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Old 11-29-2001
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Ericson

Looking for useful information on Ericsons in general and specifically the Ericson 37 of 1974 vintage. The phrf rating seems to be about 70 points lower than my old Bristol 35 (for obvious reasons). Looks like a reasonable cross breed racer-cruiser of the "older" style. Focus is cruising anyway, with a few mongrel races a year (Virgin Cup, Lady Tristam Cup, ''Round St. John). How were the hull layups? Any problematic areas of note? Tell me about the 34''s, 35''s of that vintage if you know nothing about the 37''s......thanks. KW
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Old 11-29-2001
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Ericson

I am not familiar with the Ericson 37 perse but I have spent a lot of time on Mid- 1970''s era Ericson 32''s, 35''s and I believe 27 (but might have been a 29). The early and mid-70''s was an interesting period at Ericson. The early 1970''s Ericson 35 was a real breakthrough boat for its day. Comparatively fast with a good IOR rating. I spent several seasons racing on a 35 in the late 1970''s. In a breeze they were designed to be sailed by big crews and with lots of weight on the rail. They were really a pain to sail in big seas. In light air they were fast for their day, but really pretty dismal by the standards of the boats that have come in the 25-30 years since.

Construction wise these were really mixed bag boats. The glass work was reasonably heavy but not especially sturdy. We had a variety of minor but potentially more serious structural issues on the boat. One very odd thing about this period is that Ericson experimented with some unusual and less than perfectly successful laminating techniques. To fully set polyester resin needs to be deprived of Oxygen. Typically when boats are constructed laminating resin is used for the hull until the last layup and then a finishing resin is used for the last lamination. Finishing resins use a waxy substance that floats to the surface to seal out oxygen from the laminate and then all of the laminations finish curing. There was only one problem with this system in that you could not paint the interior glass work without stripping this wax. Ericson experimented with painting directly over the partially cured laminating resin hoping that the paint would seal out enough air that the resin would finish curing. It did not work at least on a number of Ericsons that I have seen from this era. Years later you had incompletely cured resin that leeched continuously through the paint leaving the painted areas of the hull feeling tacky. I have serious doubts about the strength of the Ericsons that were constructed that way.

The sailhandling hardware was pretty typical of that era and was grossly undersized for the task at hand. They had a rig that depended on huge genoas to sail in lighter breezes (we typically carried a 170% genoa into the low teens.)This was a rig that depended very heavily on a huge sail inventory to perform. We typcially carried something like 5 jibs, 2 spinackers and a blooper. We would often to sail changes on the spinacker legs in order to have the right sail area for the conditions. By the late 1970''s these were not especially competitive boats under PHRF or IOR.

Respectfully
Jeff
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