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Old 20-09-2011, 19:53   #1
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If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

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 (the headroom 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?
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Old 20-09-2011, 20:30   #2
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

ericson will be more comfortable sailing. i have a larger ericson and love her. is comfortable and steadier and faster than the catalinas i have seen in her vintage to 1990 model years. but we werent racing--just an observation from bay sailing her in sd.
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Old 20-09-2011, 20:59   #3
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

Shipping lanes are no big deal. I mean it's not exactly a freeway.

Just sayin
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Old 20-09-2011, 21:05   #4
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

Xymotic, you clearly don't share my luck. I'd wind up picking the three hour window during which every freighter in the Northern Hemisphere decided it needed to go into/out of NYC. Either that, or I'd wind up on a path that took me too close to some place President Obama was visiting, and I'd be boarded by the USCG. Actually, that might not be so bad...maybe they could tow me or airlift me to my destination!
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Old 21-09-2011, 07:49   #5
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

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Xymotic, you clearly don't share my luck. I'd wind up picking the three hour window during which every freighter in the Northern Hemisphere decided it needed to go into/out of NYC. Either that, or I'd wind up on a path that took me too close to some place President Obama was visiting, and I'd be boarded by the USCG. Actually, that might not be so bad...maybe they could tow me or airlift me to my destination!
Jimgo, I feel certain that we're somehow related!
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Old 21-09-2011, 09:03   #6
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

shipping lanes are freeways near nyc and lost angeles and other huge city places. need to monitor vhf. need to watch with your eyes. be safe and have smooth sailing.
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Old 21-09-2011, 10:37   #7
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

I sailed a Catalina on the Barnaget Bay for a few summers, it was a great boat. The plus for the Catalina is parts availibility and a large owner base. Also they are still in business so you can call them for advice. 9 years newer is nice too.
Rick
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Old 21-09-2011, 10:47   #8
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

The Catalina will be more readily sold I would imagine. Maybe you didnt miss out on that deal so badly. There have been nice little 25 footers up here with trailers for sale all summer, nicely outfitted, all gear and some electronics etc. They are still for sale and were asking anywhere from $3500 to $5500. By the the time you fixed up that derelict, bought a sail or two, outboard, trailer etc.... you could probably buy a boat listed at $4500 for $3500. I dont know if there are any Chrysler 26's in your area but give them a look, standing headroom! Great strong little boats. They will weigh in about 1100 lbs more than the Catalina. Also, I was impressed with a little Oday 25 I saw... at least Catalina quality I would think. Good luck!
A small swing keel built in the 70's is pretty much a give-away at this point....
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Old 21-09-2011, 20:25   #9
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

If you know of anyone giving one away, especially on a trailer...
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Old 22-09-2011, 10:07   #10
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

Next give away you find... if it's a retractable keel, seems like you could just rent a big flatbed trailer like construction companies use, take a bunch of chunks of dunnage 4 x 4 , 6x6 etc and strap it down to get it to your local yard....? I guess the reality is it's always harder than it sounds.
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Old 22-09-2011, 10:32   #11
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

I actually thought about buying one of the flatbeds I'd seen on CL and modifying it. But I was worried a) about how long it would take to do the work, b) the cost, c) the safety of it all, and d) the fact that I couldn't use the trailer to launch the boat after putting all the expense and effort into building the trailer.
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Old 23-09-2011, 12:30   #12
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

Here's a Bayfield 25 on Ebay. Is Connecticut too far? Great little boats. Diesel inboard! 1974 Bayfield 25' Used Sailboat - 2001 Volvo Diesel - Connecticut | eBay
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Old 23-09-2011, 12:36   #13
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

What's the advantage of an inboard over an outboard? I can understand that the prop can be located lower under the water, thus avoiding cavitation, but that's about it. I also typically see mostly fairly puny (1-2HP) inboards on some fairly large boats. In the areas I'm considering, a 4-6kt tidal current isn't all that unusual. It's great if you're riding the current, but fighting it could be a problem, and I fear a low HP inboard just wouldn't be able to cut it. Thus, I haven't been that worried about the fact that most of the boats have outboards (easier to winterize, can be taken off/locked away, easier repair, etc.). Am I missing something?

BTW, thanks for the link! She doesn't come with a trailer, and that's going to make things tough. I'll have to go over the listing in more detail...
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Old 23-09-2011, 12:54   #14
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

Looks like she's on the hard, maybe you could store it there until you get a trailer thing figured. Cant cost much to ship it from Ct to Jersey can it? regarding engines I think you'll find just the opposite, a diesel inboard will push the boat much better than an outboard.... especially when the water gets lumpy. 9 hp is plenty for a 25 footer too. Funny about ebay boat listings, so many of them are Ct or Florida....
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Old 23-09-2011, 12:59   #15
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Re: If You Snooze . . . (or, 1973 Ericson 25 vs 1984 Catalina 25)

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What's the advantage of an inboard over an outboard?
1. An inboard is much more reliable.
2. Better to have the weight closer to the keelbolts than on the transom.
3. Transom engines have a bad habit of submerging and/or coming out of the water in rough seas.
4. Generally speaking, you can put a higher-wattage alternator on an inboard than on an outboard of the same horsepower.
5. Transom-mounted outboards are almost worthless in reverse.
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