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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-04-2012 05:19 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

Another Ericson 27 owner here, a 1974 vintage. The 29 you reference is a sweet boat for that price. These boats are tough and well made with big bluewater trips still being made under those maintenance free, encapsulated keels.

In the smaller sizes, the Ericson is much like a top of the line Buick. Not a rocket in standard trim, but plenty of power for the highway, comfortable, spacious for the size, easy to operate and maintain, and a great value. The 29 would be an excellent first boat that will take you as far as the skipper can be prepared to go.

some of the less finer points I've discovered.

* The hull shape isn't optimal for DDW sailing. you will want to become proficient with poling out the genoa and sailing wing and wing, or live with a broad reach.

* Preventers are easy to rig and inexpensive. With the fin keel and spade rudder the boat can be twitchy and crash gybing is a real possibility. preventers are an inexpensive, highly functional upgrade.

* You may find the boat to be tender in moderate breeze, however, it will stiffen as the blow comes on. These boats are in their element in heavier air.

* 70's era masthead sloops have their drawbacks, and being designed for huge genoas is one of them. The main is embarrassingly small. Often one does not need to take a reef, but is more advised to be ready to change out the headsail for changing conditions. For breeze 20kts and up you need a working blade jib. Some people go for an 85% with a high clew, others have opted to run a 98~100% blade and fit a short run of tracks close to the cabin house to get a proper sheeting angle. Otherwise, just run a 135% with a reef or two and live with a close reach.

* likely the boat will be rigged with wire to rope halyards. new all rope halyards will require the mast to come down and new sheaves to be fit at the masthead. this is a great idea, anyway. at the same time you may want to upgrade the in-mast wires, windex, and potentially place your antenna up high. these boats are very simply rigged - new standing rigging should be part of your early plan, not considered optional.

* for heavy air I advise retrofitting the the split backstay with a backstay tensioner to tame the genoa and keep some tension on the forestay. These are relatively inexpensive and commonplace for any split backstay boat.

* the 27 and 29 both have a considerable amount of freeboard that can make for tricky docking in the breeze. out on the water I haven't found the tall sides to be an issue, but rather an asset: a dry cockpit. this is readily apparent to J/24 crew, soaked out of their minds and making fun of your Buick until they see that you're not in foulies and are comfortably sipping cappuccino with only one hand on the tiller.

* performance: a lot of people complain about these boats being slow, but the real issue seems to be mismatched expectations between a a 70's era, IOR influenced boat with masthead sails compared to newer ULDB boats and fractional rigs. Having said that, remember that Buick also made the Grand National. On any old boat, new sails and more modern deck layout is the key upgrade.

good luck with whatever you decide. The 32 mkII would be a great step up from the 27 or 29 for both more space and performance. If you like the layout of the 29 and think you want more speed and a newer boat, I encourage you to consider the 28+ and the 30+ which are fractionally rigged and have deeper keels to boost performance. They are both sweet rides compared to the 70's era modesty of the 27 and 29.

I also encourage you to visit the fine folks at the Ericson owners site as previously suggested. They're a great bunch of folks with a great deal of experience with racing and cruising.


s/v Skol
Berkeley, CA
11-23-2012 10:42 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

You HAVE to check into great friendly and informative group . . .I have an ericson 27, love it. They have an excellent build quality and reputation, the 27's have an encapsulated keel (no keel bolts to worry about) I think the 29 is the same . . .where are you located? My boat is in Allen harbor . . other side of bay from Newport
11-23-2012 04:03 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

Depends where you are as well. In northern climes 10 years is not particularly old but in Florida etc. 10 years is old.
11-23-2012 03:42 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

10 years is probably a good rule of thumb...I'd say most boat rigging lasts that long generally with average might still inspect everything and determine that it's all okay for another couple years but know what to look for...the smaller the boat and rigging then I would say minus a couple years but I think salt and pollution in environment is biggest factors and age is about as important but not more so than those factors...frequency of use in heavy conditions/saltwater and care and maintenance are also big factors of course...
11-23-2012 03:06 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

Final question on this...Regarding the standing rigging...It looks good to me...Chain plates also looked good...But the owner said he's never replaced it and has had the boat for 10 years...What's the typical lifespan?

11-23-2012 02:56 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

My friend has a E-29....had some soft spots in the decks...other than seemed like a great boat in that size range...fairly fast and the interior build quality and cabinetry is excellent...I would skip the the survey and dive into this one for 3,500 and a running engine that started right up as long as the standing rigging wasn't shot and the sails were decent...congrats if you can get her..she's priced to sell for sure...
11-23-2012 02:38 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

Paying for a pro to survey a $3K boat seems kind of silly or, rather, cost ineffective to me. There are a couple of "stickies" here that give you info on doing your own survey. I'd print them and take them to the boat & do your own. Don Casey has a book out on the subject as well.

I would get it hauled though rather than having a diver look at it. A 1/2 lift (out, in the slings for an hour or two and back in) doesn't cost much and if it needs the bottom done you can simply continue to a full lift & block with no loss.

Your pics didn't show them but I'd be primarily concerned about the condition of the bulkheads re: chainplate attachments - are they water damaged?

Also, I don't know if those Ericsons have inside or outside ballast - if it's outside, what is the condition of the bolts and the seam on the outside?

It certainly looks like it's worth spending several hours investigating the boat - it may just be a screaming deal.
11-23-2012 02:30 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

It seems to me that the owner of this E29 has it priced to sell quickly. They can't expect to get top dollar for a boat with an A4 in it. I have no problem with the A4 as my boat of the last 10 years has one in it, but many people consider this a big red flag. The forum at Moyer Marine is the best place for helping you learn about the Atomic 4. The A4 is a simple engine and I have not had to pay a mechanic to work on it yet. The A4 is also quite durable - our A4 and boat are 45 years old.
Did they give a reason for putting it up for sale?
Apparently, Erickson made a standard model 29' and a tall mast version. Here is the std version spec: ERICSON 29 sailboat specifications and details on
Do you know which version of E 29' this one is?
Fixing the wiring for the lights should not require a huge effort.
11-23-2012 02:04 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

I owned a 1971 model, tiller steering. Great boat! Good sailor with a well laid out interior. Access to engine is not bad. Had it for approx. 5 years and sorry I ever sold it. In my opinion better build quality than a C&C I later owned.
11-23-2012 01:58 PM
Re: Ericson 29...2 hours...

Just got back from looking at the boat...It was pretty much what i expected...Overall, in OK condition....A 3500 dollar boat...Other than a broken piece of trim in the cabin, everything was there...The Atomic 4 started right up and sounded great...Shifted into forward/reverse without a problem...Interior lights/nav lights didn't all work...My guess is just some corrosion...

I've attached some pictures...let me know if you think it's worth working on for the winter and making a nice boat out of...
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