Realizing that a 30 footer is going to blow my budget- I can buy the boat , but not do any significant repairs/restoration- I'm scaling back the size. I looked at a 1970 Ericson 23. I thought, before I saw it, it would be way too small or a complete wreck. However, upon actually looking at it, it is in decent shape and surprisingly roomy for such a compact boat. In fact, the cockpit is much roomier that a Macgregor 26x (oops! The dreaded "M" word! Sorry...) and the below decks is actually quite comfortable, even though you cannot stand up in it. Comes with a Honda 4 stroke, 6 horse, long shaft (ten hours). The owner had just sailed it over from Catalina Harbor, so with a skilled skipper, it can make that crossing. Not that I would attempt it just yet. At $1500, it poses little risk for me and seems a good way to ease into sail baoting. And at that price, I would have more than enough funds to fix her up to my liking. Opinions, please.....( I know those are hard to come by here...)
By a coincidence I was at the yard last Friday to pick up our boat (bottom painting) and there was a restored E-23 Mk2 on a trailer there! Owner had brought it in for some thru hull work, they said. As the smallest Bruce King-designed boat from Ericson Yachts, it looks as nice as ever...
There are enthusiastic owners of this model over at EricsonYachts.org: The Starting Point on Ericson Yachts!
, and there's at least one other E-23 web site as well.
With the construction and engineering of the larger Ericsons, it's quite a classic pocket cruiser.
As far as hull size... we spent five years cruising and class racing a Ranger 20. Loved every minute of it. Then came a decade in a fast 26 footer performance cruiser. Since '94 we've been cruising our 34 footer.
Unsolicited Advice from up here in the third balcony: Buy a smaller high quality boat and keep it a while and sail the heck out of it. There are a LOT of unhappy owners out there with large cheapie-build boats that are neither any fun to sail not inexpensive to maintain as their poorly-engineered hulls, rigs, and internal parts fail in a premature old age.
Try to buy all the quality you can afford in the smallest boat that will meet your real needs.