Ericson 35-3

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
FWIW, the factory diesel in these boats in the mid 80's was the Universal M25, rated at 21 hp.
The replacement Yanmar is about the same hp; more would be nice but not really required.
Price is pretty much "fire sale" and as the ad implies, the sellers want to move on.

Certainly worth a serious look, and even if you double the $$ outlay (for deferred maintenance) in the first couple of years it will still be a bargain IMHO.
Let us know how the saga goes... !
:cool:

ps: to put the asking price in perspective, I spent about 15K in my complete engine replacement project last year.
 
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fool

Member III
Very worthy of a seriously good look. Really a good value for the bucks. This is the asking price for the MKII's instead of an MKIII with a keel stepped mast and much larger interior. If the port lights don't leak I'd recommend painting (Hatteras White) over the stained panels, makes the interior brighter and feel even larger (the unpainted wood also stands out even more...).

Most of it looks really pretty good. If they've replaced the engine the odds are really good they've gotten rid of the trailer harness wiring to the panel (the harnesses are prone to overheating and melting, common on Ericsons and Catalinas of this era). Check the teak and holly sole for delamination, also a common... development. If you can, send a rigger up the mast to have a look around.

If the survey say's small shallow dime sized blisters on the bottom, don't sweat it. They won't impact the integrity of the hull or sailing quality. Always survey the vessel under offer, always question every word the surveyor says, they are not the captain or first mate and have zero skin in the game.

There appear to be more +'s than -'s. The disclaimer is any boat at age 35 will need some lovin' and attention. I've seen more expensive 35 III's in much worst condition. I'd buy it and I already own one. Might be worth asking the seller how low they'd go and not be insulted by a low ball offer.

Right place, right time.
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
Update...and an offer

My wife and I just got back from looking at the boat. First impression was really good. ItÂ’s definitely been sitting without a ton of attention, but the boat seems sound. There wasnÂ’t any sign of delamination, the gelcoat was in good shape for a 35 year old boat, and the cabin was in better shape than I anticipated. Both sails are serviceable, the furler was installed in 2011, stack pack was a nice addition (although a little dingy), and all the winches sounded crisp. The windless installation looks to be high quality with a huge stainless backing plate through bolted to the pan and bulkhead and proper cable with protective circuit breakers. ThereÂ’s also a new stainless water tank, electrical panel, and 2 group 31 12v batteries.

Now for the not so greatÂ…. The dorade box had some kind of patch attempted that looked like fiberglass tape over the plywood. It either wasnÂ’t done well or has bubbled up from the plywood getting wet. It doesnÂ’t seem to have caused any delamination in the deck core, but there is water damage on the cabin side wood above the port lights and down to the cabinets. The bulkhead looked to have been spared by the leak. Most of this damage was dry even after the heavy weeks rain, so maybe there was a fix that has stopped the leak. The broker didnÂ’t have any info on any work on the dorade box.
The anchor locker does seem to be leaking as well. The front bulkhead is delaminated and will probably need to be replaced or some other creative fix. The anchor locker latch pin hole also looks like it was never sealed, so there may be a small section of the deck core in that area I would need to replace and seal as well.

The bilge was a mess. About 4” of water with a thick layer of sludge covering everything. At first, the keel bolts looked to be rusted heavily, but when I wiped them off, it was just the thick layer of sludge with some surface corrosion. The broker didn’t think there had ever been any work on the keel bolts and that seems inline with what I saw. When we tested the electrical system, there was no voltage, so the amount of water was due to the bilge pump not running. I traced the electrical problem back to an ancient battery charger that had the DC breaker tripped (We weren't able to figure out what tripped the breaker). Resetting it supplied voltage to the main panel, but there wasn’t enough to test the engine.

The engine looks like you would expect a newer engine to look with the exception of some belt dust in the front. The belt was loose, so hopefully that explains the dust and not a froze water pump or alternator.
The mast boot is completely shot with the obligatory duct tape repair attempt flapping in the breeze. Some small drips around the base of the mast verified the duct tape wasnÂ’t holding much back and the cabin sole was delaminated in this spot. I donÂ’t think it is beyond repair, but definitely something to think about. The boat, in general, was damp without a heater or dehumidifier running, but there wasnÂ’t the musty or moldy smell you would expect from a damp boat.

The rigging looked old and still had Navtec turnbuckles so IÂ’m guessing its original. The mast had been painted navy at some point and it is bubbling around fittings. The worst of the bubbling was around the inboard end of the boom where it bolts to the gooseneck. This probably need to be replaced before it breaks.

All of the running rigging was old and was doing its best to support the local eco system. The traveler is still original. With the exception of a boom kicker, there wasnÂ’t much put into the rig or sailing systems. It looks to be set up well for standard cruising, but could use some work.

The steering was crisp with no discernable lash in the system or knocking. Hopefully the rudder is in OK shape.

In general, the boat looks to have had a pretty easy life with attentive and caring owners for the majority of her time. The owners live out of state and have relied on professionals to do all of the maintenance for them. Something happened over the last few years that didnÂ’t make it possible for them to keep up on the work.

My wife and I took the kids out to lunch and talked it over. WeÂ’ve been on track to step up to our next boat in 2 years, but this boat offers a path to get there sooner. We told the broker where we were and said we donÂ’t want to barrow money on a boat and told him what makes sense for us. Even though 19k is reasonable, it isnÂ’t in the cards for us. He said the seller really needs the boat sold, so he recommended we try what weÂ’re comfortable with. At the end, we offered a pretty lowball offer and we have our fingers crossed weÂ’ll reach an agreement.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
The boat sounds good and in need of repairs you can do yourself if you have time.

I would not underestimate the cost involved in bringing this solid specimen back to standard.
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
"but if it takes a long time and costs way more than anybody would ever expect, I just won't tell anybody how long it took or how much it cost". Great quote and it may have been what was spinning in my head when I said to my wife "what the hell, why not"
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
Has anyone heard of or seen this one?

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1984/ericson-35-3-3568498/

I'm planning on taking a look this weekend and wanted to run it past the experts. It looks like it could use some work. My wife and I have been planning to move up in the next two years, but thought if one comes along within grasp it might be worth taking a look.
From what I see looking at photos, you may have found a diamond in the rough. IF you are a handyman/mechanic of sorts and capable/willing to do the work yourself.

The 35-3 is a beautiful boat and more roomy/comfy than the 35-2 by a long shot. We often thought about moving up to the 38 but in all honesty ...NOW would instead look for the model you’ve found.

Having owned our 73 32-II since new, one quickly learns that working on a boat is “THE Never Ending Project”. We haven’t sailed our Ericson now for 7 years having done a complete refit - including all new bulkheads, electrical, plumbing and even redoing the upper rudder support.

Point is: We came to realize our refit became as much of a fun adventure and family time together as being on the water. (Mind over matter. “IF you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!”) Out of the necessity of our overly zealous maintenance, restoration and repairs, we shared visions of how she will look and perform. It carried us through and this coming spring...we launch AND GO SAILING!! Certainly a new (but used boat) for you, after careful due diligence can be the same for you that provides immense satisfaction in your vested efforts.

Good luck!!! ...Make some lasting memories!!!
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
accepted!

Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement. They accepted the offer! I think I'm in shock.

So what do we do now? Last time, I just chose to buy a boat instead of a mountain bike. This time is a little different story (although with how expensive mountain bikes have gotten, its still not far off). Does anyone have any recommendations on a surveyor up my way?
 

fool

Member III
So what do we do now?
Congratulations! Here's the owner's manual. With the updates to your vessel some of this will be obsolete, but ya gotta start somewhere...

https://tinyurl.com/ericson-35-3-manual

You might also look into Don Casey's Complete book of Sailboat Maintenance. He's got a way of 'splainin' with few words. This edition is a compilation of four of his books, "look inside!".

https://www.amazon.com/Caseys-Complete-Illustrated-Sailboat-Maintenance/dp/0071462848

Check with Boat Haven in Port Townsend to see if they have a few surveyors you can call. You might ask potential candidates if they have a sample of their work for you to look at to see if they'd be a good fit. I'll chat with my guys at the Shipwrights Coop next week to see if they have a recommendation too.

Absolutely thrilled for ya!

Max
 
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trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
Thanks max! I have Don's book sitting on Luffalee and I've been glued to the owners manual since finding the boat last week. It's reasuring to hear I'm headed in the right direction.

It's going to be hard focusing on Luffalee to get her ready to sell knowing I have this project just waiting for me on the other side of the sound.
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
I used John Sanford and enjoyed his services. Erik Bentzen comes highly recommended as well. I'm sure bgary knows good folks up in Everett specifically as well.

Unfortunately the "good guys" are known to be as such and will likely have a month or so waitlist, though you might get lucky this time of year.

Congrats on the offer, it looks like a great boat.
 

bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
Erik Bentzen comes highly recommended
I haven't used a surveyor up here, but Erik's name is the one that most consistently comes up.

If he can't accommodate the timing, perhaps he can recommend someone he knows/respects...?

Bruce
 

Kenneth K

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
I used this guy in 2016. It was my first marine survey so I don't have a wide base for comparison, but the selling broker called him a "straight shooter," and then used him to survey another boat.

http://tasmanboat.com/about-me/

You may find some useful information about surveys on his website, too.
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement. They accepted the offer! I think I'm in shock.

So what do we do now? Last time, I just chose to buy a boat instead of a mountain bike. This time is a little different story (although with how expensive mountain bikes have gotten, its still not far off). Does anyone have any recommendations on a surveyor up my way?

Congratulations!! ...One thing to keep in mind as you get into the necessary work projects. DO check out your diesel fuel tank for algae and/or sludge buildup. We re-powered with a diesel engine in the early 90's and last year, the tank had enough "gook" in it that we went ahead and pulled the tank for a good cleaning. (Good friend of mine at our boat club also had to do some extensive fuel and tank cleaning, so it's not an uncommon problem to have build up over the years.)

We went online and bought a $20 Endoscope Inspection Camera (USB that fits on your i-phone) to look down into the tank and insure it was super clean after flushing it out. Perhaps your surveyor will be checking on that aspect for you - but if not...It's worth your efforts to do for peace of mind.
Fair Winds....
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
Wow, thanks for the info. My mind is racing trying to figure everything out and it's making it next to impossible to focus on work today. I'm waiting for a reply from Erik Bentzen, Kingspoke Marine, and I'm going to try Tasman Boat Company as well.

I'm thinking of doing a quick sand, 2 coats of bottom paint, and any immediate fixes in Port Townsend if the survey pans out. I'm reluctant to jump in to major projects during this haul out to allow for time to gather info on what the survey finds. I'm also located across the sound in Everett which limits the amount of time I could spend in the yard (that ferry ride is beautiful, but time consuming). The boat was cruised this summer and it has had a diver clean and replace zincs regularly from what I understand. I'm sure the boat will need some kind of work outside a quick bottom job, but I would like to do that closer to home.

When I viewed the boat, the batteries were dead. The broker said they have been replaced twice in the last 2 years. we found an ancient battery charger with the DC breaker tripped. The owner has hired a mechanic to investigate the problem and the broker has given them this week to get it fixed. I'm not sure where a perspective buyers rights are in this situation. It would be nice to be involved with the repair decision, but I understand it isn't our boat. Should I request to be informed of the work to be done, request what I would like done, or do I just have to wait until sea trial to find out? The broker has been extremely friendly and responsive and probably has the answer, but I wanted to check with you guys before I start asking.
 

bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
I'm not sure where a perspective buyers rights are in this situation.
There's sort of a power shift halfway through the process (Bruce's Opinion, worth everything you've paid for it)

Up until the surveyor arrives, you kinda have no vote in things. It's their boat. You can ask, but you have no real leverage.

Once the survey happens, and especially when the surveyor's findings are reported out, then you have some room to negotiate. If the surveyor finds (for example) that the battery charger is defective, or poorly installed, or whatever, you can ask the owners (through their broker) to make it right. Generally speaking they should have the survey issues resolved to your satisfaction... or if you'd prefer, you can ask that they take the cost of the repair off the purchase price. The Broker more-or-less represents the seller, but is motivated to help the deal happen, so he/she ends up being in a position to tell the seller "look, one way or another this needs to get resolved or we're going to lose this buyer.... and because the issue is in the survey report, we're going to have to take care of it for the next buyer anyway if we don't do it now..."

$.02
Bruce

PS
I took full advantage of that power. In purchasing my boat, the surveyor reported that the lifeline gates didn't have tape around the latches. I pretty much sat there, wordlessly glaring at all involved for a good 2 or 3 seconds, dead-set on not moving forward with the deal, until the seller pulled a roll of tape out of a drawer and resolved the issue... It felt awesome to abuse such a tiny amount of power (laughing)
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
That's what I thought, but this is kind of a chicken or the egg situation. We can't do the sea trials or survey (assuming the survey will take place on the way and in the yard) without figuring out the battery / charger situation. The broker thinks they're probably just going to put a new battery which should solve the problem and last until the sea trial. I just don't like the idea of buying a new battery and connecting it to an old charger. It's probably just going to be something I'll have to get over.

As for negotiating repairs after the survey, what's the general opinion regarding boats like this that are listed as needing some work? On one hand, the water damage and deferred maintenance were the only items listed, so everything else would be on the table. On the other, the boat is listed well below the going price and they accepted an offer significantly less than that. I'm not sure how much lower is really fair and the charger / battery was known when I submitted my offer. Maybe I'm just being soft, but it sounds like the owner is going through some difficult times and I don't really want to add to it. I can't imagine the internal struggle Christian had to go through on the other side of that expertly executed negotiating tactic. Then having to find the end of the tape under pressure in front of everyone. You're ruthless, maybe I should take note.
 

bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
what's the general opinion regarding boats like this that are listed as needing some work
I think (again, just Bruce's Opinion), that.... it's a bit of a dance.

On the one hand, you want to get things resolved that are truly issues affecting the viability of the boat. On the other hand, you're not going to get the boat rebuilt to like-new condition as part of the process.

My surveyor explained his view (may be standard in the business, don't know) that there are three classes of issues
-- Class-A findings are "violations or structure, seaworthiness or watertight integrity
-- Class-B findings are "violations of USCG, NFPA, ABYC and/or other safety standards"
-- Class-C findings are "other findings or recommendations"

I'd guess that most "Class-A" (truly structural/seaworthiness) issues might be hard to get a seller to pay to resolve. Like, if the keel-bolts are corroded through or the mast was broken and badly repaired, those might be more likely to make me walk away than to ask the seller to fix. If the issues found are less drastic (e.g., the survey finds that below-the-waterline thru-hulls don't have double-clamps and pre-positioned bungs), that's easy to fix and probably not worth putting the owner over a barrel for.

The Class-B things get more interesting. If, for example, the fuel system is inoperative or the battery-charger is a potential fire issue or whatever... yeah, I'd ask the seller (through the broker) to get those resolved as a condition of the sale. I think (JMHO) that you have a right to come out of the sale with a boat that has no glaring safety or operational issues, *unless* you're going into this with the idea that it's priced as a project boat and have no plans to use it until you've rebuilt it. In my case, I wanted a boat that had "good bones" (hull, rig, keel, operating gear) and no major issues that were in the way of going sailing.... your priorities might land on a different point in the spectrum, given the price-vs-condition and the seller's situation.

I'd treat Class-C items as a professional's view of the things I should take care of once the boat is mine.

And... for the most part, cosmetic/non-structural/non-safety things (delam'd floorboards, water stains on interior panelling, etc) are probably going to show up as Class-C if at all.

Once you've found a surveyor, it might be worth a pre-survey call to ask him/her how issues are categorized and what the "custom" is for dealing with things in each category. Doing more surveys in a month than you or I will probably see in a lifetime will probably give him a good perspective, both about the severity of the issue and what's appropriate to ask for in the course of the transaction. My question, after the survey findings were known, was "are there any things in this report that represent reasons NOT to buy this boat". While he cannot make the decision for you, a good surveyor should be able to give you an answer that helps you sort through the findings and decide what's important to you.

$.02
Bruce
 
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