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Thread: A couple of E33 R H questions

  1. #1
    Contributing Member I
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    A couple of E33 R H questions

    Just purchased an Ericson 33. I do allot of solo sailing & am thinking the runners on these boats aren't all that critical (structurally) until about 12 knots apparent. What's the consensus on that, I'm just thinking for short tacking here & understand the effects on head-stay sag.........Also, anybody ever try a masthead Asymmetric on one these boats ? Thanks, Bob (S/V Impulse)

  2. #2
    Contributing Member III
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    No Runningbackstays on E33

    Well, as an E33 (hull #25) owner for 24 years, I'll take a stab at your question about running backstays. Our boat came from the factory without any. The original owner sailed out of San Diego and raced the boat regularly off shore and, as I recall, did a Mexican race, or two. I sail on the Columbia river here in Portland Oregon, and for most of those 24 years I actively raced the boat. Sailing on our river can be quite "interesting" on occasion with a strong downriver current and strong upriver wind - big short chop! As mentioned - no backstays - no problem on the 35 year old boat. With a competent racing crew, we would routinely charge in the steep chop with full main and a 130 jib in 18 to 20 knots of wind. Lots of weather helm requires a good man on the main sheet and a fully tensioned backstay (upgraded to a hydraulic system). Never felt the need for running backstays - YMMV.
    FWIW: I have found that a 130% head sail to be near ideal - relatively easy to tack (especially when sailing solo) and powerful enough (and a more advantageous PHRF rating). Also, a couple of year ago, I had the main recut - full length battens on top and upper mid, and shortened the foot length by 12 inches. The shorter foot length eased the weather helm and doesn't seem to affect performance. With hindsight, perhaps an 18 inch trim would be even better.
    Re: Asymmetric - never tried one on our boat. My observations here on the river - where we mostly run down wind - is that a regular spinaker is better for a boat like the E33 - YMMV.
    One more thought on running backstays - There was one other E33 (hull #1) here on the river for awhile that did have the running backstays. The owner previouslsailed on San Francisco Bay. AFAIK - he never used the running backstays here on the river, including racing.


  3. #3
    Principal Partner Keith Parcells's Avatar
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    My boat, hull #24, came off the line just before Mikes. AFAIK, it has never had the running back stays, either. I have always thought that if I ever go offshore I would add them, though. It is fine without them in near shore waters. I have never seen any hint of mast pumping.

    My boat did come from the P.O. With an asym. It is a gennaker cut. It is not a masthead sail, though. It flies from just above the hounds. There is a slot there with a roller for the spinnaker halyard. When flying that sail, if you get the boat dialed in just right, it is a real blast! Think turbo boost. Try one of these first, before you even think about a masthead. A masthead spinnaker might really overpower you except in very light air. I use our gennaker in a sock with just the admiral steering and me on the foredeck sometimes. More crew might be better, though.
    Keith Parcells
    1983 E-33
    Hull #24
    Rocinante

  4. #4
    Contributing Member I
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    Thank you Mike & Keith

    Thank you Mike & Keith and it's nice to meet you both. My boat is Hull # 23 built in 1983 so I guess she came out of the mold just before your 2 boats. My boat was a one owner boat owned by an experienced sailor who just club raced her so she is in great shape.... I suspected that the runners were sort of overkill in moderate conditions and it sounds like the rig can take allot more too without them. My plans are mostly coastal for the first couple of years, other than the occasional run or race up to Maine. The Gulf of Maine can get pretty choppy (6-8' variety) sometimes so I would be using the runners there especially when beating back home.......Thank you for the tip on the 135%, sounds like a good idea & a few extra seconds are always nice on a race course.......
    As for the "A" sail I'm not in any hurry there and will get to know the boat allot better before making any changes. Our local PHRF races really favor them with allot of close reaches and our PHRF-NE encourages them as well. I could actually put one on with a 10% sprit (J + 10%) and get a 3 second credit. Too many sailmakers on the board around here I guess.......
    I do have a couple of additional questions; 1. Where do you like to put in the first reef ? (guessing about 16 apparent up wind) & 2. How does the M25 push the boat ? I would think 21 bhp would do well given her light weight. Thank you for all the good information & Good Sailing, Bob

  5. #5
    Principal Partner Keith Parcells's Avatar
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    16 knots is about right to reef the main unless you have some crew on the rail. In that case you might push it a bit farther. Once the toerail is starting to get wet, it's time to bring her back onto her feet a bit.

    As to the M-25, yes it can push the boat fine. I added a bigger alternator (90 amps) which undoubtedly robs a bit of power and I have a somewhat worn and feeble Flex-O-Fold prop, but it still will push this slippery hull fairly well at about 6 kts (or just under) cruising speed.

    We sometimes get a 6-8 foot swell in our waters also, BTW, but above about 5 feet the admiral is telling me to find the harbor.:
    Keith Parcells
    1983 E-33
    Hull #24
    Rocinante

  6. #6
    Contributing Member I
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    Thank you Keith

    Thank you Kieth for more good information. My boat has an early Martec in pretty good shape & I'm just assuming the pitch is about right. If not I'll just get it re-pitched later once I get her up to Boston in the spring. I will definitely hold off on the "Balmar", I would rather cruise @ 6 (when necessary) than boost up the amps. I look forward to getting her in this spring and my 450 mile shake down cruise. Thanks again & good sailing, Bob

  7. #7
    Contributing Member III
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    More E33 notes

    My experience with the E33 under power is that the the O.E.M. 3 cyl diesel does a quite adequate job - it will power the boat right up to "hull speed" and a bit more.. I can tell you that the boat's "sweet spot" seems to be an indicated 6.2 to 6.5 knots with some left in reserve. Now my buddy Loren Beach will raise the question: "Is your knot meter precisely calibrated? Answer: "no". Our boat came with a folding prop, which drove the boat just fine,. Backing and maneuvering - not so hot. A "Max-Prop" was an early up-grade - now no backing and maneuvering issues.

    Keith mentioned up-grading to a 90 amp alternator. My solution to an under performing charging system (where the max meter reading was 10 - 15 amps) - after I determined that a very expensive larger alternator would not fit - was to follow the recommendations of our local starter/alternator re-builder. He built a clone to the O.E.M. alternator (same make and model - rated at 51 amps output) without the internal voltage regulator. (The re-built alternator was a small fraction of the cost of the boutique high output alternator - and it fit!) With the addition of an external regulator (which was also needed with the "boutique" alternator) the alternator will actually put out 50 amps. Other electrical up-grades included a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries for a "house" bank, and a AGM under the quarter berth for a starting battery.

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