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Old 09-08-2011, 08:51   #1
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Ericson Sooner or Passport Later ?

Hello forum! Here goes.... we are in the market for our first cruising boat. After being bounced around in a Beneteau (in the Caribbean, no less), I have been moving away from wanting a tender racer to focus on a more rational, comfortable plan. After extensive research, I have come up with two models that I like in a couple of price ranges. The Ericson 38 looks to be a very well constructed blue water cruiser, and at a competitive price. I have fallen for the Passport 40, however - oooh the galley space. Both models were built in the early to mid eighties. Aside from a 70,000 price jump (which will entail some financing maneuvers), can I get some advice from you wise cruisers on some of the pitfalls you may have heard about for each? Any other suggestions? We would be a couple living aboard and cruising mainly caribbean and coastal, but want the option to take her across the pond. The Passport at $130,000 is at the very tip top, probably not going to happen end of our price range. Something in the sixty to ninety grand area is more feasible. Thank you so much in advance!
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:46   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Varies
Boat: Pacific Seacraft 34 #142
Posts: 1,175
Re: Ericson Sooner or Passport Later ?

I have sailed an Ericson 34 extensively. They are very similar to the 38. Here is my take:

+ Has the most comfortable cockpit and best companionway of any boat I have seen in this size range.
+ The head and Galley arrangement is excellent.
+ Moves well in light wind.
+ No teak decks, not too much wood above deck.
+ Good engine access.
- a lot of motion when things get rough or choppy
- small tankage (compared to passport)
- Neither stateroom is that appealing as a master

I have been on a passport, but never sailed one. They are heavier and slower than a Ericson, but would have more comfortable motion in a chop. They have a considerably higher PHRF than the Ericson, despite 3' more on the waterline. I would prefer the Passport for offshore, and by all accounts they seem to be very comfortable boats. Based on my very limited experience:

+ excellent engine access.
+ great storage
+ good tankage (compared to the Ericson)
+ more comfortable motion in a chop
+ excellent master stateroom on the pullman models
- slower in a light wind
- teak decks

If I had to choose one for cruising, I would take the Passport. But the Ericson would make a great boat for "mainly Caribbean and costal" with the option to cross the Atlantic. They are great boats. Also since you can afford the Ericson, but not the Passport, I think you will be much happier with it in the long run.

As long as when you look at it you find one of the beds comfortable, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Ericson. Especially if you can buy one of the later Pacific Seacraft made boats.
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