buying e 31 independence

tommy h

Junior Member
I am in the process of buying a 31 independence,can any body out there let me know how well they sail. the one i'm buying is not the cutter version just a mast head sloop. the water line is not all the good for a 31 and its a bit heavy these are my concerns. I am looking for a nice priced cruiser so this fits the bill just do not want to end up with a slow sluggish boat. I love the look and lines and it is the size i am looking for but need it to be faster and handle better than my e 27 did.
Any input from any owners of e 31's would really help me.
 

PDX

Member III
I've spent considerable time talking to certain E31 owners. Uniformly they love how the boat sails in big (20 kt +) winds. I've never heard anyone complain about the short waterline.

Could you be more specific about your sailing environment? Do you sail in the Bay (big winds) or inland (less so)? Do you expect to race? What exactly didn't you like about the handling of the 27? There are a couple posters on here who have moved up from smaller Ericsons, I believe 27s actually, to the 31. Maybe they could chime in on the sailing differences.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Classy Boat!

Until more owners check in with first hand information...
Here's a nice web site for one:
http://imiloa.wordpress.com/

Loren

ps: static waterline is important, but not as important as the "motoring" or "sailing" waterline. Our particular model boat has a measured DWL of about 28', but under way the actual immersed waterline is more like 30 to 31'.
Strictly IMHO, the E-31C design is kind of "deceptive".... lovely traditional cruising look and function on the top and a much-more-modern (read: Fast) fin beneath the water.
 
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tommy h

Junior Member
Good information,Yes I will be sailing in the bay,a lot of wind but also a lot of light air and big tide rips wich slow you down. my 27 was just plain slow,i had every thing you could add to it to make it sail good but it just was a slug. it handled well but just could not get out of its own way.
I do plan on taking it out in the ocean up and down the coats some.
 

Stuart

Member II
Sailing an independence

We purchased our Independence in about 2004, we sailed out of Vancouver BC then and now sail out of Comox BC. We have sailed in 30 knots + down to less than two knots. On the less than days it is more like drifting aimlessly around following the currents we have here, reading a good book and watching the eagles. My first keel boat was a San Juan 24, followed by and Ericson 30 tall rig, followed by the E-31 Independence. The first two were defiantly more lively but I would not say anything bad about the sailing ability of the Independence, it is defiantly a stiffer boat, requiring something like 20 knots to get the rail close to the water. We are not racers, we are cruisers, most of our sailing is done in 10-20 knots and it is very comfortable and still fun. I am very happy sailing in both light air and heavy wind, it is the first boat I would be hard pressed to change from. The cockpit comfort is still the best of any boat I have been on, this is probably why I have fallen asleep at the helm more than once during long crossings ( first time was after the Ericson Rendezvous in Sidney, great night Shaun!) No auto helm, with the sails trimmed she sails herself.
We were so certain about this boat we undertook a full refit and are just finishing it up, new everything including a re configured V berth, giving as a bed that is seven feet in each direction and a 6" thick mattress, total comfort.
I race in an annual regatta that is held in a different part of the world each year, we have had a variety of boats over the years but I am always happy to come home to my Independence. I must admit after sailing a fifty footer for a week, the winches do seem a bit small, but still, this all the boat we want.
I hope this helps with your decision on "what to do"!

Cheers
Stuart MacKenzie
SV Fairhaven
E-31 Independence
Comox BC
 

Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
Hi Tommy,

I have no sailing experiance on a 31i but sure do like the design! for some inspiration you might what to search this site for some E31 posts and photos Martin has done some nice things to his 31 c (which is what I think you are looking at - sloop)
http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoex...Project-31C-gets-a-new-hatch&highlight=martin
http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexchange/showthread.php?4500-Interior-rehab&highlight=martin

and Greg's;
http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoex...ew-Hull-Paint-Color&highlight=31+independence
 
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tommy h

Junior Member
very impressive. makes me really want one now. i have the offer out and am waiting for a reply. I think its the boat for me. im ready to start just cruising and not worrying about how fast im going. thanks for those great threads.
 

Keith Parcells

Contributing Partner
Glynn will probably weigh in here sometime soon. He knows all things Independence related and has tracked down almost all (except 2) of the hulls that were ever made. He probably knows the boat which you are offering on.

Glynn, where are you?
 

tommy h

Junior Member
Im not sure the hull # but its the one located in Alameda CA. Helms Yatcht brokerage.I like the boat,wish it was the cutter version. I did not realize how rare these boats are,just not much info on this model. The info im getting here sure helps. Thanks everybody.
 

Keiffer

Member II
Ericson Independence 31

Tommy,

We purchased our 1980 Ericson Independence 31, Hull# 51 about three years ago in Virginia. We are on Lake Lanier north of Atlanta, Ga. We typically have winds anywhere from 5 to 30 knots and have sailed in all of them. We have been out on several occasions under full sale when many boats of similar size were reefed. The cutter rig gives some nice options. We have hit 6.8 knots before but typicllay run about 5.5 to 6 under very comfortable conditions.

This is the perfect size boat for us. While many of the larger boats in our marina spend most of their time at the dock we are out on the lake most every weekend year round.

As many of the E31 group ours has also been a three year long project re-doing most all systems with more to come.

My understanding is the 31C was born out of the 36C. Not exactly sure of the dates but I think the 31C was built from 1976 to 1978 Hull# 1 - 25, and the 31I from 1978 to 1981 Hull# 26 - 71.
Changes to the 31I including the cutter rig, and some interior modifications including the nav. station were made based on comments and suggestions from the 31C owners.

Those are the facts as I recall them anyway, if I am wrong I am sure someone will correct me.

IMG_1069.jpg
 
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tommy h

Junior Member
So the one I am looking at must be the 31c,not an independence as those are the cutters. I,m used to more than 6 kns as i mostly sail fin keeled racer cruisers. what size genoa doe you use and does the cutter rig add much power or just options.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Sloop compared to Cutter Rigs

I exchanged emails with our resident sail guru (and former Ericson employee) Seth this am about this part of the thread. He has no access to a full-on computer at the moment, but said to append his comments. So here their are!

" I did not see your note/question on the site-but am viewing this on my phone so maybe did not connect correctly. Feel free to post my response if you like.
So- the reason sloops are better to windward is twofold: the first reason is a tighter sheeting angle (for the most part), which allows for sailing closer to the wind, and the second reason is aerodynamic-a sloop has less drag/turbulence because the staysail, stays, booms, etc. on a cutter disrupt airflow-especially when things are sheeted in tight. You just cannot get as clean an airfoil.
On the other hand, when reaching, you can potentially set more sail area with a cutter, and since the boat is heeled less than when sailing close hauled, the extra power is converted to speed. The added rigging drag is less of an issue when sheets are eased as the "slot" is much wider so the effect is less. The other advantage of a cutter is the flexibility in sail combinations allowing one to choose his/her optimal power/balance configuration.
Someone asked why the "I" series were available in both configurations, and the reason is that one style may be better depending on the type of sailing planned. For long offshore passages with lots of reaching the cutter is better, and for restricted areas (like Puget Sound for example) where more upwind work and more maneuvering is expected the sloop would be better.
Hope this helps.

Cheers!

Seth Morrell "
 

tommy h

Junior Member
Great info , I understand compleatly although the cutter looks cool the sloop would be better suited for SF bay. Could a stay sail be added with out the bowsprit later when I start to cruise.
 

Emerald

Moderator
Great info , I understand compleatly although the cutter looks cool the sloop would be better suited for SF bay. Could a stay sail be added with out the bowsprit later when I start to cruise.

Actually, given the wind conditions of SF Bay, I'd think the cutter would be the choice. When Seth is back online, he'll hopefully correct me if wrong, but with the higher winds, I think the sail plan flexibility would be more valuable than the slight edge in pointing with the sloop version, and the sloop has less over all sail area. New sails, as always, make a big difference pointing, and I would say that with mostly new canvas, my cutter rigged Independence points very well. Certainly well enough that I don't find it an issue, but I am not buoy racing :egrin: One of the things I like about the staysail in more wind is it can be made to self tack (read harken track and all new roller bearing blocks) and to a certain point you can more or less steer without having to actively get involved in resetting the staysail with each tack - I do have control lines on the traveler to help it along beyond the self tacking, but a quick tug and the sail is right where I want her. In general, I think these are wonderful sailing boats, and just incredibly designed everywhere from the cockpit layout, as Stuart mentioned, to a fantastic saloon for a 31, and she still has nice V-berths and full head accommodations. If you set the sails properly, they balance very nicely and will sail themselves. They are much stiffer than the E27, my prior Ericson, and really just a different vessel to sail. Obviously, at a stock displacement of 11400, she is not a light air screamer, but she isn't bad either. I've been very surprised at how quickly she springs to life at around 6 knots apparent wind. The prior owner of Emerald had a UK Flasher asym built for her, and at 817 square feet, that sail will move you along nicely in light air! When it hits the 10-12 k with full sail, you ought to be sailing 6+. The staysail is usually good for 3/4 of a knot, and is better reaching or in lieu of the yankee in a stiffer breeze. For beating any distance, you'll probably do better with just the yankee. Being able to furl the yankee and use a full shaped stay sail in more breeze is really nice - I like it, and it also pulls you CE aft. I feel like I spend a lot of time sailing in the mid-teens and am seeing 6.2-6.6 regularly on GPS and knotmeter. On many occasions with a good bottom and reaching I have sailed consistently in the 6.8-7.2+ knot range, and I would say the top speed I've seen a coujple times was hitting 7.8, with it all just right - reaching in something like 20+.

If you're looking for a really capable cruiser that can go offshore, can be handled solo or comfortably have 4 people aboard for more than a few hours, and actually is a blast to sail and will give many a new boat a good run (I feel like I'm usually one of the faster ones out there), give these a hard look. Also, I must warn you that people will talk to you wherever you have her, so add an extra 30 minutes of time on each side of port visits - you've been warned! :cool:
 

mherrcat

Contributing Partner
I am in Peninsula Yacht Marina, Dock "A" closest to the west channel. I believe I have seen your boat a few times in the harbor.
 

Seth

Sustaining Partner
Agreed

Actually, given the wind conditions of SF Bay, I'd think the cutter would be the choice. When Seth is back online, he'll hopefully correct me if wrong, but with the higher winds, I think the sail plan flexibility would be more valuable than the slight edge in pointing with the sloop version, and the sloop has less over all sail area. New sails, as always, make a big difference pointing, and I would say that with mostly new canvas, my cutter rigged Independence points very well. Certainly well enough that I don't find it an issue, but I am not buoy racing :egrin: One of the things I like about the staysail in more wind is it can be made to self tack (read harken track and all new roller bearing blocks) and to a certain point you can more or less steer without having to actively get involved in resetting the staysail with each tack - I do have control lines on the traveler to help it along beyond the self tacking, but a quick tug and the sail is right where I want her. In general, I think these are wonderful sailing boats, and just incredibly designed everywhere from the cockpit layout, as Stuart mentioned, to a fantastic saloon for a 31, and she still has nice V-berths and full head accommodations. If you set the sails properly, they balance very nicely and will sail themselves. They are much stiffer than the E27, my prior Ericson, and really just a different vessel to sail. Obviously, at a stock displacement of 11400, she is not a light air screamer, but she isn't bad either. I've been very surprised at how quickly she springs to life at around 6 knots apparent wind. The prior owner of Emerald had a UK Flasher asym built for her, and at 817 square feet, that sail will move you along nicely in light air! When it hits the 10-12 k with full sail, you ought to be sailing 6+. The staysail is usually good for 3/4 of a knot, and is better reaching or in lieu of the yankee in a stiffer breeze. For beating any distance, you'll probably do better with just the yankee. Being able to furl the yankee and use a full shaped stay sail in more breeze is really nice - I like it, and it also pulls you CE aft. I feel like I spend a lot of time sailing in the mid-teens and am seeing 6.2-6.6 regularly on GPS and knotmeter. On many occasions with a good bottom and reaching I have sailed consistently in the 6.8-7.2+ knot range, and I would say the top speed I've seen a coujple times was hitting 7.8, with it all just right - reaching in something like 20+.

If you're looking for a really capable cruiser that can go offshore, can be handled solo or comfortably have 4 people aboard for more than a few hours, and actually is a blast to sail and will give many a new boat a good run (I feel like I'm usually one of the faster ones out there), give these a hard look. Also, I must warn you that people will talk to you wherever you have her, so add an extra 30 minutes of time on each side of port visits - you've been warned! :cool:

Cutter is a good choice given the wide range of conditions in SF Bay. In heavy air you CAN roll up the genoa and blast around with just the staysail. The major advantage of the sloop is better upwind performance-so unless you plan on spending a lot of time sheeted in tight and going upwind, you will do fine with the cutter. Given that tight upwind sailing is not the "I" series' forte, you are not giving up much. This not a negative slam against the "I" series boats, but they were not intended for this kind of sailing...
S
 

Bill Tanner

Member I
1977 Ericson Cruiser 31

Hello and I am new here, I am in the process of purchasing a 1977 31 Ericson Cruiser Hull number 8, I understand that they only made approx. 70 of them. How many folks out here have one that can lend some ideas and advice about this particular model ? Thanks Bill T

Boy after looking at some of the interior projects that have taken place on some of these boats it quite honestly makes me want to run like hell away from the boat I am looking at. Right now she looks great and I am having a full inspection done in the early part of March weather permitting. Am I over reacting ?
 
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