Ericson 38 in NJ $16k

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
I don't see any significant trauma damage in the photos.

The brightwork is in bad shape and the mossy interior is a gulp. Clearly a neglected boat, but potentially....
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
There's not much wrong with a 1984 E381 that can't be fixed at a sale of 15K. Hurricane damage excluded.
The buyer would have to be reasonably near Sea Girt, have a suitable restoration environment (slip or hard), and hands-on capability.

If the engine is OK, I'd say sails, rigging, upholstery and basic instruments would not much exceed 20K. The rest is to taste.

The trouble is, and here is where dreamers go wrong, doing everything yourself is probably a two-to-five year job if it's not your only job. On the other hand, that's how long it takes to build an RV-4 airplane, which I would have done if Ericson hadn't got in the way.
Flying sounds like Fun... For a second Childhood I always wanted to own one last big V8 car....
I guess that the Olson did kind of permanently distract me from that. :) Irony is that a finished Cobra would cost somewhat less than I have into the O-34.
Ahhh....... the "road not taken".
:egrin:
RV-4.jpegCobra 427.jpg
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
My across-the-street neighbor built one of those with his teenaged sons (the Cobra kit). The boys actually did help, on and off. It was not the drooling enthusiasm our generation would have produced, and I never have seen any of them drive it. But when Richard turns the key, the whole neighborhood knows it.

Regarding the boat pictures, thanks for the upload. I think there's an obvious crack in the backstay chainplate. I changed mine for $100, had a local welder copy it. The rust on the Ericson 504 stainless fittings is natural and meaningless, and comes off in five minutes with household rust remover. Integrity of the fittings is always another issue, requiring close inspection by an experienced eye or replacement by lifespan guidelines.

chainplate flaw.jpg

What to do about gel coat chips like these? I think I would build the edge back up using epoxy putty, then sculpt with sandpaper. Is there a better way to restore a knife-edge? In any case, cosmetic damage to our reverse transoms is easy to fix because the transom can be painted. Because topsides and transom are never seen at the same angle, and therefore reflect light differently to the eye, any close color match works fine.

chainplate IMG_20200202_121456040_HDR.jpg

The wood piece spanning the companionway is an add-on, apparently to hold instruments. Not a good idea, as it restricts the opening of the sliding hatch by several critical inches.

companionway IMG_20200202_123210500_HDR.jpg
 

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Afrakes

Sustaining Member
I'd offer them $10.000. But I can't afford the expenses for that big of a boat. Guess I'll stick with what I have.
 

racushman

Member II
I have to imagine a boat in that condition is worth <$5K, and maybe more like 2-3K.

Only a small handful of people have the patience and resources to undertake a restoration project like that. The market is very small.

A key decision filter might be to determine if the engine runs (or even turns over). If it is bad, then I suspect this is not an economically viable project.

Might be good to ask the yard if the owner is current on his storage fees. I would suspect the next stop for the boat is the disposal process.
 

TLEO

Junior Member
I have to imagine a boat in that condition is worth <$5K, and maybe more like 2-3K.

Only a small handful of people have the patience and resources to undertake a restoration project like that. The market is very small.

A key decision filter might be to determine if the engine runs (or even turns over). If it is bad, then I suspect this is not an economically viable project.

Might be good to ask the yard if the owner is current on his storage fees. I would suspect the next stop for the boat is the disposal process.
I saw the boat, it was not in disposal shape, this boat was in good condition. It needs lipstick and rouge and a few dollars. It was more boat then we were looking for, but for someone who is looking for a 381 for under 15k, it's a steal!
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
The boat looks like a viable restoration candidate to me, and maybe even a rare bargain.

Confusion comes from describing the condition as 'good.' :)

"Good"=landfill candidate
"Sailaway Condition"=Engine doesn't work
"Very good"=lots of issues, and this isn't a spongy deck it's those shoes you;re wearing, sir
"Shows well"=Display photos are date-stamped "2006"
"Best Example of its kind"= No competing boats within 400 miles
"Excellent condition"=the usual starting point
 
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TLEO

Junior Member
More images of the grey goose from criags list.

Interior shots to follow, that'w where it all goes bad IMHO.
 

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Tin Kicker

Member III
The boat looks like a viable restoration candidate to me, and maybe even a rare bargain.

Confusion comes from describing the condition as 'good.' :)

"Good"=landfill candidate
"Sailaway Condition"=Engine doesn't work
"Very good"=lots of issues, and this isn't a spongy deck it's those shoes you;re wearing, sir
"Shows well"=Display photos are date-stamped "2006"
"Best Example of its kind"= No competing boats within 400 miles
"Excellent condition"=the usual starting point
Priceless
:cool:
 

Tin Kicker

Member III
My 1985 32-3 was in slightly better interior shape and I paid $5,000 just over a year ago. Others have said it will need months to years of your hands-on hours which I will agree to.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Yeah, those leaks inside are a shame and the damage to the woodwork is severe.

The leaking portlights need to be yanked and rebedded, maybe replaced. It looks like water was invading from above, which may mean the deck grab rails have to come off for rebedding, and the inside ceiling handrails too. I have a hunch the headliner is mildewed because of water intrusion above. Probably the mold stains won't come out, and a new vinyl headliner is required. That's a job for an upholsterer, unless you have a sewing machine (they'll just copy the old headliner you take out).

All that seems a lot, but it is just a labor job requiring will. The headliner is easier to install than it appears, because vinyl stretches and is held by staples, and if you get it wrong you can start over. I would fret about it and then it would come out fine, or maybe not. In failure, hire an upholsterer to do it.

Restoration of the teak around the portlights is not possible. It's too far gone. Just return the wood surfaces to continuity and flatness using epoxy and filler pieces and fairing and sanding. Then paint it Interlux Hatteras Off-White, which blends very well with the headliner. The teak-surfaced chainplate bulkheads can be made to look better--they'll be covered by the cushion backs anyhow.

My guess is the scenery belowdecks is what is depressing the sale price so acutely. But I believe a determined new owner could fix it without special skills. Forum members have done all the pieces of the job, and when the memory fades, in retrospect it's no big deal. Note that obviously my memory has faded.
 
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Tin Kicker

Member III
I'm generally going to repeat what Christian wrote but add a bit. Because my teak was in similar condition I'm sure that bubbled teak is beyond what can be sanded flat for painting as you can see below. The screwdriver easily slipped through this bubble because all that was left were fibers.

The fastest and easiest (that's a relative term) route is to grind it off the sidewalls and replace it with new teak or vinyl which is what I did.

All of the lower wood is just labor to lightly sand (it's a laminate) and refinish.

At the same time, the opening port lights will need to be replaced, as they are the originals. Christian found that the Lewmar Size #1 are ever so slightly larger so it's relatively easy to trim the edges of the holes for the new ones. I found them on sale for roughly $230 each.

The fixed port lights will need to be stripped and rebuilt too. The glass in mine had clouded (visible in my first photo) so I replaced them with acrylic. If you take this on I have a place in Baltimore which can anodize the frames.

The overhead hatches leaked and the 5/8" tinted acrylic was $80 for more than enough to do both. Came out great.


I found a seal which fit beautifully because the original Lewmar seal is obscenely expensive. Ref: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Y16CG29/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Agree with the others that the headliner will probably need to be replaced and the mold is most likely from leaking handrails.

Concrobium spray will clean off most of the mold. The boat needs solar vents because you can't prevent water from coming down the mast and preventing stagnant humid air is necessary to prevent mold growth.

Because these boats have water in the bilges when sitting unattended, it'd be worth checking the integrity of the wood tabbing down in the bilges. Normally this is above the water but for a boat sitting a long time the bilge water may've gotten deeper.

One last observation is to look closer at the edges of the transom to see if the damage is from hitting things or from flex. My transom has flex cracks to the sides of the boat so needs glass work, not just some bondo and sanding.
 
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ddoles

Member II
I looked at this boat as a favor to an Ericson owner and member on this site who was interested. I took probably all the same photos shown here. In my opinion, this boat is nowhere close to "good condition". From what I could observe, there's nothing wrong that couldn't be fixed, but there is just so much work needed from stem to stern, its hard to see how you would ever get the value out of it. This didn't look like just Sandy damage, but years of neglect. My conclusion was if you could get it for free, it might be worth it if you are ready to invest the time and money to see the project through. Or, just keep looking and find a boat that is actually in "good condition".
Dave
 
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