A couple of E33 R H questions

Camelot

Junior Member
Just purchased an Ericson 33. I do allot of solo sailing & am thinking the runners on these boats aren't all that critical (structurally) until about 12 knots apparent. What's the consensus on that, I'm just thinking for short tacking here & understand the effects on head-stay sag.........Also, anybody ever try a masthead Asymmetric on one these boats ? Thanks, Bob (S/V Impulse)
 

E33MikeOx

Member II
No Runningbackstays on E33

Well, as an E33 (hull #25) owner for 24 years, I'll take a stab at your question about running backstays. Our boat came from the factory without any. The original owner sailed out of San Diego and raced the boat regularly off shore and, as I recall, did a Mexican race, or two. I sail on the Columbia river here in Portland Oregon, and for most of those 24 years I actively raced the boat. Sailing on our river can be quite "interesting" on occasion with a strong downriver current and strong upriver wind - big short chop! As mentioned - no backstays - no problem on the 35 year old boat. With a competent racing crew, we would routinely charge in the steep chop with full main and a 130 jib in 18 to 20 knots of wind. Lots of weather helm requires a good man on the main sheet and a fully tensioned backstay (upgraded to a hydraulic system). Never felt the need for running backstays - YMMV.
FWIW: I have found that a 130% head sail to be near ideal - relatively easy to tack (especially when sailing solo) and powerful enough (and a more advantageous PHRF rating). Also, a couple of year ago, I had the main recut - full length battens on top and upper mid, and shortened the foot length by 12 inches. The shorter foot length eased the weather helm and doesn't seem to affect performance. With hindsight, perhaps an 18 inch trim would be even better.
Re: Asymmetric - never tried one on our boat. My observations here on the river - where we mostly run down wind - is that a regular spinaker is better for a boat like the E33 - YMMV.
One more thought on running backstays - There was one other E33 (hull #1) here on the river for awhile that did have the running backstays. The owner previouslsailed on San Francisco Bay. AFAIK - he never used the running backstays here on the river, including racing.

 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
My boat, hull #24, came off the line just before Mikes. AFAIK, it has never had the running back stays, either. I have always thought that if I ever go offshore I would add them, though. It is fine without them in near shore waters. I have never seen any hint of mast pumping.

My boat did come from the P.O. With an asym. It is a gennaker cut. It is not a masthead sail, though. It flies from just above the hounds. There is a slot there with a roller for the spinnaker halyard. When flying that sail, if you get the boat dialed in just right, it is a real blast! Think turbo boost. Try one of these first, before you even think about a masthead. A masthead spinnaker might really overpower you except in very light air. I use our gennaker in a sock with just the admiral steering and me on the foredeck sometimes. More crew might be better, though.
 

Camelot

Junior Member
Thank you Mike & Keith

Thank you Mike & Keith and it's nice to meet you both. My boat is Hull # 23 built in 1983 so I guess she came out of the mold just before your 2 boats. My boat was a one owner boat owned by an experienced sailor who just club raced her so she is in great shape.... I suspected that the runners were sort of overkill in moderate conditions and it sounds like the rig can take allot more too without them. My plans are mostly coastal for the first couple of years, other than the occasional run or race up to Maine. The Gulf of Maine can get pretty choppy (6-8' variety) sometimes so I would be using the runners there especially when beating back home.......Thank you for the tip on the 135%, sounds like a good idea & a few extra seconds are always nice on a race course.......
As for the "A" sail I'm not in any hurry there and will get to know the boat allot better before making any changes. Our local PHRF races really favor them with allot of close reaches and our PHRF-NE encourages them as well. I could actually put one on with a 10% sprit (J + 10%) and get a 3 second credit. Too many sailmakers on the board around here I guess.......
I do have a couple of additional questions; 1. Where do you like to put in the first reef ? (guessing about 16 apparent up wind) & 2. How does the M25 push the boat ? I would think 21 bhp would do well given her light weight. Thank you for all the good information & Good Sailing, Bob
 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
16 knots is about right to reef the main unless you have some crew on the rail. In that case you might push it a bit farther. Once the toerail is starting to get wet, it's time to bring her back onto her feet a bit.

As to the M-25, yes it can push the boat fine. I added a bigger alternator (90 amps) which undoubtedly robs a bit of power and I have a somewhat worn and feeble Flex-O-Fold prop, but it still will push this slippery hull fairly well at about 6 kts (or just under) cruising speed.

We sometimes get a 6-8 foot swell in our waters also, BTW, but above about 5 feet the admiral is telling me to find the harbor.::esad:
 

Camelot

Junior Member
Thank you Keith

Thank you Kieth for more good information. My boat has an early Martec in pretty good shape & I'm just assuming the pitch is about right. If not I'll just get it re-pitched later once I get her up to Boston in the spring. I will definitely hold off on the "Balmar", I would rather cruise @ 6 (when necessary) than boost up the amps. I look forward to getting her in this spring and my 450 mile shake down cruise. Thanks again & good sailing, Bob
 

E33MikeOx

Member II
More E33 notes

My experience with the E33 under power is that the the O.E.M. 3 cyl diesel does a quite adequate job - it will power the boat right up to "hull speed" and a bit more.. I can tell you that the boat's "sweet spot" seems to be an indicated 6.2 to 6.5 knots with some left in reserve. Now my buddy Loren Beach will raise the question: "Is your knot meter precisely calibrated? Answer: "no". Our boat came with a folding prop, which drove the boat just fine,. Backing and maneuvering - not so hot. A "Max-Prop" was an early up-grade - now no backing and maneuvering issues.

Keith mentioned up-grading to a 90 amp alternator. My solution to an under performing charging system (where the max meter reading was 10 - 15 amps) - after I determined that a very expensive larger alternator would not fit - was to follow the recommendations of our local starter/alternator re-builder. He built a clone to the O.E.M. alternator (same make and model - rated at 51 amps output) without the internal voltage regulator. (The re-built alternator was a small fraction of the cost of the boutique high output alternator - and it fit!) With the addition of an external regulator (which was also needed with the "boutique" alternator) the alternator will actually put out 50 amps. Other electrical up-grades included a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries for a "house" bank, and a AGM under the quarter berth for a starting battery.
 

K2MSmith

Member III
New 33RH owner here.. I do have the running backstays on my boat and I am learning a bit more how to tune them. For those of you who do not have them on your 33, do you have a fractional rig ? I just had a rigger take a look at my boat and he said that the running backs are essential for this type of rig and you pretty much have to use them or risk bending the mast (he recommends marked adjustments). So, now I am taking note particularly because I sail mostly singlehand and want to get it right. On the other hand, it seems that if the running backs were offered as option from the factory it would seem to me that they are not absolutely necessary to use since we have a backstay. So-- I am a bit conflicted here...For those that don't have them, do you think they came from the factory that way ? - or were they removed at some point....
 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
Kevin,

No running backs on my fractional rig. No problems with mast pumping in coastal sailing, but if I were to venture offshore I would add them as a safety factor.

i don’t think my boat ever had them from the factory. It didn’t have a backstay adjuster either and I wish it did, I’d like to be able to flatten that main some more.
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
I owned E33RH hull #3 as the second owner when she was 4 years old. I'm certain the boat was in factory original condition. I did not have running backstays. If I remember correctly the side stays are angled aft to some degree to support the mast fore-aft without runners. Also, the factory Kenyon mast section was not a light and flexible section oriented toward racing but a more substantial section.

Adding runners to the E33RH fractional rig allows you to add headstay tension (via runner) but not flatten the main at the same time (using the backstay). This is similar to the mid-mast check stays on the masthead E36RH rig. You have to use the E36RH backstay to develop headstay tension, which also bends the mast and flattens the main. Tensioning the check stays pulls the mast straight and powers up the main while you tension the backstay and forestay. Both the runners and check stays also support the mid-mast to prevent mast pumping if needed.

Mark
 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
Kevin,

Thanks for the pictures! I take it that the two lines which enter the cockpit to either side of the tiller are the control lines for the BS adjuster? Have you tried to use it yet? I guess you could even try it in the slip. Is there enough purchase to tension the back stay well? What has the previous owner said about it?

I see what you mean about having to add a safety pennant for that BS. It looks like a failure could be very consequential and a safety pennant should be pretty simple for a rigger.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Here are some pix of the runners and “mysterious” backstay system on “jazzbeau”
That is the 'stock' multipart double-ended backstay system on the E-33RH at our club, or at least it was..... until the former owner changed it over to a hydraulic cylinder setup.
 

K2MSmith

Member III
Yes, those two lines control the backstay tension and I have yet to find any docs on it yet I have not actually adjusted the backstay yet, so not sure if there is enough purchase . I may try to stick my iPhone ( with a flash ) below the cockpit to see if I can get a shot of it. I’m having a rigging inspection next week so will get another opinion on it. My preference would be to back if up with another spiced line and use it as-is for a while , then look for a new backstay control over time . ( maybe look for a used Navtec or equivalent ) . The Navtec vang seems to work well ( my boat has one of those ) .
 

E33MikeOx

Member II
Comment: "View to the stern under cockpit" -
I always affectionately referred to that space as the "Aft Cabin"! Been down in there many, many times! (Really glad I don't have to do it again!) Former E33 owner - Mike
P.S.: IMHO the OEM backstay adjusting system needs to go! Replace with hydraulic! (A job for your rigger.) MO
 

K2MSmith

Member III
Comment: "View to the stern under cockpit" -
I always affectionately referred to that space as the "Aft Cabin"! Been down in there many, many times! (Really glad I don't have to do it again!) Former E33 owner - Mike
P.S.: IMHO the OEM backstay adjusting system needs to go! Replace with hydraulic! (A job for your rigger.) MO
Here is another picture from the quarter birth hatch . The purchase is visible here . What is the vertical thing ? Might my boat have had wheel at one point?
 

Attachments

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
Here is view to the stern from under cockpit . It doesn’t show the backstay adjustment internally so still a mystery . If anyone has any docs on it and how to service it let me know ..
Kevin,

Thanks for trying to photograph it. unfortunately you didn’t get far enough aft to see the backstay rigging. What you see in the picture are engine controls, cockpit drains, etc. The drain hoses seem to have been installed so as to block your aftward transit. Maybe the hoses can be pulled aside as one worms his way back there, but don’t worry about it on my account. You can sail the boat fine even without a BS adjuster, even if it doesn’t work, you may have to reef a slight bit earlier (or not).

Finding a good used BS would be great Navtech went out of business but maybe somebody still sells the seals for rebuiding. Otherwis, Sailtech or Harken. I would like to find one myself.
 
Top