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Discussion Starter #1
Fairly new to sailing. This will only be my 2nd boat. Upgrading from a 16' lugar (1974). Not seeing much on the market that I like. Am I jumping the gun too early? When do owners generally start posting their boats for sale?

In any case, I've made my offer and the owner accepted. The boat is in excellent condition. He really took care of it and seems to have made all the necessary upgrades. Atomic 4 engine and he claims its never once crapped out on him. And that its also started without the use of a jumper box. Are these old engines really that reliable? Like I said I'm new to sailing so I don't want to get stranded out on the lake with no wind and no engine.

I know that the sails aren't the originals, but i don't know how new they are. Haven't gotten a straight answer. Something to be concerned about? I'm really just trying to cruise.
 

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The only problem with the 1977 Ericsons is that was the period that Ericson began experimenting with using only laminating resin, and that was a real mess. The simplified story on this is that polyester resin will not fully cure in the presence of air. That is a good thing when you are doing multiple laminations such as a hull since one layer is forming a primary bond with the uncured layer below that.

In typical construction, the last lamination uses a finishing resin, which has a waxy substance in it. The heat of curing causes that waxy substance to float to the surface and seal out air allowing the entire laminate to finish curing.

The problem with the laminate being fully cured is that you end up with secondary bond between the tabbing for bulkhead and such, and the hull, and it takes a fair amount of grinding of the cured laminate remove the waxy substance and to get a decent bond between the tabbing and the hull.

Ericson came up with a scheme where they would not using a finishing resin, but would glass in the bulkheads and and so on, and then paint the exposed glass, which they assumed would seal out the air enough to cure the resin.

It did not work. Decades after these boats were built the resin still had not fully cured. I have not seen one of these 1976-1977 era boats in something like 10-15 years but the last one I saw still had this problem.

The easiest way to tell whether this is one of these 'experimental' boats, is too look in one of the underseat lockers. If you touch the paint it will feel sticky. If that is the case, I would avoid that particular boat. The one that I saw 10-15 years ago had a range of structural cracking problems around the rudder post and the turn of the bilge near the keel. While these may have been a problem with a bad grounding or something like that, it may also have been related to the 'experiment'.

I personally see nothing wrong with buying a boat with a well maintained Atomic 4. But that said, you need to take the time to learn to use it safely, and if you are not a good mechanica, you might want to take a little time to learn about ignition systems, since that used to be the main source of starting problems with the Atomic 4.

Jeff
 

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Personal opinion here.
I think that $8K for a 35 year old 27' cruiser w/Atomic 4 is a bit high priced.
Throw in the Ericson "experiment" Jeff_H mentioned and it is really asking too much.
 

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Lot might depend on your location. Seems pretty high. There is a nicely maintained Catalina 30 for that here. My C27 was 1/4 of that, and while I needed to put another $2000 into in right away it is half of your 8K.

But again it depends on where you are.
 

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Personal opinion here.
I think that $8K for a 35 year old 27' cruiser w/Atomic 4 is a bit high priced.
Throw in the Ericson "experiment" Jeff_H mentioned and it is really asking too much.
Agree. Definitely on the high side unless it is in really good shape with Lots of recent upgrades
You seem impressed that the engine started without a jumper. Why? I would have been concerned if a jumper was needed.
Are you getting a survey? How about a seatrial?
 

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Go to ericsonyachts.org great site, great people, they have a link to ericsons for sale . . . I think 8k for a e27 in good shape is NOT too high at all . . . yes you see them for less BUT those tend to need a fair amount of work/tlc I follow ericsons (I have a 73 e27)
 

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Old engine, old sails - both are very expensive to replace. Other points as above. I don't think 8 grand is too much if your boat is in really good shape. These are good boats.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not getting a survey. Seemed too expensive. I've done a fair amount of research as far as what problems to look for. Blistering, soft spots, signs of leaks inside cabin. No sea trial either. The current owner seems like a very genuine guy. I'm inclined to trust him when he says its ready to sail and I wont run into any unexpected problems.

I'm in Chicago. Buying the boat in WI. One of you mentioned that the price depends on where I'm at. Is the sailing market in chicago limiting me and my price point? Also, am i buying too early in the season.

I tried adding a link with pictures but the site wont let me. Any ideas as to how I can share some pictures?

Thanks for all the thoughts and replies.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Look up Marek Swiderski, on google+. Its the only album I have posted. Or go to craigslist Chicago, and search ericson 27. It should be the only one that comes up.
 

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Mark,
1. I am likely going to offend you.
2. If I DON'T offend you, you may save some money, or keep your heart from getting broken.
3. If you've done so much research and are so sure of this deal, you wouldn't be here asking questions.
4. Get a survey. it will be the best $500 you ever spent, because it will likely allow you to negotiate $1000 off the price because a surveyor will find stuff you didn't find.
5. A seatrial should be a condition of sale. Would you buy a car without a test drive?
6. Bernie Madoff's investors thought he was a genuine guy. The seller of this boat might be very genuine, but if someone wants 8000 of my very genuine after-tax dollars, I am gonna make sure I am not buying a pig in a poke.
7. It is early in the season, especially on the Upper Lakes. in 2 weeks there will be many more boats coming up for sale.
8. Ericson built a better than average boat, but as has been pointed out by others, the price may be at the upper end of the real world market. Lots of people are asking MORE for their boats, but they have been asking more since 2008.
9. Saw the ad: Ericson E27 Sailboat - Beautiful! That VHF radio is 30 years old. It doesn't seem like a bad boat but...why three bilge pumps? what happened in the past?
10. No dodger and bimini, no A/P, things that i consider important on a cruising boat, and that will add $3000+ to the cost of the boat. if the pictures are current, and not taken 2 years ago when the refinish work was done, then yes, it is a boat that is nice cosmetically, but if it is not current, you will have some work to do.
11. Never fall in love with the first boat you see.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bljones, thanks for the blunt advice. What is an A/P? I didn't think much about it not having a dodger but I can see how that would be an issue. Is it otherwise common for boats this age to have dodgers?

Three bilge pump situation, do you think this means the boat takes on a lot of water? Something I should be concerned about if I don't get a clear answer from the owner?

The pictures are current. I've already seen the boat and its in the same condition as the pictures you saw. This isn't the first boat I've fallen in love with, it's the second. The first was a 1968 Pearson Wanderer for $5000 that I was very close to pulling the trigger on. I realize it might be better to hold out and see what else is out there, but I've been at it for 2 months and have seen dozens of other boats in worse condition for more money.

For the seatrial, I've arranged with the owner for him to be there when we launch the boat for the first time. Although the sale will have be complete by then. I suppose I could write a clause into the bill of sale to the effect that in the case that something is not as described, or a serious problem becomes apparent, I have X amount of days to return for a refund.
 

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For the seatrial, I've arranged with the owner for him to be there when we launch the boat for the first time. Although the sale will have be complete by then. I suppose I could write a clause into the bill of sale to the effect that in the case that something is not as described, or a serious problem becomes apparent, I have X amount of days to return for a refund.
In your first post, you said you made an offer and the owner accepted. That sounds like a firm contract to me...one that you can't come back after the fact and add terms and conditions to. Am I wrong on that?

By the way, A/P stands for auto pilot. I didn't have it on my first boat, but I have it on my current boat and have learned to really enjoy having it.

I totally agree with having a survey done and having the surveyor aboard for the seatrial.

A dodger is a really nice option to have. I don't think I'd ever have a sailboat without one.

Edit: Just saw the pictures and have to agree, it's a nice looking boat...but I would still have it surveyed.
 

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Just saw the pics . . . . the boat is worth 8k all day in my book . . . I have a 73 and have been studying them for 6 years now . . .
 

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Before looking at the ad it did seem high. And like said, the items like a bimini, dodger, etc. are pricy. But not required for sure. The boat looks well taken care of, which is way more valuable than some added canvas.

In the end all that matters is that you are pleased and have fun with it.

The 3 pumps could just be owner paranoia or OCD.
 

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Before looking at the ad it did seem high. And like said, the items like a bimini, dodger, etc. are pricy. But not required for sure. The boat looks well taken care of, which is way more valuable than some added canvas.
Right. My point was that it is top of market for a basically equipped, minimally updated boat. The boat has been for sale at the same price for at least a year.
1977 Ericson E27 sailboat for sale in Michigan

So, apparently the market thinks it is priced strong as well.

But, if the OP likes it, and wants it, as he apparently does, then maybe the premium is worth it to be on the water this year, and saving the time and money of looking at more boats over the next month or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We pushed the sale back a week. Co-owner and I agreed on the need to have it surveyed. Can anyone recommend someone in the Chicago or Milwaukee area?

The more recent comments have been appreciably reassuring. I do like this boat. And I have to agree with bljones that the price might be worth getting out on the water this year, as well as saving a ton of time looking over the next month.

Its too bad about the dodger, but not a deal breaker in itself? How much use does would it really get anyway? On past boats I've only set it up for rain shower, never to escape the sun.
 

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Agree that lack of dodger is not a deal breaker.
My first boat was a Catalina 30 and it had one that we never took down.
After having that boat for 4 years, I swore if I had another sailboat, it would have roller furling, a wheel, dodger and Bimini and installed marine air conditioning. Now I have a Catalina 34 that came with every thing on my wish list except AC and that was installed soon thereafter. if I ever have another sailboat, it will have mainsail furling as well.
 

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very well maintained boat and atomic 4...clean is an understatement, while on the high side of the market you get what you pay for

remember and this is key here gadgets and goodies almost never add to the price of the boat in fact its one of the easiest negotiating buts for buyers...

like buyer saying I wont use that stuff so you can keep it, so the seller is dumbfounded and has no real negotiating back unless he finds someone looking for a ready to go cruiser and even then add ons dont add much

its much harder to have a clean bilge and great paint and varnish and a pristine engine than it is to have a ratty dodger a panel, and some crap on deck to look cruiserish

and I say that as a cruiser and cruiser minded sailor...

I fully know how hard a hit you take when selling a well prepped cruiser

can you say mid 30s footer, 70s design with an aries windvane, wheel pilot, 7 sails, dodger, bimini, massive ground tackle and all that jazz for the same price as this boat?

point being it was not as clean, not as well maintained and not as good looking but had all the goodies...
 
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