Modern equivalent of an Ericson cruiser/racer?

goldenstate

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
What is the modern, currently-in-production version of an Ericson yacht? The same market-position where Ericson was between 1980 and 1990?

I do realize that, they just don't make them like Ericsons anymore, and our boats are special. They are fast and sturdy and beautiful. Agree. But what if someone said you have to buy the closest thing to a 30-35' Ericson on the market today, what would you get?

Candidates might include:

J/99
Bavaria 9.7
Tartan 345

?????

I realize this is heresy, but I request your indulgence.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
The Bavaria has a so-so reputation in some the UK sailing web sites, but I have not seen one.
I would look at a nicer equipped model from maybe C&C or Tartan. Problem is that the new boat market has shrunk so much that the bulk of the survivors are the worst boats...
Sort of like a boat building version of the old monetary "Gresham's Law". This has been happening for over 20 years. :(

If I had a choice of a recent altho still not new boat, I would want a Sadler Starlight 39.
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
What a great question! I try not to look a new boats (what's the point for most people), but it's tough not to think "what if".
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
I prefer the older boats - - 1980s mainly, but I would suggest perhaps, if they still make them, Hinckley, Swan, Cabo Rico, Hanse, C & C.
But I love our 1984 E30+
Frank
 

goldenstate

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Problem is that the new boat market has shrunk so much that the bulk of the survivors are the worst boats...
Sort of like a boat building version of the old monetary "Gresham's Law". This has been happening for over 20 years. :(

If I had a choice of a recent altho still not new boat, I would want a Sadler Starlight 39.
Please help me understand why this is so. I get that people want big spaces and lower prices like one might find on a Hunter etc., but is there not a market for nicer "compromise" fast-cruiser yachts?

It does seem like 35-40' is the new 28-34'. New boats are mostly bigger.
 

clayton

Member III
For American boatbuilders, Tartan/C&C (unless they've been split corporate wise?). Morris would be above them and so would the price. Is Sabre still in business? JBoats as a knowledgeable broker/racer once told me "are glorified Catalinas, not better built by much but faster designs". Catalina currently has the 315, 355 & 385 in this size range. They have out survived every other American builder. Got to do a pretty thorough tour of a 2000's 42, it was nicely done, the owners loved it. The 2000's Bavarias were nice, new ones look like everything else nowadays, ugly. Maybe Malo, Finngulf, Elan, Slovenia depending on availability. Of course I wouldn't turn away a 90's - 2000's Oyster 43, 45...
 

Kenneth K

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
I wouldn't even know where to look in new boats. In my boat search, the only other makes that turned my head were Canadian Sailcrafts and C&Cs. Heard an interesting rumor about C&C along the way, that their odd-length ships became the best loved, e.g., the 33 and 35 over the 32 and 34. Never looked far enough to know if there is any truth to that.
 

K2MSmith

Member III
It seems the US has lost its cutting edge in yacht design to France . They are innovating with performance racer/cruisers like the pogo 35 . The trend is toward larger boats with planning hulls that can be sailed shorthanded . For expedition cruising , they are innovating with aluminum swing keel designs like the Garcia’s and others. So , I don’t know if there is an Ericson equivalent. Maybe J/boats ?
 

clayton

Member III
After a little surfing, Sabre is still in business, now doing motoryachts. Don't know where I came up with Slovenia, thought I read that in a magazine somewhere. Did Bluejacket survive? (Tim Jackett & Rob Johnstone of Island Packet collaboration).
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
Since Sabre and tartan are still around they seem like the most direct comparison. Was ericson on par them back in the 80's?
 

goldenstate

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Since Sabre and tartan are still around they seem like the most direct comparison. Was ericson on par them back in the 80's?
Sabre no longer makes sailboats.

I think C&C are now closed.

Elan yachts are made in Slovenia and their E3 and E4 boats would both be 30’-35’ candidates.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
My take on all this is that new actual off shore designed "cruiser racer" sailboats are almost gone from the market. Evidently there are not enough customers anymore. While there ARE some customers, it takes a minimum amount of sales volume to keep a business going.
Some years ago, a friend of ours that owned a large yard told me that in order to break even on a new sailboat, after creating the tooling, he had to be absolutely sure selling over 100 hulls. That yard specializes in one-off power and sailboats, so the price is high.

This whole situation has interesting ramifications for those wanting a performance cruiser with real quality, but does create a market for vintage Ericsons, Tartans, and the few others in their league.
The shop that is doing our re-fit has done one prior Ericson, a Jason 35 (now cruising NZ), and about 7 or 8 Cascade 36's. One of his customers won a race to HA several years ago with a Cascade 36, which is really a pre-IOR Robert Smith design. By coincidence he did a partial re-fit on another Olson 34, just before we moved out boat in.

Over a decade ago, we toured a new Najad 35, in Seattle. The interior looked a lot like a later Ericson. Great boat, altho over $400K. I would have one of those in a heartbeat, if I were richer... a lot richer... :)

We have discussed this general topic in several past threads, so some searching will turn up more commentary.
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
I think J boats makes some good-looking cruiser-racers, they might be someone I considered. They're also all patently set up to be super easy (almost boring, compared to more complicated race boats!) to sail shorthanded.

If I could wave a magic wand and get the next boat of my choice, I really like Valiant 42s - not brand new, but of a slightly newer era than the 80s.
 

Slick470

Member III
I'd be pretty happy with one of the newer cruiser/racer J boats like a J/109. I've raced a lot on J/120's and J/110's and a bit on J/105's and find them to be well thought out and comfortable boats for racing and fast cruising (less so on cruising on the 105 though). As far as build quality, I've raced the J/110 offshore in very snotty conditions and the boat handled it much better than I did. I'm not sure I would do that in many Catalinas, but if the boat were set up for it, maybe....

As far as other new boats that seem to fit the new cruiser/racer or racer/cruiser mold I really like the newer Dehler and X-Yachts XP lines. I'm not a huge fan of the newer euro style interiors but I could get used to them. A friend got a new Dehler last year and it is fast and comfortable. We're looking forward to breaking it in on some of the local distance races once things break loose again around here.
 

JPS27

Member III
I'm just a passive observer taking notes. But what about Pacific Seacraft. And they are still producing them in North Carolina, correct?
 

Slick470

Member III
Pacific Seacraft is still in North Carolina and they are still building the Crealock designed double enders but I don't know how many new orders they get. The new company didn't get any of the Ericson molds or rights in their purchase of the company. They also built one hull of the Bob Perry 61 and they will build more if someone wants to pay for one. They also advertise a rebuild service to refresh and update older boats to like new. Sometimes I wonder how much something like that would cost, but I'm too chicken to ask...

I just checked and their website doesn't look like it's been updated in awhile. That doesn't always mean much though.
 

Dave G.

1984 EY30+ Ludington, MI
It seems to buy a new sailboat within the same ish price point in todays $$ there isn't many choices if Catalina or Hunter are not on your list. That pretty much leaves Jboats, Jeanneau, & Beneteau. Anyone know who owns the Ericson design/molds currently?
 
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