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Thread: DECK STEP MAST / RUDDER HANDLING / RUST HELP: 1975 35-2 Prospective Buyer

  1. #1
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    Question DECK STEP MAST / RUDDER HANDLING / RUST HELP: 1975 35-2 Prospective Buyer

    Hi Folks!

    I'm sailboat shopping and really like an Ericson 35-2 model. I found one at a boatyard. Hoping for yall's expert opinions on a few fixes I want to price out. Would love your opinions on this deck stepped mast. Unfortunately I didn't have time to take pictures from below, but I will get to take another look next weekend. --Any nooks or crannies you wish you'd inspected before purchase?--

    Other questions:
    -RUDDER: wondering whether folks like this rudder's handling? ive heard a few people will replace with a larger rudder on occasion.

    -RUST in the bilge / bilge access. I assume this to be from the oil pan, which is low near the bilge. Was surprised that there wasn't more bilge access. This ever become a bother to anyone? Seems like an inaccessible (atomic 4) engine. Anyone done an electric convert? Looking for ways out of a gasoline and there doesnt seem the space for diesel.

    --If any Ericson lovers of that model are around Oxnard, CA I'd love an extra set of eyes!--

    thanks!
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  2. #2
    kapnkd kapnkd's Avatar
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    She was purchased new from a dealer in Ft. Lauderdale. We kept her at the Miami Yacht Club until 1980 when we moved to Sarasota. She remained at Marina Jacks until moving to Grosse Ile, Michigan at the Ford Yacht Club (SE Michigan)
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    Where to start???

    Quote Originally Posted by Dona View Post
    Hi Folks!

    I'm sailboat shopping and really like an Ericson 35-2 model. I found one at a boatyard. Hoping for yall's expert opinions on a few fixes I want to price out. Would love your opinions on this deck stepped mast. Unfortunately I didn't have time to take pictures from below, but I will get to take another look next weekend. --Any nooks or crannies you wish you'd inspected before purchase?--

    Other questions:
    -RUDDER: wondering whether folks like this rudder's handling? ive heard a few people will replace with a larger rudder on occasion.

    -RUST in the bilge / bilge access. I assume this to be from the oil pan, which is low near the bilge. Was surprised that there wasn't more bilge access. This ever become a bother to anyone? Seems like an inaccessible (atomic 4) engine. Anyone done an electric convert? Looking for ways out of a gasoline and there doesnt seem the space for diesel.

    --If any Ericson lovers of that model are around Oxnard, CA I'd love an extra set of eyes!--

    thanks!

    Oh BOY! ...LOTS of really GOOD questions and glad you ARE doing your homework. First of all, the E35 - II is indeed a great boat. She's been a proven racer and comfortable cruiser with lots of nice finishing/comfy touches below. (I've got a '73 E32-II [that I bought new and owned ever since] and the 32 & 35 have lots of similar characteristics and parts.) I'll try and answer some of your questions as best I can and I'm sure others will be answering shortly as well.

    The deck stepped mast on the 32 did present problems as the support from inside cabin top to keel wasn't the best. Not sure about the 35, but looking at your photos, I would suspect the same situation. ...Mast compression loads were offset in favor of more room going forward from the main salon. Also on my 32, the load was not properly supported to the keel and an INSIDE crack in the main brace happened in short order for us. It was fixed under warranty but became a persistent problem over the years since it too was not done correctly - not to mention the offset issue. When recently doing a huge refit that included replacing ALL bulkheads, we then also put in an aluminum tube from keel to cabin top with a 1/8" piece of stainless steel at the top to help reinforce the main brace. At the base is a 1/4" piece of aluminum channel that the post rests in that helps dissipate the compression load on the keel. ...Don't mean to scare you off, but this IS something to look for and consider. (Especially in view of the crack at the front of the mast on deck and the rust seen in the photos. (Not sure what the rust would be coming from as the sandwich of the deck did not have metal in it.)

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    The rudder on the 32 has been more than adequate but others with a 35 can better answer that question for you than me. As for rust in the bilge, besides oil pan rust, look closely at your engine mount system. Ours was made of angle iron that the engine mounts sat on top of. Water coming in via the rudder tube (salt water) caused it's share of rust. We cleaned up the system of all rust and then have wrapped the angle iron in fiberglass clothe and lots of epoxy. So far so good - 45 years later.

    IF you are handy with repairs and such, considering an older boat is an excellent decision but go at it with a good professional marine survey and even a moisture meter of your own. Decks on the older boats are the Achilles Heel for them and it's difficult to determine at times. THAT being said, you can sure save some dollars compared to new boat prices anymore.

    ALSO look for leaks around windows/ports and especially the glass to aluminum seals as they do dry out and leak. Rubber seals are indeed still being produced for them, but it is a time consuming project to do it correctly.

    Good luck and Fair Winds - keep us posted!
    -kerry

  3. #3
    Innocent Bystander tenders's Avatar
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    Find a better boat. Any boat left with such an obvious, glaring crack in the outer skin that allows water to sweep into the crossbeam that keeps the mast from plunging through the deck undoubtedly has a multitude of other issues just waiting to manifest themselves after you’ve closed the deal.

    I doubt she’ll pass a survey with that defect. The boatyard is hoping you’re taking a demolition problem off their hands.

    Can it be repaired? Sure! I, a distinctly amateur boatkeeper, did something similar on my own boat with the able assistance of my longsuffering boat partner, also a rank amateur boatkeeper. But I’d already owned her for 25 years and knew (kind of) what I was getting into.

    But then what else is lurking down there? Acres of rotted core...rotten bulkheads...saturated foam in the rudder...maybe an engine rebuild (a drop-in Atomic Four replacement is probably the easiest project on the entire boat). Sure, they can all be fixed. Never even mind the likely condition of the sails, standing, and running rigging - the whole point of having a sailboat in the first place.

    Or, spend $10k more on a better boat and go sailing now instead of in five years.
    1969 Ericson 32 #112 • Atomic Four
    City Island, NYC
    “Muxie Duxer”
    Hair by Mr. Gigi

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