Going to see an Ericson 38 tomorrow

dhill

Member II
Hi everyone,

Ericson 38 listing:

Looks like this might be the same boat that was for sale by the same owner ten years ago:

Looks like the owner owned another Ericson 38 before that, purchased by Ericsean.

According to this list, it could be S/V Navigator:

I noticed in one photo the sheer stripe is navy blue while in the other photos, it is a lighter blue - closer to the color of the canvas.

I had been looking for a deep keel, but as I'm not looking to race, from what I've read the shoal keel might work well, particularly if I venture outside of Maine where I usually sail.

Does anyone have any knowledge about this particular boat? Any tips, things to watch for, comments on condition would be greatly appreciated! I really value the expertise in this community! It looks to be a private sale, so any tips for that would also be most welcome!

Thanks!
Dave
 

1911tex

Sustaining Member
Oh what a beauty! Priced right...even has a separate office for the Captain ! Above shows 1980 another 1981...Good Luck !
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Owner might have painted the cove stripe to match their canvas. That's a new blue on me.

Confirm the engine make and model, might be listed wrong. Replacement or original?
 

dhill

Member II
Owner might have painted the cove stripe to match their canvas. That's a new blue on me.

Confirm the engine make and model. 0.
Thanks Christian,

It is a Pathfinder 1.6L, 4-cyl 54hp diesel, which I've read is a Volkswagen Rabbit pickup diesel engine adapted for marine, sold during the 1980s and 1990s. I don't know the year or how many hours are on it - I'll find out tomorrow. Any thoughts/advice on these engines?

The thread from 10 years ago says that moves the boat at 8.8 knots, which seems pretty quick.

Thanks!
Dave
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
While I am not a fan of the Pathfinder diesel, I have been on a delivery trip on an E-38 (200) that maintained 8.0 under power without strain.
This was with a Yanmar 3 cylinder diesel.
"8.8" sounds like a bit of a stretch, tho.
 

Dave G.

1984 EY30+ Ludington, MI
One listing says 54hp and other says 42hp? Same boat different engine ? 54hp and a prop with14-15 pitch may push the hull that fast.
 

dhill

Member II
While I am not a fan of the Pathfinder diesel, I have been on a delivery trip on an E-38 (200) that maintained 8.0 under power without strain.
This was with a Yanmar 3 cylinder diesel.
"8.8" sounds like a bit of a stretch, tho.

Thanks Loren,

What are you reservations with the Pathfinder diesel?

Thanks!
Dave
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Thanks Loren,

What are you reservations with the Pathfinder diesel?

Thanks!
Dave
Just that the few marine mechanics that I know report that parts are getting difficult to find. That being said, I know a club member with one of these diesels in an Islander 38, and they spend several months every summer cruising up in BC waters and like this engine a lot. So, my observations are anecdotal, at best.
:)
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
The VW 1.6L 4 cyl is very robust. This is the over engineered, first water cooled VW engine for the Rabbit and Scirocco in 1975. Strong enough to be turbocharged to 5x hp and converted to diesel. Plenty of auto parts available. Don’t know about the marine conversion parts which may be the hard to find bits.

The shoal keel has the same stability as the deep keel, usually a thicker, possibly longer foil section, and heavier. The deep keel is a more efficient shape (better lift vs drag) which shows upwind and down ( its thinner so lees drag). For racing, emphasizing up and downwind, the deep keel sails better to it’s rating. For cruising, generally avoiding upwind and directly downwind, I doubt anyone would notice 6 sec a mile. You will notice the 1.5 feet less draft if you come to the Chesapeake or cruise the ICW to FL and the Bahamas.
So unless you are planning to race seriously or are an upwind aficionado, the shoal keel will work fine.
Mark
 

dhill

Member II
The VW 1.6L 4 cyl is very robust. This is the over engineered, first water cooled VW engine for the Rabbit and Scirocco in 1975. Strong enough to be turbocharged to 5x hp and converted to diesel. Plenty of auto parts available. Don’t know about the marine conversion parts which may be the hard to find bits.

The shoal keel has the same stability as the deep keel, usually a thicker, possibly longer foil section, and heavier. The deep keel is a more efficient shape (better lift vs drag) which shows upwind and down ( its thinner so lees drag). For racing, emphasizing up and downwind, the deep keel sails better to it’s rating. For cruising, generally avoiding upwind and directly downwind, I doubt anyone would notice 6 sec a mile. You will notice the 1.5 feet less draft if you come to the Chesapeake or cruise the ICW to FL and the Bahamas.
So unless you are planning to race seriously or are an upwind aficionado, the shoal keel will work fine.
Mark
Thanks Mark!

I am not planning to race the boat (I've gotten that out of my system), but I do like to sail upwind. Perhaps not days and days of it, but for day sails, I like that point of sail the best. I do not like being left in the dust (spray?). The current owner said he has successfully raced the boat at PHRF 114 rating, which is what is usually reserved for a deep keel boat and says he usually outpoints the other boats. The shoal keel is less of a factor in Maine, but might go further afield.

Thanks!
Dave
 

dhill

Member II
Hi everyone,

I took a look at the boat for about 1.5 hours with the owner and came away impressed. The hull doesn't have a gloss mirror shine, but is still reflective and otherwise looks in good shape for a 40 year old boat. Smooth and uniform. The cove stripe is dark blue now, so the light blue shade is from an older picture. The bottom was smooth with ablative paint, so there was no paint buildup. Two bladed fixed prop, rudder and keel seemed true and perpendicular. No signs of stress cracks on the hull and hatches/hinges worked well. My layman's inspection of the chainplates, shrouds, and gooseneck looked good, but original according to the owner. No windlass, radar (important for Maine), or auto-pilot. Jib lead tracks slid. Aluminum spinnaker pole, but no spinnaker. Canvas looked serviceable, but weathered. Pulpit, lifelines, and stern rails seemed robust. Non-skid seemed in good shape. Minor gelcoat wear in two small places. Didn't detect any soft spots in the deck after walking all over it. No creaks at all outside or inside the boat.

The cockpit looked to be in good shape, all of the compartments opened and closed well. The binnacle and wheel were in good shape. Engine gauges clear and not crazed. The oval wood trim around the cubby on the starboard-side coaming was replaced by the owner and still needed varnishing. The back of the cubby had a large crack in it.

Cabin sole was replaced by previous to current owner, matches the rest of the interior, and remains in excellent condition. Interior teak is not too dark, not varnished, and the owner uses Howards Feed and Wax to treat/protect it. The owner has rewired the entire boat, and from what I could see, looked good. The two AGM batteries were new two years ago and looked good. The cushions are a bit tired, but serviceable - a couple of missing buttons, but no tears. The owner has added several interior pieces which fit right in. From the pictures, it looks like the owner smokes cigars and there was evidence of that odor in the boat (I don't smoke). The headliner looked in good shape, with a small one-inch tear at the mast. The boat is on the hard. The bilges looked quite clean, but had a little dark colored water in it. The owner said this is due to a mast leak that he hasn't been able to resolve. The keel bolts looked good. He said the boat has two 40 gallon freshwater tanks under the starboard seating and a 110 gallon tank under the V-berth. Hatches above were open and clear. All doors, sliding and otherwise, opened and closed cleanly. Drawers all worked well.

The engine looked clean as well, but that engine is sure wedged in there side-to-side. Access still seems good, but some of the wood side panel had to be removed so that the 90-watt alternator would fit. The engine was installed prior to this owner. He acknowledged it is a bit overkill for the boat, but says he gets 0.75 gallons/hour running at 5-6 kts. He sailed/motored the boat up from South Carolina when he bought it. He said the only time the engine has died was when he ran out of gas and had singlehandedly sailed the boat back to the slip (impressive).

Electronics are a little dated, but there are three displays over the companionway, one on the binnacle, and a GPS display below, all networked. He has a GPS for the binnacle, but uses a ruggedized iPad with bracket instead. The marine head was replaced 3 years ago and looked to be in good shape. Shower looked clean. No moldy or sewage smell. The floor boards and teak in the head looked good as well.

Galley has a brown, propane Gas Systems cooktop and stove. Sinks were clean and in good shape. Cabinets all looked good, including refrigerator compartment. Lazy Susan worked well. Countertop was standard white - owner had planned to replace it with Corian, but I thought it looked fine.

The owner is retired, clearly seems to love the boat and says he is there daily working on updates and maintenance. The portlights were all cleaned and reseated with butyl three years ago. He did point out one fixed portlight over the galley that has leaked slightly that needs to be reseated. He has added/replaced several wooden trim pieces (many curved) which look very well done. He also showed me a large bag filled with 20 lbs of spare blocks, lead trolleys, etc - all looked brand new. Sails were not present, except for a spinnaker borrowed from another boat (not included in sale). No lazy jacks, 120% genoa, three reef points in main. Most sail leads routed back into the cockpit.

The owner is in the process of purchasing a larger sailboat and is looking for a quick sale. He bought this Ericson without a survey and implied he was looking for the same here, but I'm not that brave. This is his third Ericson, would be my first (first one I've toured). This would be a private sale, so handling any deposits, clean title transfer, are a bit of a concern. He said he had another offer, but hasn't accepted it yet.

Price was recently raised to reflect updates he has done recently (e.g. new curved teak hand holds on deck, still unvarnished, but well done).

Any thoughts on this greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Dave
 
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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Good and helpful report.
All sounds promising. :)

One thing about surveys, tho. While it might be different where you are, in my area all the marinas (private or YC) require insurance. Insurers require a survey to write the policy. So you always get back to having a survey in hand, in any case.

And then, the value of the survey to the new owner of any boat is giving them a condition, maintenance and upgrade guide and path forward. Some folks seem to view it as only a way to renegotiate a price, but that's not the main purpose IMHO.

We just had one done on our boat for re-evaluating the insured value, and this was the first one since the 90's. A couple of small ABYC-advised things were pointed out that I will easily remedy.

BTW, I find that the ABYC "advised" ways of installing stuff become requirements in the eyes of most insurers.
I surmise that the boat insurers have no other "standards" to reference, quite unlike small aircraft owners who have to keep detailed maintenance logs with professional sign-offs on most all maintenance, by order of the FAA.
(Of course our little ships do not fall out of the sky and kill bystanders, either.)

Good luck on your pursuit, whatever you decide.
Keep us posted!
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
He sounds like a good owner, soon to be Previous Owner (P.O.), which is 90 percent of it. All that means is that a fellow who knows his boat well, has had many sailboats, and does work with his own hands, is usually reliable and often candid. The gag is that when falling in love with a sailboat you marry the P.O, and it's true. The relationship grows deeper each time you encounter his footprints deep inside the boat.

We need a marine survey for insurance anyhow, and it's good for peace of mind.
 

dhill

Member II
Thanks everyone!

I've done private sales with smaller boats, but nothing like this boat. Should I hire a maritime attorney to ensure good title and provide an escrow mechanism, or is that over-complicating things?

Thanks!
Dave
 
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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Thanks everyone!

I've done private sales with smaller boats, but nothing like this boat. Should I hire a maritime attorney to ensure good title and provide an escrow mechanism, or is that going too far?

Thanks!
Dave
Fair questions. It's a lot of boat; not like a trailer sailor that can be parked in your driveway while unexpected title issues get resolved.
That said, if the seller has a valid title to sign over, then the only other concern might be a lien for unpaid work on it. I have not run into this personally, but have heard of it happening.
A bill of sale form can be drawn up or d/l off the web.

Confession: I handled the sale of our prior boat and the purchase of the present boat thru brokers. Other owners may have better advice.
One thing you can do is call up your state's titling agency and take notes on what they require, and potential pitfalls.
Take notes, and names....
Your state's boating web site should have info on this common situation, too.

Edit: a search of both the Maine site and an independent boating title requirement site seems to show that Maine only "registers" boats and does not issue titles. I wonder if most vessels of this size are USCG Documented in your state?
 
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dhill

Member II
Fair questions. It's a lot of boat; not like a trailer sailor that can be parked in your driveway while unexpected title issues get resolved.
That said, if the seller has a valid title to sign over, then the only other concern might be a lien for unpaid work on it. I have not run into this personally, but have heard of it happening.
A bill of sale form can be drawn up or d/l off the web.

Confession: I handled the sale of our prior boat and the purchase of the present boat thru brokers. Other owners may have better advice.
One thing you can do is call up your state's titling agency and take notes on what they require, and potential pitfalls.
Take notes, and names....
Your state's boating web site should have info on this common situation, too.

Edit: a search of both the Maine site and an independent boating title requirement site seems to show that Maine only "registers" boats and does not issue titles. I wonder if most vessels of this size are USCG Documented in your state?
Thanks Loren,

Most vessels this size in Maine are USCG Documented.

Thanks!
Dave
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
I agree with Christian, the condition of a used boat is 90% based on the PO. At 40 years old, most items are at the end of their life or function but need updating. If the PO enjoys working on the boat, then things get replaced, updated and wear and tear items like leaks get fixed before they escalate into teak rot and mold.

The lack of any huge issues or a million small ones is worth paying for if you are going to put any time and effort into a boat.

Baby blue was a popular color into the early 80s for the boot and shear stripes. Looks dated now, so navy blue would be an update for me.
Gelcoat will buff out to like new with some effort. Hard on the arms but very rewarding.
I would be mentally prepared for the possibility of (non-structural, cosmetic) hull blisters in the future. Even with no blisters visible now. My experience and research indicates 1981 is the peak of blister occurrence. Building techniques, resin type and use as related to osmotic blisters were not well understood back then. Being in cold saltwater for a short season and hauled for half a year will be very helpful to prevent them.
Standing rigging needs to be replaced before any serious cruising. Insurance may require it. Doing it BEFORE something breaks will be much cheaper and safer. Insurance will depreciate the value of the rig to near or below the deductible. Cost is manageable if you can do most of the labor.
Cushions are the last thing I'm doing. Mine are original, very good condition moderately ugly. Mine are maybe the least ugly plain offered in 1981. Two non marine estimates for 13 covers and new foam were both~ $5k.
I get rainwater down the inside of the mast every time it rains, normal.
Any leaking water from the outside keel joint or history of keel re-bedding? Mine's still original and doing fine (boat in the water all of its life) but many have been re-bedded by now.
The factory countertops and head/shower interior were Formica color Almond 920-58. Still have mine. You can still buy Formica sheets to match at Lowes or Home Depot.
Any signs of teak veneer damage below the ports (from previous leaking)?
Mark
 

dhill

Member II
Thanks Mark,

The only teak veneer damage was a slight trickle below the port that needs to be reseated and highlighted by the owner. The rest of the teak veneer is pristine.

Thanks!
Dave
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Thelonious, formerly my E32-3, was a private sale by me. Since there is a sea trial, and surveyor arrangements (they like to see the boat on the hard), maybe an engine survey (yes), and some state or federal paperwork, I had a broker be the intermediary and handle all that. I think I paid him something like $1500 for the service. It just felt more professional, and took me off the hook for the details of honest money, scheduling, DMV forms and so on.

But there's not much to it all, if you both want to do it yourselves.
 

dhill

Member II
Hi everyone,

An update - I put an offer in on the boat, but the seller accepted another offer, so I'm on the search again. Unfortunately, it took a while to find that out.

Thanks for all the advice!
Dave
 
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