Ericsson 380 vs 35 MK3 for trip to Iceland/Norway

Ed S

New Member
Thanks for allowing me to join your forum!

I’m looking at an Ericsson 380 built by Pacific Seacraft and an 35MK3 and would appreaciate your advice on the following:
  • Do either boats have any quirks in terms of how they sail? If so, could you elaborate?

  • Assuming the boat and crew are properly prepared, would either boat be unsuitable for a trip from Boston to Newfoundland then crossing over to Iceland and on to Norway? If so, what are the shortcomings?
    • If both are suitable, which would you prefer and why?
  • Is one better laid out for sailing solo?


Member III
Hi, I am the owner of a 38 200 from 1987, bought in 2019. I sailed from Porto Garibaldi Ferrara where I have my berth, up to, Slovenian, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Malta, almost all of Italy, Spain, Gibraltar, never had no problem, sure that sailing where you want, it would be logical, to check the hull, the navigation would be very challenging. Best regards Saverio


Member III
Hi Ed,

Condition will probably be the overriding factor. Both are very capable boats.

Pacific Seacraft upgraded some things from the previous Ericson 38-200, which is why they are typically more expensive. The Ericson 35-3 has a similar layout to the older 38s and most like the Ericson 381. The older designs had a larger forward cabin and a smaller (or open) aft cabin. The newer designs have a smaller salon because it is pushed forward into the narrower part of the hull.

The Ericson 35-3 is a large 35 (35.5') and the Ericson 380 is a small 38 (37.5'), so the difference is not that great. The Ericson 380 is newer, 2500 lbs heavier, and slightly faster due to the additional water line length. The hull designs is very similar and by the same designer. I find my Ericson 35-3 to be very dry that sails well and has a nice motion. I'm sure the same is true for the Ericson 380.

Any boat that will be used to cross oceans should be in top condition, so I would focus on that.

Good luck!

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Sailing Uma (the YouTube channel) ventured to Scandanavia. Snow, ice, darkness. You might check out their experience.

There are many designs birthed in northern climes--check any harbor in the Pacific NOrthwest, with its hard dodgers, insulation and diesel heaters. Ericsons are Southern California to the bone. And although any sound boat can cross the Atlantic, Ericsons weren;t designed for that, either.


Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Speaking of those cool Pacific Northwest inspired designs, there's a pretty cool one for sale now:

If you're looking for a boat and Ericson doesn't meet your needs, a pilot house Valiant 40 seems like a good alternative. Mr. Perry said the pilot house version improved on the original design by moving the mast slightly which resulted in a more balanced sail plan. Yes, it has the Valiant blister issues, but it's priced accordingly. It's a bit off topic for this forum, but I always thought Ericson owners are brought together by their admiration of great boat design almost as much as the brand itself.