Ericson 27 questions

lschmidt

Junior Member
I'm looking at a 1977 Ericson 27, tiller steering, outboard with the transom cutout. I haven't seen it in person yet, but the owner reports that it's in good shape, solid deck/cockpit with no soft spots.

Are there any model-specific issues I should be looking for on this boat outside of ordinary "old boat" problems like water intrusion from deck hardware, hull/deck joint, core rot, blistering, bulkheads, chainplates, etc?

Also how does the E27 sail? I've read that some people describe it as handling "sloppily" in heavier conditions but other people report it as "tracking on a rail". Thoughts?

Has anyone lived aboard this boat? How's the interior space?

How well does it work as a cruising boat in your opinion?

Also, the tiller seems to be positioned fairly far forward compared to what I am used to. How well does this work for singlehanding? And with crew?

Thanks!
 
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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I'm looking at a 1977 Ericson 27, tiller steering, outboard with the transom cutout. I haven't seen it in person yet, but the owner reports that it's in good shape, solid deck/cockpit with no soft spots.

Are there any model-specific issues I should be looking for on this boat outside of ordinary "old boat" problems like water intrusion from deck hardware, hull/deck joint, core rot, blistering, bulkheads, chainplates, etc?

Also how does the E27 sail? I've read that some people describe it as handling "sloppily" in heavier conditions but other people report it as "tracking on a rail". Thoughts?

Has anyone lived aboard this boat? How's the interior space?

How well does it work as a cruising boat in your opinion?

Also, the tiller seems to be positioned fairly far forward compared to what I am used to. How well does this work for singlehanding? And with crew?

Thanks!
A good friend of mine owned this model for quite a few years. It had the OB cutout in the transom, but also the optional A4 inboard. We figured that there was an upgrade done while in final assembly for a sudden cash customer. Perhaps.
Anyhow, when the A4 died he changed out the engine to a single cylinder Yanmar. That boat raced a lot in local waters and cruised twice up the Washington coast to BC waters. I used to crew on it but did not do much steering. It handles very well IMHO. Matter of fact the E-27 is kind of a modern classic of good interior room combined with good speed under sail. He used to cruise it alone for several weeks at a time.
The tiller is in a normal location for a design of that era. By the 80's the rudders were moving aft further in many designs.
It is a Bruce King design, and a best seller for many years. Happy owners of that design are pretty easy to find...

Pedigree aside for a minute, do get a survey on that or any other boat that you want to buy.

Fair winds,
Loren
 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
The E27 is a good solid boat. Look for leaks at the chainplates and rotten core around them as some models had balsa core right up to the chainplates. Check the internal chainplates carefully from down below for signs of corrosion. They are integrated into the boat so very difficult to replace. Look at spreader brackets on mast, the original cast aluminum ones are prone to cracking. Low speed maneuvering is a challenge with the outboard model since the newer outboards are too big to turn the motor in the cutout fully enough to really move the stern around. Once underway the motor in the cutout works great if you get a 25inch shaft Hi Thrust model.

The boat sails very nicely. Make sure you have good purchase for adjusting the traveler, as it really helps balance the boat. Storage space is about what you would expect in a 27 foot boat.

Good luck!
 

bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
Way Back When, I taught sailing and did charter check-outs on E27s. Very good all-around boats, easy to sail, solid design, no bad habits.

$.02
Bruce
 

lschmidt

Junior Member
I've become comfortable with docking/handling with my inboard on current Pearson 28.

If I were to lock the outboard on an Ericson 27 and use the tiller for steering, does this allow better or worse handling than a standard inboard with the propeller forward of the rudder?

Oh also, does the outboard model with transom cutout have an internal fuel tank? Or will I still have to store portable fuel containers in the cockpit?
 
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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
"Vectoring your Thrust"

I've become comfortable with docking/handling with my inboard on current Pearson 28.

If I were to lock the outboard on an Ericson 27 and use the tiller for steering, does this allow better or worse handling than a standard inboard with the propeller forward of the rudder?

Oh also, does the outboard model with transom cutout have an internal fuel tank? Or will I still have to store portable fuel containers in the cockpit?
My guess is that a portable 6 gallon tank was specified when new. You can always build in a tank, with the right material and plumbed legally and safely.

As for "locking" the motor... I am not sure how much "steering" you can do with the engine, but do recall the times I got my previous 26 footer out of a tight docking situation by pivoting the thrust by even 10 degrees or so. It does not take a lot of turning of the engine to give you a LOT of help in maneuvering. :rolleyes:

Having a transom cutout for the engine is 1000 times better (minimum) than a bracket mount like other boat designers specified in that era, FWIW.
 
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lschmidt

Junior Member
You are correct, the owner replied and said it's a 6 gallon portable fuel container inside the lazarette.

With the transom cutout, will I still have problems motoring in heavier seas with the prop coming out of the water?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
You are correct, the owner replied and said it's a 6 gallon portable fuel container inside the lazarette.

With the transom cutout, will I still have problems motoring in heavier seas with the prop coming out of the water?
You should be fine with a standard "extra long" 25 inch leg on the OB. That is what we had for our Yamaha 10 Hi Thrust on our prior boat. It pretty much never came close to cavitating.
 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
We kept it locked when docking bow first, but it worked better for us to unlock when leaving stern first it since we didn't have a lot of space behind us in our moorage. When unlocked in reverse you can move the engine enough to port that along with prop walk can get the boat to turn quickly. Turning to starboard in reverse is more challenging. You also have to hold the tiller tightly when in reverse so the prop wash doesn't rip it out of your hand. The interesting part comes when trying to maneuver in forward as you get under way. With the prop aft of the rudder and little room to turn the engine, you need some headway on in order to have steerage. You just have to get lined up with nothing within a couple of boat lengths in front of you. Once you get used to it, its not a big deal, but there can be some exciting moments.

And yes with the 25 inch extra long shaft we never had the prop anywhere near out of water.
 

lschmidt

Junior Member
Christian Lloyd cruised his all over the North Pacific and Alaska.

http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexchange/entry.php?115-Turning-an-Ericson-27-into-a-world-cruising-boat

How does it sail? Judge for yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQbnlhRNP9Y&feature=relmfu

View attachment 24754
And he replaced money with ingenuity.
I just realized that you are the guy from this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28TAdDu5L6U). Very cool! I first watched that about a year ago.
 

G Kiba

Member III
lschmidt,
My 73' E-27 has a tiller and outboard. I have owned the boat since 2003. I sail the Sacramento Delta and the San Francisco Bay area. No need to lock your outboard as most of the 4 stroke motors are too wide to turn more the 5% in either direction with the standard transom cutout. I don't believe it's big problem but there are times when I use every bit of what it allows me to turn.
The E-27 is a great boat. The tiller position is excellent for single handling as all controls are within reach. I'm 5' 3" and with halyards, reef lines and vang led aft, I don't really need to leave the cockpit. When it gets cold, you can even stand on the second step down below and steer the tiller while peeking over the companionway hatch. With the right sails and two reef points, the boat handles winds gusting to 30mph well. The outboard E-27 is a little lighter than the inboard model and rides higher at the waterline by a few inches. Punching through waves slows the boat down a bit. A friend has his 77' inboard E-27 in the next slip. His is a wheel model and he complains that the cockpit is too small. I agree! I bought the Tohatsu 9.8 with a 25" shaft in 2005. It's been a great motor and the prop never leaves the water when motoring. I think it's the lightest outboard with electric start and alternator at 89 lbs. I had a 4 gallon gas tank fabricated and it is properly mounted, plumbed, and vented (you need to use a specifically rated fuel hoses). You don't want to put a plastic tank down below. The fumes are horrible and not safe. All in all, I think the E-27 is a great stater boat! If you really like to sail... update the sail handling gear. 2 speed winches, modern traveler, vang, and backstay adjuster are some of the things I've improved. I'm adding in a symmetrical spinnaker this year just to learn the other half of sailing. Planning on using the cabin top winches to trim the kite. Another control in reach? With room in the cockpit to scare myself and guests? This is too much fun!
 
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G Kiba

Member III
lschmidt,
My 73' E-27 has a tiller and outboard. I have owned the boat since 2003. I sail the Sacramento Delta and the San Francisco Bay area. No need to lock your outboard as most of the 4 stroke motors are too wide to turn more the 5% in either direction with the standard transom cutout. I don't believe it's big problem but there are times when I use every bit of what it allows me to turn.
The E-27 is a great boat. The tiller position is excellent for single handling as all controls are within reach. I'm 5' 3" and with halyards, reef lines and vang led aft, I don't really need to leave the cockpit. When it gets cold, you can even stand on the second step down below and steer the tiller while peeking over the companionway hatch. With the right sails and two reef points, the boat handles winds gusting to 30mph well. The outboard E-27 is a little lighter than the inboard model and rides higher at the waterline by a few inches. Punching through waves slows the boat down a bit. A friend has his 77' inboard E-27 in the next slip. His is a wheel model and he complains that the cockpit is too small. I agree! I bought the Tohatsu 9.8 with a 25" shaft in 2005. It's been a great motor and the prop never leaves the water when motoring. I think it's the lightest outboard with electric start and alternator at 89 lbs. I had a 4 gallon gas tank fabricated and it is properly mounted, plumbed, and vented (you need to use a specifically rated fuel hoses). You don't want to put a plastic tank down below. The fumes are horrible and not safe. All in all, I think the E-27 is a great stater boat! If you really like to sail... update the sail handling gear. 2 speed winches, modern traveler, vang, and backstay adjuster are some of the things I've improved. I'm add in a symmetrical spinnaker this year just to learn the other half of sailing. Planning on using the cabin top winches to trim the kite. Another control in reach? With room in the cockpit to scare myself and guests? This is too much fun!
 

lschmidt

Junior Member
lschmidt,
My 73' E-27 has a tiller and outboard. I have owned the boat since 2003. I sail the Sacramento Delta and the San Francisco Bay area. No need to lock your outboard as most of the 4 stroke motors are too wide to turn more the 5% in either direction with the standard transom cutout. I don't believe it's big problem but there are times when I use every bit of what it allows me to turn.
The E-27 is a great boat. The tiller position is excellent for single handling as all controls are within reach. I'm 5' 3" and with halyards, reef lines and vang led aft, I don't really need to leave the cockpit. When it gets cold, you can even stand on the second step down below and steer the tiller while peeking over the companionway hatch. With the right sails and two reef points, the boat handles winds gusting to 30mph well. The outboard E-27 is a little lighter than the inboard model and rides higher at the waterline by a few inches. Punching through waves slows the boat down a bit. A friend has his 77' inboard E-27 in the next slip. His is a wheel model and he complains that the cockpit is too small. I agree! I bought the Tohatsu 9.8 with a 25" shaft in 2005. It's been a great motor and the prop never leaves the water when motoring. I think it's the lightest outboard with electric start and alternator at 89 lbs. I had a 4 gallon gas tank fabricated and it is properly mounted, plumbed, and vented (you need to use a specifically rated fuel hoses). You don't want to put a plastic tank down below. The fumes are horrible and not safe. All in all, I think the E-27 is a great stater boat! If you really like to sail... update the sail handling gear. 2 speed winches, modern traveler, vang, and backstay adjuster are some of the things I've improved. I'm add in a symmetrical spinnaker this year just to learn the other half of sailing. Planning on using the cabin top winches to trim the kite. Another control in reach? With room in the cockpit to scare myself and guests? This is too much fun!
The only thing making me hesitate at the moment is the fact that it has an outboard instead of an inboard. Convince me that outboard will be ok!

I've read that when you shift into forward, that you don't have any steerage for 6-7 seconds. This seems odd because when I'm maneuvering a Pearson 28 (with an inboard) and shift into forward, I have steerage pretty much immediately.

Is there truth to this? And why would this be the case? The positioning of the prop?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
The only thing making me hesitate at the moment is the fact that it has an outboard instead of an inboard. Convince me that outboard will be ok!

I've read that when you shift into forward, that you don't have any steerage for 6-7 seconds. This seems odd because when I'm maneuvering a Pearson 28 (with an inboard) and shift into forward, I have steerage pretty much immediately.

Is there truth to this? And why would this be the case? The positioning of the prop?
With any inboard having the prop right in front of a spade rudder, you get instant turning forces by the built-in vectoring of the prop wash against the rudder blade.
And, that's how it works on a Pearson 28. And my Olson... and a thousand other boats.

With an OB mounted behind the prop, you will need to develop a little forward (or reverse) speed to get some water flow over the blade and develop some turning force from that blade. OTOH, with an OB motor that can itself be turned a few degrees, it will do wonders to help maneuvering in tight spaces, forward OR in reverse.

Don't know what you might have read, but 7 seconds is both a long time and an arbitrary number.

Further, while I can and have spent about 1K to equip our boat with a feathering prop to give it more speed under sail, all I did on my prior 26 footer to remove (not just reduce) prop drag was to tilt the motor clear of the water!

Everything is choices and compromises. Just re-read the excellent comments from other owners.

Also, when flipping thru the splash screens on this site, you will see a many-trophy-winning E-27 with his OB tilted up, driving to weather. Aided by an efficient hull, from a gifted designer. (not like I have an opinion or anything....)
:)
 

lschmidt

Junior Member
With any inboard having the prop right in front of a spade rudder, you get instant turning forces by the built-in vectoring of the prop wash against the rudder blade.
And, that's how it works on a Pearson 28. And my Olson... and a thousand other boats.

With an OB mounted behind the prop, you will need to develop a little forward (or reverse) speed to get some water flow over the blade and develop some turning force from that blade. OTOH, with an OB motor that can itself be turned a few degrees, it will do wonders to help maneuvering in tight spaces, forward OR in reverse.

Don't know what you might have read, but 7 seconds is both a long time and an arbitrary number.

Further, while I can and have spent about 1K to equip our boat with a feathering prop to give it more speed under sail, all I did on my prior 26 footer to remove (not just reduce) prop drag was to tilt the motor clear of the water!

Everything is choices and compromises. Just re-read the excellent comments from other owners.

Also, when flipping thru the splash screens on this site, you will see a many-trophy-winning E-27 with his OB tilted up, driving to weather. Aided by an efficient hull, from a gifted designer. (not like I have an opinion or anything....)
:)
You raise some good points, and thanks for the explanation.

But for me, my main goal is cruising not racing. And the number one thing that usually keeps me at the dock is difficult wind situations and leaving/entering the slip in those conditions, with either no crew or incapable crew.

So I would hate to have an even TOUGHER time leaving the dock, because I'd end up sailing less. I don't know if there is any room to rotate the outboard in the cutout. It's a 4 cycle 9.9 yamaha.

Or, maybe this is something I'll just get used to. I don't have to be moving fast at all to gain steerage moving forward. If I'm coasting in neutral in my pearson, I have steerage right down to barely inching forward.
 
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bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
It will be different, for sure, than what you are used to. The Yamaha 9.9 (hopefully Hi-Thrust) is the same engine I had, and it will not rotate much in the cutout, unless the cutout is a custom job and larger than the factory cutout.

I would suggest you have a sea trial of the boat to find out how it handles docking and undocking.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
When possible, manhandle the boat into position before engaging the propulsion. This used to be standard practice, even with large yachts, but nobody does it anymore.

It is fact that few single-screw sailboats without a bow thruster are well controlled by their auxiliaries, and often helpless by engine alone in tight spaces.
 

G Kiba

Member III
Manhandle! I still do it! At least when no one I care about is looking. I walk the boat back, push the bow through the wind and jump on. I tell people I'm saving gas.

If you are more concerned about cursing...leaving the dock should not be that big an issue as you will be on the water more often. Besides not being in control for brief periods of time is part of sailing. Sometimes the most exciting part!

In earnest, most experienced folks have great strategies, intuition, contingencies, and sometimes a lot of humility when docking and un-docking.
For example, I was told "when reversing , inboard or outboard, build just enough speed then get off the throttle". This was from a guy that regularly backed into his 16' slip with a 17' beam boat.
Of course the beam was 15' and some inches at the waterline. No less it was amazing to watch! 4-6" clearance on both sides! Sometimes he had a cross wind, or traffic, or too much to drink. But he still got it in even after several attempts.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
>>>contingencies

Yes. Motors fail. Judgement errs. It is also necessary to teach others how to get into your tight slip--which can be intimidating for them.

Also--how do you sail a 16,000 pound boat into a 35' long slip, in which momentum must be maintained for steerageway, and yet the boat must stop in its own length?

It's easy if you have an "out."

My slip has a flat fender--one of those hard foam pads--afixed to one side about one-third in from the entry.

In case of maneuvering error, the side of the boat is "crashed" into that pad.

A yacht hull can strike that pad at three full knots without sustaining any damage at all, although the entire dock may shudder.

The boat stops instantly on contact.

That's the only way to sail into a slip in an emergency. Maintain good steerageway, ram the pad to stop the boat.


Manhandle it. The boat is not the sissy, we are.



 
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