My wife and I own a 1983 Ericson 381 38ft sloop rigged sailboat. We are trying to decide if this is enough boat for our sailing plans.
First some background: I grew up in the caribbean and sailed my whole childhood until moving to the US. Just a few years ago my wife who has always been a boat nut but never sailed decided to take a beginner sailing course. I went as a refresher, sailing is sorta like riding a bike.... Things progressed quickly, a used Catalina 22 and then a year later the Ericson 38. Navigation classes, etc. have followed. Mostly we sail around Narragansett Bay and some short trips outside.
As the horizons have expanded we want to go longer and farther. We may or may not be able to upgrade due to financial considerations so the plan right now is leave for the caribbean in 5yrs. for a 6month to 1yr. trip. Sailing experience is expected to increase with longer trips planned around New England over the next few years and hopefully offshore sailing classes.
1983 Ericson 381. length 38ft, beam 12ft, Displacement @15,000lbs. Mars Metal "bulb" added to shoal draft fin keel and spade rudder. Fuel 39gal, water 65gal, holding 35gal.
If you don't know Ericsons they are pretty well built, better than the average coastal cruiser type from that era. Very stiff construction with a grid system to distribute loads. They were designed by Bruce King and have the typical IOR influenced hull of the early 80's. My boat is in very good condition and I have continued to repair/replace/upgrade to prepare. The spade rudder for me is a non-issue. Many people cruise boats designed like this. Yes you are more likely to damage a rudder in event of an impact. Thats the way things go. The E38 is built plenty tough and the upgrades I have listed should complete the package but the outstanding issue would be the ground tackle.
Work done so far:
-Replaced all the seacocks with new Groco units
-Replaced engine coolant pump (not raw water)
-Replaced all blocks in mainsheet setup with Garhauer
-Purchased used dinghy&motor
-Refurbished used dinghy&motor
-Replaced fuel tank (E38)
-Rebuilt battery boxes, increased house bank capacity to 300aH, have room for over 400aH
-New dedicated starting battery
-Replaced battery cables, except two
-Purchased Honda generator to charge batteries (only at our mooring)
-Replaced rope clutches with Lewmar D2 superlocks
-Replaced all engine coolant hoses
-Replaced cockpit drain/scupper hoses
-Rebuilt Navtec backstay adjuster
-Purchased new high output alternator/regulator (not installed yet)
-Replaced/upgraded shower sump pump to gear type
-Purchased 60ft of new anchor chain
-Purchased new 130 Haarstick genoa
-Rebuilt potable water pump
-Repaired leaking potable water lines
-Rerouted coolant lines to water heater, bypass modification
-Purchase Garmin gpsmap76 handheld
-New wing halyards
I think thats it but theres probably more.......
Things to do:
-Replace dead Raymarine chartplotter and old Furuno radar with Furuno 1724 chartplotter/radar at helm.
-Send hatches to Hatchmasters for new acrylic/rebuilding
-Regasket portlights, try to find new lenses OR replace with new
-Repair leaking fixed portlight
-Replace heat exchanger, installing larger unit
-Replace traveller with Garhauer setup
-Service steering gear
-Replace autopilot with Comnav/Nexus or Alpha belowdeck.
-Replace all standing rigging with oversized, considering rod.
Cockpit locker doors-Heavier hinges, locking hasps, and weatherstriping. In event of a knockdown or a cockpit full of water this should minimize the amount of water entering through these openings.
Companionway-I see replacing the nice teak hatch boards with a single or two piece marine ply setup for passages.
Anchor/Ground Tackle-Most texts seem to call for at least a 45lb primary anchor and up to a 70lb storm anchor. They also recommend a bow configuration to hold two anchors, one setup with all-chain rode and a windlass
My plan is to add a self draining anchor locker in the forepeak and a windlass. I am well versed in fiberglass and composite construction. I actually would like to add TWO chain lockers. The forward self-draining mentioned above and also a separate chain locker built under the V-berth fed by a hawse pipe. This locker will be used to house the rode/chain while on passage to keep the weight as low and close to center as possible. The forward locker would be used for daily use.
The E38 is known for a fine, narrow bow section and not much bouyancy to carry a lot of extra weight. Keeping two anchors up on the bow with all their chain will affect performance. The simplest solution is to move the anchors to a central storage area on a passage. Currently there is a 35lb CQR on the bow, 30lb Danforth in the stern locker and I am planning for a large Fortress, broken down stowed below.
Rigging-Adding an inner forestay and or running backstays. Adding permanent preventers. Not a huge deal, just money!
Engine-Do I trust a 20+ year old engine with 3200hrs on it? I am tempted to do so. Replace the engine mounts, add large dual fuel filters, full service, etc. The engine runs great, excellent compression, just needs a new heat exchanger.
Cockpit drains-Most texts recommend installing larger drains. I was thinking to increase the size of the two drains that empty through the transom. Increasing to 2" or 2.5" wouldn't be to difficult for these. The two drains that empty into a 1.5" thru-hull I would leave alone. No room to increase the size of that thru-hull.
Other considerations-Rebuilding the icebox with at least 4" of foam, storm trysail track, small watermaker, new sails, etc.
That or do we sail the E38 for a few years and start looking for a Valiant 42?? The preparation of the E38 will be in phases and is sort of hedging bets regarding income. We would hope for a Valiant to be attainable but if not hope the E38 will do it.
Long post, sorry, lots to say!