Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-07-2013, 07:53   #1
Registered User
 
Julie Mor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 401
'89 Ericson 38 or '81 Swan 371?

Both are freshwater boats. Both in very good condition. The Swan has new teak decks (2012) but original engine (700 hrs.) and rod rigging. Original owner on an inland lake.

The E38 has been on Lake Michigan all its life and pics show it in very good condition but that's all I know for now. The listing isn't completed yet.

Just wondering what members here have to say about the two boats and which way they might gravitate.
__________________

__________________
Julie Mor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-07-2013, 08:14   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,368
Re: '89 Ericson 38 or '81 Swan 371?

If they are in equal condition I would go with the Swan. BUT, though new I would look very closely at the teak decks AND the glass underdecks to make sure the previous teak decks didn't leak into the core and cause rot.

A diesel with 700 hours is barely broken in and should give at least triple or even ten times that in useful life. However if neglected and frequently left idle for long periods that could be a problem. I would get a good mechanic to check it out before closing.
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-07-2013, 08:43   #3
Registered User
 
S/V Illusion's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FLORIDA
Boat: Alden 50, Sarasota, Florida
Posts: 1,692
Re: '89 Ericson 38 or '81 Swan 371?

Boats are never equal and comparing any two simply by nameplate is silly. It's all about condition and maintenance history. Never make a judgment based only on the manufacturer of an old boat.
__________________
S/V Illusion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-07-2013, 09:03   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,368
Re: '89 Ericson 38 or '81 Swan 371?

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Boats are never equal
True. The quality and condition of no two older boats will ever be exactly equal. However one does have to make some comparison and description between two boats under consideration for purchase.

Perhaps better to say similar condition, or neither boat showing serious structural problems or neither requiring major IE expensive repairs, and/or sails, engine, rigging, hull/deck in both boats similar in age and/or condition and not requiring replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Boats are never equal and comparing any two simply by nameplate is silly. It's all about condition and maintenance history. Never make a judgment based only on the manufacturer of an old boat.
Of course, hence the qualifier. Would take an Ericson in good shape over a beat up Swan any day. However if neither boat shows any major problems as noted above; sails, engine, rigging, decks, etc, etc, etc in both boats in good/similar/equivalent condition then I would take the Swan.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-07-2013, 09:59   #5
Registered User
 
Julie Mor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 401
Re: '89 Ericson 38 or '81 Swan 371?

I've dreamed of owning a Swan ever since the first time I laid my eyes on one back in the '70s. It was only recently Ericson came on our radar screen, after we actually started seriously looking to buy a boat. At first, I didn't even look for Swans because I thought any in our price range would be a major project boat.

We're going to be looking at the E38 Thursday. So we'll know a lot more after that. The Swan is a 12 hour drive, one way, so for now we have to go on pics and written description.

All things being equal, it's a no-brainer. But they aren't and seldom are.

We're putting together information sheets on boats that interest us. On them we're including information like recent updates and condition of big ticket items. The vast majority of boats are on the east coast. We're planning a trip out there late July or early August. The Swan would have to be another trip.

But I was just wondering, at first glance kind of thing, what the reaction would be to the two boats and if that 8 year age gap would make that much difference - assuming they have both been maintained properly.
__________________
Julie Mor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 06:28   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Netherlands
Boat: Baltic 38DP
Posts: 333
I have a Baltic 38DP, comparable to a Swan 371. Great boats. Mine is from 1984. The age of manufacture is not that important, but when things were rebuilt is.

Look for big ticket items such as:

Teak deck
Sails (usually much worse condition than you think)
Rigging
Hull integrity
Electronic systems
Autopilot
Engine

My boat seemed to be in great shape with refit done in 2005/2006 (5 years ago when I bought it), but I still spent well over 100k after purchase. So don't assume anything just because it was done 5 years ago. Rigging in my case was damaged, not visible unless someone climbs the mast. Expensive to fix (rod rigging). I had a survey done but a lot of things were missed.

After 1 1/2 years of bleeding money, the effort has been well worth it though. She is in great shape and has bags more character than a new production boat and better quality finishing.

Good luck!


Onno
__________________
JazzyO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 06:33   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 111
Re: '89 Ericson 38 or '81 Swan 371?

I loved my Ericson 38. Fast and responsive. If you intend to race at all you may want to compare performance stats. If you're a cruiser you will like the way the Ericson sails, very light and sensitive on the helm.

No experience with the Swan except that we beat one once in a cruiser's regatta.
__________________
Capt RonB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 07:09   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Toronto area when not cruising
Boat: Bristol 45.5
Posts: 668
Re: '89 Ericson 38 or '81 Swan 371?

I would consider a couple of other factors as well since we considered Swans in our boat search. One was draft. The only Swan we seriously looked at was a shoal draft since the standard seven feet or so was a non-starter for Lake Ontario. The other was interior arrangement. The Admiral had a relatively short must-have list and at the top was a proper double berth. Swans were seriously short on these in the early days.

Final thought, who was the designer of the Swan. The one we were semi-serious about was a Holland design and had needed a $24,000 job on the chain plates. We met a Swiss couple with a Holland-designed Discovery 55 and they had a similar job done on their boat - at much higher cost. Our broker had the highest regard for earlier S&S Swans and newer Frers' ones but was not a big fan of the Holland ones.
__________________
Still looking for our next boat. Have decided we want to have something that will keep us happy for the next 10 years or so. By then I will be pushing 80 and if i am still sailing that will be a very good thing.
AiniA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 07:19   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,368
Re: '89 Ericson 38 or '81 Swan 371?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
Final thought, who was the designer of the Swan. The one we were semi-serious about was a Holland design and had needed a $24,000 job on the chain plates. We met a Swiss couple with a Holland-designed Discovery 55 and they had a similar job done on their boat - at much higher cost. Our broker had the highest regard for earlier S&S Swans and newer Frers' ones but was not a big fan of the Holland ones.
What kind of chain plate job could cost $24,000? I made all new chainplates for my 42 Pearson at well under $1000 for materials. I will install them myself but even if I paid a boat yard for the whole process it would not have exceeded $2-$3000.

The only think I can imagine is a complete rebuild of the bulkheads where the chain plates attach? Even for that a $24,000 bill sounds extremely high.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 07:44   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Boat: Able 50
Posts: 3,052
Re: '89 Ericson 38 or '81 Swan 371?

Time for a different approach . . . . . take neither.

You selection of the Swan 371 suggests the type of boat you are looking at so do yourself a favour and take a look at the Swan 38. I say it is a much better boat.

The 371 was designed by Ron Holland and the 38 by S & S. There was a reason Holland did not last too long at Swan - his boats were too hard to sail. Take a look at the rear underbody of the hull. It looks like a boat eating monster took out a huge bite. Those hulls were designed not to sail well but to beat the IOR rule. The result of the missing bit is that the boats become very hard to steer below 140 apparent. They jump and wriggle all over the place. Both you and your auto pilot will get worn out in no time.

The S & S Swans were designed to sail well and it shows. Nothing but nothing sails to windward better than an S & S design from the 70's. Climb aboard one and you'll be wondering what all the hullabaloo was about sailing to windward being no fun. You'll be on rails travelling as smooth as silk. If there's a downside it's that they don't surf too well. The Frers series are much faster downwind.

I have owned and sailed around 10,000 miles on an S & S Swan. Go take a look at one.
__________________

__________________
savoir is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ericson

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:55.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.