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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for people's thoughts on build quality between Ericson, Pearson, Sabre and Tartan. From reviews I've read, it appears that Sabre and Tartan are often considered a superior boat builder, while Ericson and Pearson were respectable and solid boat builders although perhaps a cut below the Sabre and Tartan. Thoughts? Maybe throw in Catalinas and Hunters too since they are popular boats.

Also, looking for comments on the specifics of "build quality" and how this matters on a practical level, as it seems that plenty of people are happy with their boats that are from the supposedly more average "build quality" boat builders.

GRR
 

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I don't know too much about the Ericson's.

Pearsons, at least the ones I've sailed on are very solid boats...I don't know if I'd put them a cut below Tartan Or Sabre....from a construction perspective..some may argue that they were a cut above....

I would place Catalinas and Hunters in a different category..but very popular and suitable boats for most of today's coastal sailors....in the end it comes down to what you are looking for from a boat

Intended use, sailing grounds, depth, accomodations, budget etc etc.
 

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there are many aspects to your question, that have been debated and worse. Are you comparing "older" boats of the same vintage...or new Tartan/Sabre to older Ericson and Pearson?

As a former Sabre owner, and current Hunter owner, I can give you quite a bit on both. Sabre is definitely a step up in quality, but would you see it day sailing or overniting? Is Sabre perfect, not by a long shot...my boat suffered from the mast step issue..it was a mid 80's boat, and you would think it would have been solved in subsequent years...wasn't.

New Tartans have had some build issues (you may have to look elsewhere for that debate, as the former owners flew hot and threatened a lot of folks) and the "newest" owners are building again, but the jury is out.

Are the same vintage boats the same, I would say that the Tartan and Sabre of the 80's were better built than the Ericson and Pearson, but they were all built heavy in that time of similar materials and quality.

You would need to let us know what your goals for the boat are to better answer. If you have questions on Sabre 38 or Hunter 42 or Beneteau 36CC, I can help you with real answers, as I have owned/own them.

All the best
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know too much about the Ericson's.

Pearsons, at least the ones I've sailed on are very solid boats...I don't know if I'd put them a cut below Tartan Or Sabre....from a construction perspective..some may argue that they were a cut above....

I would place Catalinas and Hunters in a different category..but very popular and suitable boats for most of today's coastal sailors....in the end it comes down to what you are looking for from a boat

Intended use, sailing grounds, depth, accomodations, budget etc etc.
Your point about the Pearsons is a good one. What about the Catalinas and Hunters lands them in a different category?

The boat would be used mostly for daysailing and weekend cruising on Lake Erie, but would also like the versatility to take a longer cruise up to Georgian Bay or the North Channel, so I'm thinking some sort of shallow draft capability would be important. Budget is 35-45K, so mostly looking at 1980's vintage boats.

Appreciate your input.

GRR
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
there are many aspects to your question, that have been debated and worse. Are you comparing "older" boats of the same vintage...or new Tartan/Sabre to older Ericson and Pearson?

As a former Sabre owner, and current Hunter owner, I can give you quite a bit on both. Sabre is definitely a step up in quality, but would you see it day sailing or overniting? Is Sabre perfect, not by a long shot...my boat suffered from the mast step issue..it was a mid 80's boat, and you would think it would have been solved in subsequent years...wasn't.

New Tartans have had some build issues (you may have to look elsewhere for that debate, as the former owners flew hot and threatened a lot of folks) and the "newest" owners are building again, but the jury is out.

Are the same vintage boats the same, I would say that the Tartan and Sabre of the 80's were better built than the Ericson and Pearson, but they were all built heavy in that time of similar materials and quality.

You would need to let us know what your goals for the boat are to better answer. If you have questions on Sabre 38 or Hunter 42 or Beneteau 36CC, I can help you with real answers, as I have owned/own them.

All the best
You're right, a lot of different points of discussion. I'll clarify.

I'm looking for a boat to spend weekends on and daysail on Lake Erie with the versatility to go for a longer cruise up to Georgian Bay/North Channel. So, I'm looking for comfortable space/accomodations, stability to handle Lake Erie's quick temper, and I'm guessing shallow draft capability (a centerboard perhaps?) to have the versatility to explore North Channel. I'm guessing that most days on Lake Erie the shallow draft won't matter, but I don't want to be limited in where I can take her. A bit of speed wouldn't be so bad either. I'm looking mostly at 1980's-early 1990's vintage boats because budget is 35-45k, so I'm not really trying to compare newer Tartans and Sabres. Still waffling back and forth about boat length too, but I really don't want to buy and sell several boats, so I'm leaning toward getting a larger (i.e., 34-36, rather than 30-31) to start. Just did ASA 101,103, and 104 on a 43' boat, so that helped me feel that a 34 was manageable to start. I will also probably be single-handing it a fair bit.

I've been looking mostly in the 33-36 foot range including Tartan 34-2, Pearson 34, Sabre 34 and 36 and Ericson 35-III.

Thanks for your response.

GRR
 

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GRR

either vintage Sabre or Tartan would do you fine for the things you describe. The Sabre 38 that I had before this boat was as close to perfect boat for those types of things as you could want. Some folks even RACE them, (sorry Mark - had to add that) like my former slipmate.

The 38 had a centerboard and was quite useful here on Chesapeake Bay, and never once felt unstable or tender in all kinds of weather.

Very comfortable below, with great live aboard space without compromising sailing ability. If I had it to do over, I would have kept her, as the extra few feet and the aft queen of the hunter are nice...but not at the expense of the quality and speed of the Sabre.

I crewed on Tartans of that era and they too, are well built, speedy and comfortable. Below decks a different style perhaps, than the Sabre. Either would be at the top of my list.

Others will give you more on Ericsons and Pearsons, I have only crewed on them a very few times, and do not have experience to really have an opinion. I do know that the Ericson kept up with the Tartans for the most part.

All the best, and enjoy the Georgian Bay, IMHO, it is likely one of the prettiest places on the planet, but can be a handful when the wind kicks up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
kd3pc,

Thanks for your advice. It reinforces what I have read elsewhere. While a 38is probably a little bigger boat than I want at this point, I will definitely take a close look at the Sabre 34 and 36. My guess is that I can't go too wrong with any of these builders unless the particular boat I choose was not cared for. I'm still trying to grasp the concept of "build quality" and the differences between the various builders.

From the pictures I've seen, the Georgian Bay/North Channel area looks pristine. That will be a trip for future after many day sails and weekenders on Lake Erie for experience.

BTW, I was just out for a visit to the Cheseapeake Bay area on a boat shopping trip (Annapolis, Georgetown) and it is a beautiful area. I may be making a return trip in the near future for round 2 of boat shopping.

Thanks again,

GRR
 

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Try to find that 1% boat in a size you will be comfortable with.

Your budget should include anywhere between 10-20% for outfitting, repairs, upgrades, etc.

There are lots of great boats on the market in your price range, don't rush and find that boat that is just right for you. I don't think you would go wrong with any of the ones you're looking at if its been well cared for :)

Check out a Tartan 34C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Try to find that 1% boat in a size you will be comfortable with.

Your budget should include anywhere between 10-20% for outfitting, repairs, upgrades, etc.

There are lots of great boats on the market in your price range, don't rush and find that boat that is just right for you. I don't think you would go wrong with any of the ones you're looking at if its been well cared for :)

Check out a Tartan 34C.
TChef,

Good points to consider. Just out of curiosity, why the T34C? Earlier in my search, I did like a number of the 34C's for their classic good looks. But then I got input from several places that the Atomic 4 engines likely need replacing and I'm not really interested in buying a new engine right away. I guess I also became enamored with the more spacious wide beams of the newer boats. I'm not looking for a houseboat with sails, but it is hard not to like the extra space. I really like the T37 by the way, but only found one that is close to my price range and it is still a stretch.

GRR
 

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A lot of boats to a degree were more heavily built if you will back in the 80s vs today. I can compare my 85 jeanneau to a current one, there ARE some differences. I have seen similar in Bene's also. Hunter might be the only one that seemed to have some issues with 80's builds IIRC. There was a decade that they were not too good!

Otherwise, frankly, look at the maintenance of the boat vs brand. Not that it has been mentioned, but after 20-30 yrs, you will find some badly built Hunters that will be better overall than a GREATLY built swan of that vintage.....assuming you look hard enough!

Reality is, ANY of the major producton built brands from that era will be good. Try to figure out boat style and type vs brand. Ericson has some race/cruisers, and some that were just plain cruisers! The latter would not be a first choice for me and how I sail. But I know of a fellow across puget sound that luvs his E30Cruiser! He wrote and had published a review int he most recent issue of Cruising World. He also writes for GOB too. I personally look for race/crusiers.

I would also not look too bad on A4's, they seem to be good motors for what they were designed and intended to do etc.

Marty
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Otherwise, frankly, look at the maintenance of the boat vs brand. Not that it has been mentioned, but after 20-30 yrs, you will find some badly built Hunters that will be better overall than a GREATLY built swan of that vintage.....assuming you look hard enough!

Reality is, ANY of the major producton built brands from that era will be good. Try to figure out boat style and type vs brand. Ericson has some race/cruisers, and some that were just plain cruisers! The latter would not be a first choice for me and how I sail. But I know of a fellow across puget sound that luvs his E30Cruiser! He wrote and had published a review int he most recent issue of Cruising World. He also writes for GOB too. I personally look for race/crusiers.

I would also not look too bad on A4's, they seem to be good motors for what they were designed and intended to do etc.

Marty
Marty,

Thanks. I think I'm getting some consensus that all of these buiders make a solid product and that the maintenance history and sailing characteristics for my particular needs will be more important. There are probably lemons and gems in the production line for any builder.

I'm with you...I think I would prefer a racer/cruiser.

GRR
 

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Some folks even RACE them, (sorry Mark - had to add that) like my former slipmate.
But race them well?? I'm working on that.

ANY of the major producton built brands from that era will be good.
True. I've owned 2 Sabres and worked for two Catalina dealers so I know the brands well. The reality is that the boats listed have sold thousands and are perfectly fine for the 99.99% of conditions that we experience. The crew tends to give up far sooner than the boat. Two weeks ago, we sailed Gov Cup upwind in 22 kts (sustained) and 2' seas for 20 hours. Palmetto Moon (C36) endured the same conditions and arrived just as safely as us, but later :)

Find the boat that suits your pocketbook and tickles your fancy, then buy it. They're all good. BTW, Sabre 38's of mid 80's vintage in good conditions are about $40k higher than the budget listed. Not sure what a 34 would go for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Find the boat that suits your pocketbook and tickles your fancy, then buy it. They're all good. BTW, Sabre 38's of mid 80's vintage in good conditions are about $40k higher than the budget listed. Not sure what a 34 would go for.
Sabreman,

Yep, 38's are above the range and probably a little more boat than I want at this point. Several 34's on the market within my price range, but all have the deeper draft from what I've seen so would have to wait for a Sabre 34.

Most importantly, I just want to find a well-cared for older boat that has no major build issues. Looks like I'll have plenty of solid choices.

Thanks,

GRR
 

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GRR: As an Ericson owner call me biased... BUT as I have read Ericson was more an Oldsmobile in a Chevy market.... they were a little to high quality to compete price wise. Bruce King the designer was very well respected, a lot of attention to detail, just look at the interiors etc. Browse around at ericsonyachts.org ask questions, Martin King, (Bruce Kings son) is active there and knows all about design and build features. A 27 ,my boat, for a long time held the record between S.F. and Japan. They are beautiful high quality boats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
GRR: As an Ericson owner call me biased... BUT as I have read Ericson was more an Oldsmobile in a Chevy market.... they were a little to high quality to compete price wise. Bruce King the designer was very well respected, a lot of attention to detail, just look at the interiors etc. Browse around at ericsonyachts.org ask questions, Martin King, (Bruce Kings son) is active there and knows all about design and build features. A 27 ,my boat, for a long time held the record between S.F. and Japan. They are beautiful high quality boats.
Mikel1,

Appreciate the input on Ericson and I will check out the owner's website. Now if I can just get a Pearson advocate to chime in we'll have come full circle on this thread. ;)

One of the things that turned me on to the 35-III was its reputation for having a bit of speed. I think the PHRF for New England for the shoal version of this boat is 132. Also, I read the comment of a previous 35-3 owner on another site saying that the boat is very fast for what it is. It would be nice to have a cruiser with some speed. And she is a good looking boat to boot.:D

I have a friend/colleague who had an old Ericson 27 a number of years ago. Only went out on it once and I don't remember a great deal about it. He was always fixing one thing or another on it, but I think that was a matter of it simply being an old boat. Nothing major that I can recall.

GRR
 

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All the boats mentioned would be absolutely fine, and as others have said and said well, at 20-30 years old, maintenance by previous owners is the whole show. Pearson is easily on this list, and maybe a few C&C's and even J-boats should be as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
All the boats mentioned would be absolutely fine, and as others have said and said well, at 20-30 years old, maintenance by previous owners is the whole show. Pearson is easily on this list, and maybe a few C&C's and even J-boats should be as well.
Puddinlegs,

Thanks for the feedback. I don't know much about J-boats. I thought they were racers that sacrificed a lot of stability for speed. I will have to research them more. Thanks.

GRR
 

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J's might very well fit your need. IIRC the 35 or 35c would make good cruisers. Even the 37/37c. The c at the end just means IIRC that they have a bit nicer interior. along with it is easier to find a shoal draft version. The C versions will be a bit more money. Good old boat about a year or so ago did an article on a 32 ie July/August 2010. I could probably scan that review. The other boat is a Jeanneau Arcadia. an attalia is simalar, but about 2' longer, and a different designer. Then a sunshine 36/38 is a longer version, same designer as teh Arcadia. Sailing mag also has many reviews of some older boats too.

CS from that era also have a nice boat too. A dock/yc mate bought a 36 merlin last summer. Nice boat, look up Dejonda on here, along with mitempo? sp? has a CS 30, also Castro designs like the Arcadia, and sunshine boats.

Marty
 
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