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Weighing Ericson 30 Plus vs. Catalina 30...

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Catalina 30 (1990) or Ericson 30 Plus (1984)? And why?

Both boats are in comparable shape, well-maintained, invested owners, outfitted similarly...

Use will be daysails in the Bay and occasional cruises up the coast...2-9. days. Stepping up from an O'Day 272.

I know, Catalinas inspire little love - I've owned smaller ones. I've never sailed an Ericson, but people seem to really love them. I think I have a whole left brain/right brain thing going on with these two boats...

Anyone own/sail either one?  Or compared them before?

 

 

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Links don't actually go to the boats....

Base Cat 30 rates186 on the Chesapeake Bay, while Ericson 30+ rates 174, so a bit faster.  Cat 30mk III has double berth aft if that matters.  Both are pretty beamy boats.  Ericsons generally considered to have better build quality, but its is 6 years older.  

Comes down to which as better gear/is in better shape, etc.  Or which one tugs at your heart more if in equal condition/shape, etc.

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One thing to consider is that the Catalina has some 6,000 sisters across the total build and a builder still in business plus a pretty solid support network so you should be able to find any parts you need over time.  

I personally would lean toward the Ericson but on all "vintage" boats, condition counts.  

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Yeah the Ericson has a bit better SA/D, a bit more draft (ok in a shitty keel shape) and is not quite so beamy overall. So not a huge surprise it's a bit faster.

The Catalina has a much bigger galley so if you like to cook that could matter.

The Ericson was probably better built when new.

My sailing co-op just bought a Cat 30 - sailing it home this weekend. It sailed surprisingly well on the sea trials, but it has brand new sails.  In this case I think the quality of what is gear is aboard, condition of sails and engine (the 3 big ticket items on a sailboat of this age/size) should matter more.

When you say "the Bay" you either mean Chesapeake or SF. If Chesapeake, then the slightly deeper draft is a minor drawback.

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55 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Yeah the Ericson has a bit better SA/D, a bit more draft (ok in a shitty keel shape) and is not quite so beamy overall. So not a huge surprise it's a bit faster.

The Catalina has a much bigger galley so if you like to cook that could matter.

The Ericson was probably better built when new.

My sailing co-op just bought a Cat 30 - sailing it home this weekend. It sailed surprisingly well on the sea trials, but it has brand new sails.  In this case I think the quality of what is gear is aboard, condition of sails and engine (the 3 big ticket items on a sailboat of this age/size) should matter more.

When you say "the Bay" you either mean Chesapeake or SF. If Chesapeake, then the slightly deeper draft is a minor drawback.

I don't think the Ericson keel has a shitty shape (I assume you mean in planform).  Bruce Kings derivation of a trapezoidal shape with minimal sweep.  Probably not as good as a Peterson trap keel, but better than the relatively highly swept keel of the Cat 30.

Ericson 30+ has a fractional rig, so  you have to discount the SA/D  of the Ericson a bit for that.  Both are a bit under canvassed for a light air venue.

My guess is the Ericson is a bit faster mainly due to the keel and because Bruce king knows how to design a fast boat - Frank Butler I'm not so sure about.

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i grew up on a cat 30 , thing was a pig but wonderful for cruising and weekend family trips. also handled really well in the rough.

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I've got to work out an actual, written pros and cons list.  It's formed in my head...sort of...but seeing it in writing may help.

 

The Ericson looks like it's almost new.  The gelcoat is in remarkable shape, and I don't see any crazing on the topsides.  Ports are rebedded, as is nearly every deck fitting.  (Universal) motor (repowered in early Aughts?) only has 150 hours on it.   Cushions need love, but otherwise the interior's in great shape.  Galley's basic, with an Origo 2 burner cooktop.  Electronics from the late 90s.  No dodger or Bimini.  Mack pack mainsail system.  Sails only 4 years old.

Catalina is a Catalina.  Definitely well-maintained, and improved every year.  Original cushions.  Autopilot.  1999 reposer.  Sails a couple of years old.  Propane cooking.  Defintely more spacious.  Definitely not as nice.

hm....

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Hmmm, comfort vs. speed.  I'd go with speed.  A friend of mine sold his racing boat and bought a Catalina 30 that he got a very good deal on.   He couldn't stand the lack of sailing performance.  Mind you, that boat had a metric ton of cruising shit on it.  Sold the Catalina and bought his old boat back next time it was on the market.

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^^^ +1
I wanted a boat that "sailed", not an RV that floats.  Yeah, there might be more room in the Catalina, but the Ericson will make you smile.

I had the same dilemma, and am very happy with my Ericson 32-III

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working on getting back down to look at both boats the end of this week.

 

Several times a day they switch priority in my head...

 

Ugh.

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In case you haven't found it yet. There is an active owners forum for Ericson boats at https://ericsonyachts.org/ie/. There is also an active Facebook group. While both are geared towards the entire line of Ericson built boats, there are 30+ owners in there. Also, like most builders, Ericson used common parts between the various models. 

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Catalina is a 1990 model, so diesel not A4 powered.  Ericson is much the same case, as it’s an ‘84

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Both have been re-powered, I think both (?) with 25hp Universal diesels.  Ericson in 1999...400 hours, Catalina in 2001.

 

I've owned and been frustrated by an A4...I'm done with them!

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Ja, I forgot both have been re-powered.  Though I gotta wonder why in each case.  Makes me wonder about earlier POs maintenance.  Take the Catalina especially.  Re-power after 9 years?  You gotta try really hard to kill a diesel in 9 years.  The Ericson makes more sense, as it’s engine was apparently 35 years old or so....

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