Well, looks like I've missed out on the Irwin
25. I can't blame the owner - it has taken me 2+ weeks to locate a trailer that would haul the boat. Ironically, I found the trailer the night before he told me he had someone else who was interested in the boat. Thank goodness I didn't actually BUY the trailer! I REALLY liked the Irwin
was a BIG plus), but just couldn't figure out how to get her from Long Island
to South Jersey in a cost-effective manner, especially considering that I'm a novice
sailor and the thought of crossing the shipping
lanes into NY/NJ as the first leg of my sail wasn't really something that gave me a lot of comfort. A paid trip on someone else's trailer was also going to cost more than buying
a used trailer, so I decided to just go the trailer route
, but finding one was tougher than I expected. Oh well. I hope the new owner enjoys the boat and has many years of fond memories!
As for me, it's time to move on. For those following the saga, I've moved from considering a Rhodes 22 on a trailer to an S2 6.8 without a trailer (would have to buy one) to a Catalina
25 that had some structural issues and no trailer, to the Irwin 25. I'm now back to looking again, and have found a 1984 Catalina
25 and a 1973 Ericson
25, both in the same price
range and in the same area, and both of which have swing keels. I'll be heading out there this weekend to take a look at both since they are close to each other. Obviously, each boat is going to be different - different owners, different levels of care, etc. - but what are the general impressions of Ericsons versus Catalinas? From what I've read, Ericsons seem to be better built versus Catalinas of the same age, but what about the build quality of the different eras? Are the early/mid 80's Catalinas better/worse than the early 70's Ericsons? I haven't been able to find any good feedback, so I thought I'd ask here.
The boats seem generally comparable on paper, except for their weight - the Ericson
is something like 1300 lbs heavier than the Catalina. The Ericson also has a shallower draft
, which I think would be advantageous for tooling around Great Egg Harbor and some of the other areas I hope to frequent. According to what I've seen, the Ericson's draft
, with the CB/swing keel
up, is only 2', whereas the Catalina's is something like 2'8". Those extra 8" would probably also make finding a slip in coastal South Jersey easier. But will the Ericson's weight make it less of a light wind
boat? Given the "typical" conditions in Southern NJ, is the Ericson overkill? I have no illusions of making a transoceanic voyage with the boat, but safety
is still important to me. Is the Ericson THAT much safer than a Catalina (and yes, I realize that safety
is, first and foremost, in the captain's hands).
I guess, to ask my above questions another way, if you had a family
of four including two young children
(currently ages 3 and 5; we currently expect to do mostly day sailing
, with the occasional "camping trip" overnight) and were able to choose between a 1984 Catalina and a 1973 Ericson, both of which were in roughly comparable condition and roughly the same price
, which way would you go?