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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm looking at an Ericson 28 that's available through a private party. It's fairly cheap, (under $7,000) but that can be a good thing or a bad thing. My current boat is a 22' swing keel. I'm looking for an upgrade that can last for a few years before we go bigger.

I'm having a hard time getting any good information on them. This is the 28, not the + version.

My usage is going to be just cruising, no racing. My future plans are along the Washington and Oregon coast, and then to Hawaii and Alaska. It will be myself and my gal. We'll spend a fair amount of time overnighting on it and hopefully a week or two aboard before we take it for a longer trip.

I've really had my eye on an Islander 28 (Perry), but they're about twice the price.

So what's the verdict? Is the Ericson 28 a decent boat for my goals? Any specific things I should look out for that are known problem areas on it? I'm already taking a copy of the boat inspection trip tips with me before I go look at it.
 

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Keel bolt condition - hull to keel seemless?
blisters?
engine condition
condition of the sails
any history of re-rigging?
solid rudder post?
evidence of leaks?
Don't expect the perfect boat at that price, but it shouldn't be deficient in too many ways. There are plenty of boats similar to that in the Pac NW. It was a decent production brand in the day -- not necessarily on offshore boat, but of course, you can go offshore in a barrel if you really want to, so who am I to say! :)
 

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My first keelboat, “Island Magic” was a 28 Islander. The Ericson 28 and Tartan 27, were the other two I looked at.
Very comparable the Ericksons are well made and spacious for the size. All three sail adequately.

As stated it is a good boat to learn on and begin a cruising experience. I would consider it coastal however all three are underpowered for the currents in the areas you mentioned .

Good luck. Buy the one in the best shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I went and looked at it.

It's an Ericson 28+, not the standard 28, so it's fractional. But it doesn't have a backstay adjustment, which is odd.

One of the things I've heard is that it's a slow boat, and as chef said, underpowered.

It's really wide inside! I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. There's about 5 feet of space between the settee cushions. It feels huge inside. That's a good thing for the most part, but what about underway in rough water?

Pros:

Within the last year, new bottom paint, zincs, water and fuel tanks, prop, cutlass bearing.

Deck seems solid everywhere and in really good shape. There's just about no crazing of the gelcoat anywhere. I didn't take a moisture meter, so I'm just checking the boat out prior to spending any money getting a moisture meter or a survey.

All the hardware was supposedly rebedded recently.

Mainsail seems really crisp.

The interior has all the headliner and hull liner pulled off, so at least I could see all the wood and glass. I couldn't see any places where there had been any leaks. The bilge had about an inch of water in it.

Cons:

The headliner has been taken out, and the liner along the hull.

He said the head will back up a bit, but not overflow. I'm not sure what that means?? Anyone familiar with that?

There's only two sails, the main and a 150% furling genoa. Nothing setup for a spinnaker.

Barient winches. So parts will be hard to find.

Cushions need to be redone.

The batteries were pretty well drained as his wife had accidentally turned off the charger, so he couldn't get the motor to start. He said it has been repowered, but he didn't know much about it. He said the motor runs really well.

From crawling under it, the motor seemed clean. No grease or oil around it, no oil or slime in the bilge. It's freshwater cooled.

I looked at the rudder post, and couldn't see anything wrong with it, but I didn't check it thoroughly.

I forgot to check the keelbolts, I did look in the bilge, but I didn't see any bolts and didn't think to look for them.

Obviously this is just a preliminary checkup, I'll need to go through it more thoroughly and take it out on the water if I decide it's worth pursuing.

Thoughts?
 

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so far, so good. If the winches turn, then not much to worry about. Barient's are pretty much bulletproof. You can clean and oil them. Backstay adjustment wasn't a standard thing on boats of that type and year. The toilet probably just needs a joker valve or maybe a rebuild kit. Boat toilets are always a touchy thing - you just learn to deal with them and they don't really break the bank.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
so far, so good. If the winches turn, then not much to worry about. Barient's are pretty much bulletproof. You can clean and oil them. Backstay adjustment wasn't a standard thing on boats of that type and year. The toilet probably just needs a joker valve or maybe a rebuild kit. Boat toilets are always a touchy thing - you just learn to deal with them and they don't really break the bank.
Thanks for the info. I'm leaning a little more towards getting it.

Here's all the pictures I have.

One of the slightly concerning things is that they moved the main traveler up over the companionway. This puts the sheets pretty far out of reach, and I'm not sure how strong that bracket is. It seems like a lot of leverage working on it in a blow. Am I being paranoid?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More pics. Also, they weren't able to get that B&G Network quad to turn on. Not sure if that's fixable, or how expensive it is going to be to replace. He said all the transducers were replaced this within the last year or two.
 

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I'm pretty sure that it has encapsulated ballast - I've never seen an Ericson that didn't. They don't have keel bolts.

Price seems average at best to me, at least around here in SoCal that would be slightly high in that condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm pretty sure that it has encapsulated ballast - I've never seen an Ericson that didn't. They don't have keel bolts.
Ah that would explain why I didn't see any bolts. So with an encapsulated ballast, is there no risk of developing a keel smile? Is the keel part of the hull mold, or is it glassed on after the hull is pulled from the mold?
 

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Personally, I like mid boom sheeting. On my previous boat, I had mainsheets to the stern, and had maybe an irrational fear of having a sheet line get wrapped around my neck. If it wasn't original, I would look into it more.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Personally, I like mid boom sheeting. On my previous boat, I had mainsheets to the stern, and had maybe an irrational fear of having a sheet line get wrapped around my neck. If it wasn't original, I would look into it more.
It's not original, which is where my concern is from. In the pictures of the cockpit you can see an empty slot where the mainsheet traveler track used to be right in front of the companionway. So it was previously somewhat of a midboom, but they moved it a little further to the mast.

I can actually understand moving it. I'm just concerned about that frame they made to hold the traveler. With it being an upside down U it seems like there would be a lot of leverage on the two attachment points on the end if there were some big winds.
 

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Chainplates both above and below deck

What do the backing plates look like under the traveler. Mines on the coach roof but not as elevated.
Garhauer makes an elevated system though

Lifelines are all sagging.

Interior doesn’t look well cared for in terms of upkeep of the teak/ cherry. Not a hard thing to do so how does the other maintainence look...bilge?

Is this keel stepped or deck stepped. If keel step could explain water. If not how is there water in the bilge.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Deck stepped mast.

Definitely cheaper than other Ericson 28s I can find out there. But that doesn't mean it's a good deal.

I'm wondering about the water ingress too.

According to the seller, the previous owner had been a smoker and the seller is allergic to cigarette smoke, so they've been tearing stuff out trying to get rid of the smell.

I'm not afraid of some work, but my time does have value. I don't want to put thousands of dollars in time on something and end up having been better off buying a finished boat.
 

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I would want to find out how the water got in.
I sent you a few Eriksons 28+. At least one was coach top main travelor
 

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I would want to find out how the water got in.
I sent you a few Eriksons 28+. At least one was coach top main travelor
It looks like the two that had coach top (I didn't know that's what that was called) travelers are 1988s. I think those are Ericson 28-2 models. This one I'm looking at is an '84 28+. The '85 you linked also has a cockpit mounted traveler.

They did say that the previous owner had swapped the traveler and had the mounting bracket fabricated out of stainless. If it's done right that's not a problem, I'm just not sure if it was done right.

I actually like the 28-2s better, they have wood slat hull liners, and a wood cabin sole. They're also nearly 3x the price of this.

My gut is saying to pass on this boat, save up more, spend this season trailering my current boat up to the Puget Sound to get more experience and then next season buy something that needs less work and is closer to what I want.

My list of "want" boats is pretty long, but more like:

Perry designed Islanders
Sabres (especially a 28)
Canadian Sailcraft (30?)
Caliber 33
Various C&C designs,
Tartans

And of course I wouldn't kick a Norseman 447, Morris, or Spirit Yacht out of my berth if it were gifted to me. Although the upkeep would be more than my whole boat right now...
 

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It looks like the two that had coach top (I didn't know that's what that was called) travelers are 1988s. I think those are Ericson 28-2 models. This one I'm looking at is an '84 28+. The '85 you linked also has a cockpit mounted traveler.

They did say that the previous owner had swapped the traveler and had the mounting bracket fabricated out of stainless. If it's done right that's not a problem, I'm just not sure if it was done right.

I actually like the 28-2s better, they have wood slat hull liners, and a wood cabin sole. They're also nearly 3x the price of this.

My gut is saying to pass on this boat, save up more, spend this season trailering my current boat up to the Puget Sound to get more experience and then next season buy something that needs less work and is closer to what I want.

My list of "want" boats is pretty long, but more like:

Perry designed Islanders
Sabres (especially a 28)
Canadian Sailcraft (30?)
Caliber 33
Various C&C designs,
Tartans

And of course I wouldn't kick a Norseman 447, Morris, or Spirit Yacht out of my berth if it were gifted to me. Although the upkeep would be more than my whole boat right now...
Trust your gut here even though it’s tempting
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well I emailed them and told them I'm going to pass on it. They seem like nice folks, I wish them luck selling it. I gave them a few tips to make their ad look better.

I think I'm going to stick with my boat this season, set aside more pennies, and watch for a bigger boat that I feel better about for next season.

If I could just find a CS 36 freshly outfitted for bluewater for $8,000...
 
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