E30+ with shortened Keel


New Member

We are looking at an 1982 E30 on the Great Lakes that according to the broker has had the keel shortened by 4" to 5' 6". The broker apparently had some connection with an east continent Ericson dealer who did this to some E30+ at the time they were new. This apparently took about 200lb off keel and did not affect the sailing. (much???)

Anyone ever hear of this?
Other Coments.


Ken Geiger


Sustaining Member
Eek. Sounds sketchy too me. I'd think it would be a bit tender since those 200 pounds were the most effective ones down at the bottom of the keel. I'd ask if any Naval Architect was consulted on the job, and get proof of that approval. It'd make me a bit nervous if that was just done ad-lib.

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
No first hand keel-ish info to contribute, but...
If you check the Mars Metals web site you will find that they have done nice looking lead two-piece bulbs for reducing draft on an Ericson. The lead bulb maintained the righting moment, if I read it right.
Just to arbitrarily cut off some lead at the bottom would, as Nate points out, reduce ballast at the place where it counts most. :rolleyes:

More info is needed about this boat before you invest time, money, and emotion in the purchase, IMHO.
(And that opinion is worth about what you paid for it...)

When we went looking for our next/last boat in '93, it took us a year to find our present boat... and that's one of the few years in the last several decades we had any real money in the bank! Be patient and enjoy the search. After all, you're the center of the whole process -- the one with the money!

ps: did you look at that fractional E-33 for sale on the right coast?


Inactive Member
30+w/o lead

I had a 1980 30+ with the keel intact. Great sailing boat, went to weather like a banshee. I would be VERY careful about removing #200 of lead from this boat as it's somewhat tender to start with. As mentioned, Mar's Metals does a bulb arangement but I would look around some more or drive a REAL hard bargin as you might be disappointed with this boat. I feel Bruce King knows far more about sailboat design than a broker and am very reluctant to mess with his designs. I presently own a 1988 E34 (my third Ericson) so I do have some experience with them. Their sailing qualities set them apart from most of their more popular (based on numbers) competitors and to mess with that I feel is a mistake. Just my $.02 worth.
Good luck, have fun & sail fast
Bud E34 "Escapade":cheers:
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Member III
Hi, I sailed an 80 E30+ for 10 years, and if you want to sail with nothing larger than a # 2, the missing weight may be ok. They are a tender boat with the full keel, so myself, I would keep looking, or install the Mars. [It would probably look weird to be reefed in 10 knts of wind, anyway]. My humble opinion, and nothing else. Harold :devil:


Sustaining Partner
FWIW I have an E38 shoal draft with a Mars Metal keel bulb added to make it less tender. I am happy to report that going to weather with all the laundry on the poles is no problem at 18+kts. Maybe 15 degrees, 20 on gusts to 25kts. If you can drive a hard bargain and do the Mars mod it may be worth it. I have never sailed another Ericson but the E38 has a rep for being tender and mine is certainly not. Mars appears to be the ticket. RT


Member III
My E/30+ has fin shortened


Spirit draws 4' 9" after a PO shortened the fin. However, a Mars Metal bulb was added to make up for the lost ballast. And Spirit does go like snot to weather!

I'd be a little leary of a shortened fin with no compensating ballast added.