Ericson built a line of performance cruisers. They were reasonably but not exceptionally well constructed. The 28+ sailed reasonably well for a boat that was intended as a weekend cruiser.
The 28+ had a fractional rig which is my favorite rig for a boat this size BUT the big advantage to a fractional rig in boats this size (beyond having easier to handle headsails) is the ability to control mastbend on the fly which allows a rider range of sail shape and therefore fewer reefs. The problem with the 28+ is that many of them do not have proper backstay adjusters that allow you to really control mast bend and so give up some of the advantages of a fractional rig.
Also 1981 was still solidly in the heart of worst period for blister problems industry wide.