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Thread: Getting my first 1975 E29 - what to expect?

  1. #1
    Contributing Member I
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    Getting my first 1975 E29 - what to expect?

    Hi there. I am buying 1975 E29 in SoCal. The boat seems to be in a good condition, survey pending, although I may need to deal with an oil-burning Atomic A4. I am new to this forum and to Ericsons in general, and this is my first post. I am looking for your advice about E29-specific (1) potential problems to look at during the survey/haul-out and (2) maintenance issues to be prepared for. The boat had one owner for 20 years who focused on maintenance (!) and cruising, and he said the previous owner was a racer...I am ready to replace A4 with a rebuilt one if the compression will be too low (will fail a thumb test at least)... Your input will help a lot. Thank you for your time!

  2. #2
    Principal Partner Afrakes's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard

    You'll find a wealth of information on this site. If you are mechanically inclined the A-4 is a pretty simple engine to deal with even if you have to rebuild it. Plenty of knowledgeable E-29 owners minds to pick. Welcome.
    Al Frakes
    1987 E-28 Reba Gee
    Hull #663
    Port Kent, NY

  3. #3
    Sustaining Partner
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    Hi DanaSurfer

    I have a 1977 E29 with the Atomic 4. If you don't know already, the Moyer Marine site is the holy grail for all things A4. If your compression loss is due to a stuck valve it might be fixable with Marvel Mystery oil poured directly into the cylinder through the spark plug port. Electronic ignition and electric fuel pump are excellent upgrades.

    The original rigging turnbuckles were recalled by the factory long ago so I had them replaced during a re-rigging a few years ago. I also have some hull blistering that I'm tolerating for now. Same goes for paint blistering on the mast.

    Its been a great boat for me for the past 10+ years.

    Paul
    E29 "Bear"

  4. #4
    Contributing Partner
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    Depends on what kind of sailing you plan to do, but I installed an electric motor in Cinderella. Total cost was around $1600 including batteries.

    -P

  5. #5
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    As discussed in many threads here on this site, the (original) chainplates are embedded in the hull. They can't really be inspected adequately or removed without carving up the boat. Most pundits say that they should have been replaced by now. A problem all E29 owners have to wrestle with at some point. The favored option seems to be having new external chainplates made, with some modification of the rub rail. Others simply ignore the potential problem. What we can't see can't hurt us?
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  6. #6
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    E 29, Mine is a 1971

    Greetings as Welcome to the Ericson Owners forum...

    What I would look For in a used E29...

    1: It is deck stepped mast... Look for any compression or cracking in the deck around the mast. There is a mahogany "log" under the step the reaches to the floor pan. It is mighty strong.
    2: The Deck is Balsa end grain. Look for soft spots around all the through the Deck fittings... There is plywood under the hard spots.
    3: I replaced my Atomic 4 (it rust on the inside due to a sand pit in the head) in 2002 with a Yanmar 2Gm20f diesel... It was a great upgrade... zero trouble ever since.
    4: Sail... Are the Sail in Good condition? My old mail lasted about ten years before I replaced it... the new doyle main was about $1100, might be more now.
    5: The original Fuse block on my boat was very weak... Went to a new switch panel.
    6: My 1971 e29 had only one battery... I moved the location to the platform in the Forward Section of the Lazzeret and put in two type 27 deep cycles batteries. (FYI replace any battery thats 5 years old.)
    7: I upgraded by cabin lights ASAP... as the old were really ugly.
    8: The pre 80's Erickson's never had issues with the pox.... osmotic blistering. So that should not be an issue.
    9: How is the head... Do you have the optional holding tanks?

    Hope this helps... Also you can find all the original Manuals on this site, which is helpful.


    Rick+
    Pax et Bene
    Rick e29

  7. #7
    Contributing Member I
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    Thank you!

    Hi and thanks to all of you for your input:

    - I spoke with Don at Moyer Marine, he sent me some instructions, the resource seems to be very helpful

    - I will ask the surveyor an the home shipyard about chainplates. The standing rigging was fully serviced 3 years ago, and the mast and boom were painted

    On August 18-23, I have a team to diagnose/work on the boat: a surveyor, a local expert in A4s (quoted me 5K$ for the full rebuilt with the installation, please remember this is the Orange County: Don from Moyer Marine suggested to pull the engine out/install back will cost me 300-400 for the labor.....here it is 1,200-1,500) and a home shipyard (they will renew the bottom paint too). I will post the results and, later, what has been done. I hope to pick up the boat in early September (she is currently in LA) after basic repairs and sail her down to Dana Point. Believe it or not, she was named "Joy". I plan for cruising/club racing as 75/25%. Single-handed, in fact, even having the family or friends aboard. I used to race a lot in the past. This boat is (hopefully) my pass to the Ocean (time permitting), I never lived near the ocean before, so this is a new dimension for me.

    Dmitri

  8. #8
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    Surveyor

    Dmitri,

    Not sure if you have settled on a surveyor? I, and others, in the LA area have used Jim Wallace from Wallace Marine for purchase and insurance surveys. His number is 310-617-9385. Very knowledgeable gentleman.

    Best of luck with your new boat.
    Matt
    1984 E35-III
    Former Partner S/V "Wind Chaser" #187
    Long Beach, California

  9. #9
    Contributing Member I
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    Thank you MMLogan: I retained Mike Dickinson http://www.socalsurveys.com/ as per an advice from the local yacht broker

  10. #10
    Sustaining Partner
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    Quote Originally Posted by p.gazibara View Post
    Depends on what kind of sailing you plan to do, but I installed an electric motor in Cinderella. Total cost was around $1600 including batteries.

    -P
    What make DC motor did you use?

    Paul
    E29 "Bear"

  11. #11
    Contributing Member I
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    An update on E29 named Joy

    Here are my updates after getting the boat survey, the engine survey, a shipyard doing the job and tuning the engine, and, finally, buying and bringing her home to Dana Point:

    1. A survey did not reveal much rather then rating the her "above average". I do not mention details like the guy referred to Barlow 24 winches as "Bennet winches". He tried his best...

    2. An Engine (Atomic A4) survey revealed a good compression (90-100), oily spark plugs and lots of corrosion. David Grosse was very kind to come on Sunday and tuning the engine up so I sailed the boat from Long Beach to DP the next day. It was a great sail, 30 nm in 5.5 h, when I reached the dock gusts were above 20 (very unusual for DP). I was lucky because 2 days later the carb developed a strong leak while the boat was in the slip and the mechanic was not available, so I had to learn how to reach for the carb in E29, with the help of Don from Moyer Marine. Other than that leak (temporary treated by draining the fuel from the bowl and forcing the fuel again through the valve) and the white smoke of burning oil the engine works well.

    3. Sails resonated to my racing past: the previous owner put nice new North Sails 7 years ago, and they still shine and work up to the NS reputation. The standing rig was replaced recently, no red flags were found on chain plates (as someone mentioned above, we are happy when we cannot see problems!). The sailing balance of the boat, with and without autopilot, was amazing in 6-15 kn range

    4. Previous owner had organized all paperwork and manuals he collected for 20 years, into a very impressive archive, he did a good job caring after her.

    Problems: poor deck paint, carb leak, stanchion base leaks, cracked compass, the hull paint is too old, the engine burns oil, messy wiring

    Plans: self-tailing winches, lazy jacks, new running rigging, fixing the engine (still need to find a local mechanic who would respond to my problems after his job generates some unexpected issues), re-arranging wiring and adding some electronics (would appreciate an advice on a reliable contact in DP or OC), replace a cooktop, install a bilge/fume/fire alarm

    The bottom line: my 7-year old son sailed her with me for a day and he was happy. Like I said, this is a new dimension for me! Thank you all for your helpful input.
    Dmitri

  12. #12
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Hmmm. As Matt Logan mentioned, James K. Wallace of Long Beach is an excellent surveyor for anybody buying a boat.

    Sounds like you're on your way to a great and well organized experience.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  13. #13
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    What version of the E29 did you buy? Tiller or wheel, Mk1 or Mk2 cabin layout? (Passage to starboard or port of the compression post?)
    We like pictures

    Re: the cracked compass. I went through the process of tracking down a replacement globe, gaskets, and oil, and restored my old compass, but in the end, it would have probably been cheaper, or about the same cost, to watch for a sale at Defender or WM and buy a new one.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  14. #14
    Contributing Member I
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    I had a surveyor retained by the time you advised another one. Anyway, thanks.

    This is 1975 model, wheel, the passage on the left side of the compression post

    i will upload pictures asap

  15. #15
    Contributing Partner
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    Wonderful News

    I do hope you enjoy her... My E29 is a "joy" to sail.

    An old A4 trick... Marvels Mystery Oil in your Gas...
    I love my Yanmar.

    rick+
    Pax et Bene
    Rick e29

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