for a nice day on the bay.

Two models that we have seen and heard a lot about have been the Ericson 27s and Catalina 27s. Any thoughts or advice out there on these two for our needs/skills?

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Old 09-11-2003
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First boat: Ericson 27 or Catalina 27?

I have a lot more experience with the Catalina 27 than the Ericson 27. My impression of the two is that the Ericson is better constructed and probably an easier boat for a new sailor to handle. That said, the Catalina 27 is not a bad boat. They offer a reasonably good sailing abilities and roomy accomodations. At least in Annapolis, where I live there is an active racing association. I don''t know if that is the case where you live. If it is, that even if you did not choose to race, you should have good access to people know how to sail the Catalina well. The Catalinas are not terribly robust boats so make sure that if you go the Catalina route that you get the boat throughly surveyed.

Jeff
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Old 09-12-2003
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First boat: Ericson 27 or Catalina 27?

Hi John,

Before giving you my opinion - I want to be clear that I view Jeff as a guru on most topics - so this is just my guy-on-the-street quality level input.

Last summer I spent a fair bit of time crawling through several 1970-1980 era 27 ft. Catalinas and Ericsons.

On initial examination - I often found a Catalina to be in good cosmetic shape. I can''t really speak for how it compares against an Ericson in terms of structural integrity: I''m not an engineer or naval architect. But I do know that I had a gut feeling of the Ericson being a much more solidly constructed boat as I opened hatches, examined bulkheads, and examined rigging, etc.

But the one big take-away that I remember most: It seemed that the Ericson had the better layout of water and fuel tank access as opposed to the Catalina. Of course - boats built in other years than what I examined may have mitigated some of those issues in either direction.
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