E30+ Purchase Agreement-Survey On Deck

Dave G.

Member II
Hi all, just entered purchase agreement on Ericson 30 Pic.jpg84 E30+ hull #632. Trying to do survey next Wednesday, weather permitting as still kind of chilly in the Great Lakes area. Any tips on what to look for would be greatly appreciated.
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Hi Dave,

Congratulations on your purchase agreement! I hope it all works out for you to finalize the deal!

We own a 1984 E30+, hull #637, so five hulls later than your boat--almost siblings!! We have owned her since 2006 and love it--they are great boats if they have been well cared for and in good condition. There is a good book written by Don Casey "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat" which might be a good reference in preparation for your survey (You don't mention if this is your first boat or if you are an experienced sailor with knowledge about boats). I'll assume you have or can get general information about boat surveys and things to check, and restrict my comments to things specific to the E30+.

An important issue is the deck area around the mast step, as these boats were built with a plywood support there but it is generally not adequate and may cause deck gelcoat cracks and/or movement of the compression post supporting the mast. If it hasn't been done previously, it would likely need a metal plate installed above the compression post (open the zipper in the forward part of the salon to inspect this area from underneath) .

The tie rods behind the cushions in the salon were reinforced with epoxy on my boat, so I don't know if that might have previously been a weakness or is specific to my boat. Check for cracking in the fibreglass where the tie rods connect to the hull.

If the ports are leaking, you will see staining or wood rot in the teak around the windows. Leaks there can also be caused by a leak in the bolts securing the traveller mounts--those can be accessed through the zipper below that area.

The aft end of the keel/hull joint tends to separate a bit (about 6 inches in length) on these boats. I don't know if that is due to placement of the keel bolts or some other reason, but I've seen this on a few of these boats. It's not serious in my opinion. Keel bolts should be tightened from time to time when on the hard, and the keel should be rebedded at some point as Ericsons are known for using too little caulk in the keel hull joint at the factory. When we dropped our keel 2 years ago, the bolts looked fine, but the keel dropped down from the boat much too easily, and the caulk layer was thin. If you do have a short crack at the aft end, and there is no leaking into the bilge or weeping from the keel joint at haul out, then adding some caulking to fill that crack is likely sufficient.

Those are the main things that come to mind for the E30+. In general, these are great boats, well-built, lots of fun to sail in a wide range of conditions, and fun to own. Feel free to ask specific questions, especially after your survey depending on what you find, and once you own her.

Frank
 

Wannasailsoon

Member II
Congrats! We bought our 1986 30+ in Dec 2018 and love her. It has definitely been a year of learning, but nothing has surprised us. The survey will identify any key items you need to address. I spoke to a few different surveyors before we had the survey completed and it gave me a bit better of a understanding of what they were looking for during the survey, but every boat is so different (even if they are the same model). Definitely reach out to this group. They are an amazing resource and always willing to answer questions and provide guidance.

Shannon
 

Dave G.

Member II
Thanks Frank, I had previously heard that same thing about the mast step area. When I personally inspected it I did look to see if there was a "plate" of some sort but did not see any sign. That being said I saw no sign of distress on or below deck in the mast area. I will scrutinize that area again with the surveyor though. In regards to the keel, I did notice a long hairline crack on the starboard side at the hull keel joint. I presumed that to be a issue with whatever compound/putty they used to fair the joint but obviously worth a much closer look. There were no signs of wetness or remnants of drips,etc. and it sounded solid. I appreciate the input and I'm sure I'll have a whole lot of questions going forward !!
 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Frank, do you have some photos of the plate under the mast step? I have some deflection in the deck under the step which I think is contributing to a very minor lean to port in the mast which I have not been able to resolve by tightening the starboard shrouds. If it gets worse, I am probably going to have drop the mast and tear the plywood out and replace with G10. But if I can avoid that kind of surgery for awhile by loosening up the shrouds and jamming a metal plate in there, that would be preferable. Thanks.
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Frank, do you have some photos of the plate under the mast step? I have some deflection in the deck under the step which I think is contributing to a very minor lean to port in the mast which I have not been able to resolve by tightening the starboard shrouds. If it gets worse, I am probably going to have drop the mast and tear the plywood out and replace with G10. But if I can avoid that kind of surgery for awhile by loosening up the shrouds and jamming a metal plate in there, that would be preferable. Thanks.
Hi Dave,
I don't have a picture of that plate, but it's a 1/4 "thick aluminum strip of metal, about 4 inches wide and going about 3 feet or more across the beam above the compression post. I think you would need to take down or lift the mast and then insert that piece, likely wouldn't go in there with the heavy mast in place. Tightening the opposing shroud would only add more pressure and increase the deflection in my opinion.
Frank
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
Does that rudder look short to anybody else? I'm not familiar with what the 30 rudder looks like. Appears shorter than my 28 rudder.
 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Dave, here are some issues that came up with my E30+, and mostly missed by the surveyor:

Not necessarily unique to the 30+ but look closely at old hoses and thru hulls that may need to be replaced. And the prop shaft seal. Access to the back of the 30+ is nearly impossible, so those things can be easily missed unless a surveyor is highly motivated to squeeze in there (my surveyor missed cracked hoses, a leaking thru hull and a shaft seal that was dangerously close to failing because of this poor access). See if the surveyor or you can get hi-res photos of all the systems in the aft section, steering, exhaust, shaft seal, plumbing, fuel, etc. then spend some time looking through them for any issues.

Also check the motor mounts to see if they need replacing, that can be a pain. The engine looks clean and reasonably well cared for, but an engine survey (usually separate from the boat survey) is recommended. And of course a sea trial is very helpful, although the boat is on the hard now so that might be difficult. The standing rigging looks like it has been replaced already and its a freshwater boat, so that is a plus.

Also make sure the surveyor checks the prop strut for play or corrosion. With a freshwater boat dry stored for winter you are unlikely to have the corrosion issues that required me to replace the strut, but that is a major pain to fix.

Check the running rigging for binding, which may indicate masthead work is needed to fix sheaves or other issues.

And many boats need electrical work due to past owners hack job "upgrades." My surveyor approved of electrical work that turned out to be very poorly done.

Also check the keel joint for gaps or leaks and the keel bolts for rust, especially the aft bolt which is hard to access. One of those little inspection cameras from Home Depot etc. might be useful.

The 30+ is a great boat, and this one looks like it is in very good condition. It is well worth working through most of these issues that might come up, but its good to know what you are up against before you purchase. Good luck!
 

Dave G.

Member II
Thanks Bigd, really appreciate your input. Especially the the bit about the aft system plumbing and steering. They pulled the running rigging after they shot these pics so not sure how we'll check the mast shivs. She still has original rigging layout with mast winches which I am planning to get a couple of cabin top winches and running some lines back to the cockpit. I'll need to get something at the mast base to attach shivs to so curious if you have done that and how you did it ? It currently does not have a spinnaker so curious if mast is even rigged for it. Again, thanks for sharing, good stuff.
 

Dave G.

Member II
Thanks Bigd, really appreciate your input. Especially the the bit about the aft system plumbing and steering. They pulled the running rigging after they shot these pics so not sure how we'll check the mast shivs. She still has original rigging layout with mast winches which I am planning to get a couple of cabin top winches and running some lines back to the cockpit. I'll need to get something at the mast base to attach shivs to so curious if you have done that and how you did it ? It currently does not have a spinnaker so curious if mast is even rigged for it. Again, thanks for sharing, good stuff.
Bigd14, Also providing we get through the survey, the final step is a sea trial which won't happen til mid May ish. So that will provide full operation of the rig.
 

mjsouleman

Member III
Welcome aboard Dave,

As you have found, there are a few of us Ericson 30+ owners here and the experiences and advice the experience generated are real.
Discovery is a 1983 E30+ and has been on the Chesapeake Bay for many years.

My real issues like those above were leaking ports, engine struts and soft spots. My biggest concern was the cabin mounted mast. Check for that mounting plate.

Mark "Souleman" Soule
 

Dave G.

Member II
Will do Souleman, where exactly is the compression post located ? Is it contained in the port side bulkhead that is the aft wall of the head ?
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Dave, the compression post on the E30+ is enclosed in a teak clad structure at the forward end of the salon on the port side just before the folding door that encloses the V-berth.
Frank
 

Dave G.

Member II
Frank or all, can someone explain why a 4" wide aluminum plate is what fixes the issue? A .25" thick aluminum plate is by no means structural in itself so is it just a spacer or ? I would think that the compression post is the all important support for the mast step or am I missing something ?
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Dave,
I"m not an engineer or naval architect (I wish!), and I also haven't actually measured the metal plate in our boat, so my estimates of the length/width/thickness were my best recall from viewing it in the past. But to answer your question, it is not just a spacer, but rather it spreads the load of the mast across the beam of the boat, rather than just bearing down on the deck and compression post below the mast step, which is a much smaller area (about 6" x 6" or so).
Frank
 

eknebel

Member III
it is not just a spacer, but rather it spreads the load of the mast across the beam of the boat, rather than just bearing down on the deck and compression post below the mast step, which is a much smaller area (about 6" x 6" or so).
Frank
Frank is again correct, the plate is functioning as a washer to reduce “point loading”
 
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