Ericson 25, Standard Equipment (Original Document)

DESIGNER: Bruce King, Newport Beach, California
BUILDER:  Ericson Yachts, Inc., Santa Ana, California
  Reinforced, hand-layup fiberglass hull. Internal lead ballast.
  Gel-coat hull colors, boot top, and optional sheer stripe
      integral with hull, molded of finest gel-coat available,
      applied under strict quality controls.
  Rudder, made of fiberglass covered foam, reinforced with steel,
      is transom mounted, is removable and has depth adjustment
  Tiller is laminated mahogany and ash with custom tiller head.
  Flush thru-hull fittings with gate valves.


  Deck, house and cockpit are hand-layup, reinforced fiberglass,
      with sandwich construction for additional strength and
  Non-skid is integral with deck.
  Exterior trim is oiled teak.
  Interior light through four large, fixed, aluminum-framed
      windows in main cabin.
  Extra-long winch bases of reinforced fiberglass with marine
      plywood sandwich.
  Extra-large, fully scuppered cockpit.
  Port and starboard seat hatches of fiberglass with molded-in
      non-skid pattern.
  Seat lockers have bonded-in fiberglass floors for engine and
      gas tank storage.
  Extra-large Lucite-covered forward hatch framed in oiled teak.
  Main companionway hatch oiled teak.
  Removable teak seat board over motor well when outboard engine
      is stowed in cockpit seat locker.


  Two #16 Barlow genoa winches, or equal, with handle and cleats.
  Two aluminum alloy mooring cleats forward.
  Mainsheet leads to nyIon-covered aluminum mainsheet bridge over
      main companionway hatch, with 1-inch stainless steel track
      and sliding car with two adjustable stops and six part
      purchase on three boom blocks with bales.
  Genoa blocks included, positioned in machined holes of custom
      toe-rail made of hard-anodized aluminum alloy.


  Large galley with deep sink; deluxe pump and drain to thru-hull
      with gate valve.
  Large insulated ice box.
  Galley storage of three drawers and port and starboard cabinets
      with mahogany doors.
  Water tank 13 gallons.
  Cutting board to fit over sink.
  Water tank filled through fitting on aft galley bulkhead 
      adjacent to companionway hatch.


  Two 6' 3" settee seats, usable as berths without lowering
      optional table.
  Settee backs upholstered in Naugahyde.
  Hull above settee backs paneled with mahogany, finished with
      semi-gloss varnish.
  All bulkheads and trim are mahogany finished with semi-gloss
  Sole hatches are teak.
  Interior cushions of 3-inch foam, covered with Naugahyde.
  Sculptured mahogany trim above settee backs.
  Storage cabinet with mahogany door, and shelf above opposite
      from head area.
  (Head is optional.)


  Finished similarly to main cabin, with two 6' 5" berths.
  Cushions of 3-inch foam, covered with Naugahyde.
  Top-loading storage under berths.
  Forepeak bulkhead furnished.
  Two storage compartments with mahogany facings over berths with
      tour trimmed openings lined with foam-backed Naugahyde.


  Stainless steel with swaged terminals and stainless steel
      turnbuckles with bronze screws and cotter pin locks.
  Stainless toggles for all shrouds and stays.
  Main and jib halyards of stainless steel with braided Dacron
  Barlow #16 winch, or equivalent, for jib halyard. 
  Stainless tack pin, 3/8 inch.
  Braided Dacron running rigging, consisting of mainsheet, jib
     sheets, clew outhaul.
  Mast and boom extruded aluminum with rope tunnel and stainless


  1) Teak cribboards.
  2) Chainplates are polished stainless steel with covers.
  3) Exterior teak is oiled, two coats. 
  4) Stainless steel boom topping lift w/bronze boat snap.
  5) All interior hardware is chrome.
  6) All areas of the overhead are covered with molded fiberglass
  7) Cabin sole is integral with interior liner, bonded to hull.
  8) Split backstay to accommodate outboard motor.
  9) Removable section for mounting outboard motor on transom.
 10) Centerboard model includes: centerboard hoist equipment with
         a line with 2:1 purchase running through a sheave in the
         mast step, leading to a Barlow #16 winch (or equivalent)
         with cleat on cabin top. The internal ballast is lead
         cast in two pieces which reinforce the centerboard

Why I Bought the Ericson 25, Part I

The Viking logo of Ericson Yachts symbolizes, to me, the wandering spirit of the cruiser
If we're going to define the Ericson 25 as a trailerable cruiser, as well we should, then we must define what we mean by the words trailerable and cruiser, for these words mean different things to different people. My definitions of these words have been shaped by my own experiences. They have also been shaped by the initial research I conducted prior to the purchase of my boat, Oystercatcher, in 2009. For this reason, I would like to go back in time to explain the experiences and circumstances that led me to purchase the Ericson 25 for the qualities it possesses as a trailerable cruiser.
Toyota Sequoia in Wyoming - Our Cruiser for Exploring the Roads of America
Let's begin with the word trailerable. For me, this word evokes a feeling for the open road. By open road, I mean the seemingly endless network of highways that stretch across the United States and Canada. Everyone has taken a road trip of some kind or another. For some, a road trip is a hellish torture that is to be avoided at all costs. If it must be made, then it's made as quickly as possible. For others, a road trip is a sweet pleasure, an experience to be relished with slow and deliberate pauses. It's to the latter group that I belong.

Two-Lane Road in Nebraska
I've always enjoyed the road, but never so much as when my wife and children and I made five lengthy trips to far-flung locales across the United States from our home in Charleston, South Carolina. One of these trips was up the East Coast to New England. All the others were to different parts of the American West.
Portland, Maine
Despite the varied destinations, all these trips had one thing in common: our accommodations consisted of a single tent., and almost all our meals were of food we had purchased and carefully packed ahead of time at home. This careful packing also applied to the clothing and gear that we carried with us - everything from propane canisters and firewood to coolers and a fresh water supply.
Badlands of South Dakota with our tent in the lee of the SUV for protection against high winds
No, we did not pull a camper trailer. We fit all of this, and ourselves into a single SUV. Sure, we did have a steel storage rack on the trailer hitch, but no trailer.
A Raven contemplates the Painted Desert in Arizona
So what does all this have to do with trailering, or more specifically a trailerable cruiser, you might ask? Well, actually, a lot. In 2008, near the end of our fifth and final trip, as we sat beside a campfire in California, not far from the Pacific Ocean, we talked about our future, and how it seemed that maybe now, since we had traveled from sea to shining sea, the time was right to move on to other things, other adventures.
The Pacific Ocean from the Hollow of a Cedar Tree
One thing led to another and soon we were discussing the possibility of buying a small sailboat and continuing our journeys, by sail, on the watery ways of our continent.

These thoughts on sailing did not come out of the blue. They had been in the background for a while. I had sailed Sunfish from time to time as a youth, but for the most part, my experiences on the water were limited to day-trips and overnight camping trips I would make as a young adult in my trailerable jon-boat, powered by a 20 hp Mercury outboard. I would say the best of these were the trips that my buddies and I made to Cape Lookout on the Outer Banks.
Cape Lookout Lighthouse on uninhabited South Core Banks
Yes, I enjoyed the power and maneuverability of the small outboard, but all this changed, when unexpectedly, in the winter of 2007, I was offered the opportunity to sail aboard the tall ship Westward from Charleston to Miami.
Westward, a steel-hulled schooner
This was no pleasure cruise. It was a hands-on, trial-by-fire learning experience, where I served as a crewman in a twenty-four-hour-a-day rotating watch system.
Westward, somewhere off the coast of Georgia
We set the sails, struck the sails, reefed the sails, trimmed the sails, climbed the ratlines, cleaned the galley, cleaned the soles and bowls, plotted courses, and stood at the helm, in good weather and in bad, in daylight and in darkness.
Westward as seen from the foremast after I ascended the ratlines (bottom left)
Despite the many difficulties associated with tall ship sailing, this experience really struck a chord with me. When I finally stepped off the ship at a dock in downtown Miami, all I could think about was finding a way to return to the sea.
Mainmast of Westward with skyscrapers of southern Florida in the offing
One year later, in the winter of 2008, the opportunity arose for me at last to return to the sea, this time aboard the Spirit of South Carolina, a 140 ft wooden schooner that had recently been launched after a lengthy period of construction in downtown Charleston.
Spirit of South Carolina
Aboard the Spirit, I performed similar duties over a ten-day period from Charleston to the vicinity of the Bahamas and back.
Headrigging of the Spirit with the Ravenel Bridge, Charleston Harbor
On the way back, we came-in briefly to Cumberland Island, Georgia, where we enjoyed a welcome overnight anchorage protected by the palm trees and live oaks of this still wild and undeveloped island, eighteen miles in length.
The Spirit at anchor on the southern end of Cumberland Island, Feb 2008
We hit a squall or two along the way, or perhaps I should say that they hit us. However you wish to conceive of them, they certainly served to keep everyone focused on the task at hand.
The knife edge of a front hits the Spirit near Port Royal Sound, South Carolina
Likewise, I served as a crew member on a transit of the Spirit from Newport, Rhode Island down the coast in the fall of 2008. The Spirit had been struck by lightning near Block Island and had to be hauled out at Newport Shipyard for repairs to the electrical and auxiliary propulsion systems.
Despite it's hard-working appearance, the Newport Shipyard was filled with many beautiful and expensive yachts
When I joined the crew, the Spirit had just been splashed, and everyone was working diligently to get her ready for her Coast Guard inspection and for her offshore sail. One of the time consuming tasks we faced was the stepping of the topmast atop the mainmast.
The bosun and bosun's mate sit atop the spreaders
 We worked at it off-and-on for two days due to some technical difficulties.
Everyone else took turns at the manual windlass to haul up the topmast. When it was fully positioned, the bosun hammered in a steel pin known as a fid. Vaseline provided the needed lubrication.
After several days of labor, we were finally able to leave the dock, and by the time we began to make our way out of Narragansett Bay, the sun was sinking low.

The Castle Hill Lighthouse, one of the last things we saw before heading out into Block Island Sound
After we rounded Long Island, New York, our charted course took us 70 miles offshore, as we headed southward to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
On account of NOAA reports of stormy conditions and 20 foot waves off of Cape Hatteras, Captain Sterling thought it best to duck-in to the Chesapeake Bay at Norfolk, Virginia to give the weather a little time to change. The winds were at 30 knots as we sailed through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It was somewhere around this point that one of the bails on one of the booms failed and a crew member was struck in the face with debris. Battered and bruised, but okay.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
There were unexpected delays at the Newport Shipyard and at Norfolk, and for this reason I was unable to remain with the Spirit for her journey back to Charleston. For me, sailing around Cape Hatteras would be delayed for future East Coast transits. On a positive note, we rafted beside the schooner Virginia, and I was able to reconnect with Captain Stef, who'd been the captain of the Westward when I sailed from Charleston to Miami.
Spirit of South Carolina rafting beside Schooner Virginia, October 2009
After the transit of the Spirit from Newport in October 2009, I had the opportunity in the winter and spring of 2009 to take several courses at Ocean Sailing Academy in Charleston. I became aware of Ocean Sailing Academy because of my affiliation with the Spirit. Captain Sterling, under whom I'd served during the transit, was in charge of the Spirit, but he also worked for OSA. At any rate, my wife decided to join me in these courses. We had a great time and gained an incredible amount of practical and theoretical knowledge.

OSA was later merged with an international sailing organization, and today it's known as On Deck Charleston. Despite the name change, many of the same instructors work there. People travel many states in the southeast region to take courses here.
My wife and I began with the basics, day-sailing a Colgate 26 in Charleston Harbor. This boat, designed by Steve Colgate, has a large cockpit to accommodate students and instructors.
We learned many valuable lessons sailing in the harbor. I'd say the most valuable dealt with tides and currents. We spent half a day tacking our way upstream against an ebb tide. It was an almost impossible task.
While these classes were going on, my wife and I both had the opportunity to assist with a transit of the Spirit of South Carolina from Charleston to Beaufort, South Carolina, a full day's sail down the coast.
Spirit of South Carolina
For some amount of time prior to this particular transit, I had been studying the subject of traditional navigation in my spare time. My interest in this subject had been stimulated by my experience on tall ships, where everyone is expected to possess some measure of the traditional skills, by which I mean the use of paper charts, dividers, and other such instruments. Tall ship helmsmen sail by the compass and the stars, not by the GPS.
Binnacle on the tall ship Westward
To aid me in my study, I purchased Frank Larkin's Basic Coastal Navigation. I've bought numerous other books since that time, but I still think this one is the most valuable on this specific subject.
I also purchased some basic instruments, the most important of which was the hand-bearing compass.
Plastimo, Iris 50, Hand-Bearing Compass
During the transit, with the permission of the captain, I tracked our progress along the coast, using charts, binoculars, and especially the hand-bearing compass.
Nautical Chart held in place by lead-filled bags. Triangles for plotting courses.
Soon after we completed this transit, my wife and I took our final class at the Ocean Sailing Academy. This culminating experience consisted of a cruise of several days down the coast to Edisto Island, and back, aboard a Catalina of thirty-some-odd feet. Our offshore sail would follow a course similar to the one we had just taken aboard the Spirit, except that we would turn-in at the North Edisto River Inlet on the northern end of Edisto Island, instead of at Saint Helena Sound, just beyond the southern end. 
Edisto is the large island, bottom left. It's still a rural place, as it has been for centuries.
I'll begin by saying that I learned many valuable lessons from sailing this Catalina down the coast, one of the more salient of which was that cruising sailboats, in this part of the country, at least, make coastal passages in much the same manner as tall ships. They sail out of a deep water harbor or inlet until they reach what is known as the three-mile line. This is a series of buoys that are strung along the coast, roughly three miles from the shore. When cruisers have reached this three-mile line, they turn northward or southward and set a course that runs parallel to the line. Staying close to the coast allows them to duck-in, i.e., seek cover in the protected waters around an inlet, should the weather turn nasty.

In order to be as speak as clearly as possible to the above mentioned issues, I have included a series of charts and informal maps of the Charleston area below.

Let's begin with the Charleston Harbor chart, which gives us a bird's eye view of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers which pour their water into the harbor.
The Spirit of South Carolina is berthed at the Maritime Center, not far from the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center. Ocean Sailing Academy (now On Deck Charleston) is across the harbor near Patriots Point. Tall ships, cruising sailboats, sport fishing boats, and gigantic container ships come and go through the relatively narrow mouth of the harbor between Fort Sumter and Sullivans Island.
In the close-up view of the mouth of the harbor below you can see the beginning of what is known as "the jetties," enormous rock piles on either side of the channel. Parts of the jetties appear and disappear with the tides. The unwary have suffered for this reason.
On the chart below, you can see that the jetties end at the transition point from the shallower water (dark blue) to the deeper water (light blue). If you are outbound, and you continue to the next set of buoys (numbers 15 and 16), then you are approximately 3 miles offshore. For some reason, though, the official three mile line is drawn a little bit farther out (beyond the edge of this picture) at the next set of buoys (numbers 13 and 14). It's here that tall ships turn north or south. When we were with Captain Sterling on the Catalina, however, we exited the channel earlier at buoy 15. The Captain said this was far enough and deep enough for us.
The chart below allows you to see not only the jetties, but also most of the channel, but not all of it.
From the perspective of the chart known as "Charleston Harbor and its Approaches," you can see all of the channel as well as much of the Lowcountry region surrounding Charleston. I've found this to be the most helpful chart of the area. I frequently consult the copy I have hanging on the wall in my house. The circle at the end of the channel marks the twelve-mile line. This is the place where large container ships wait their turn to be boarded and escorted into the harbor by one of the Charleston harbor pilots.
I've had the opportunity to ride out there with the pilots, and it's quite a site to see, when the harbor pilot boat pulls along side the container ship while its underway. The ship's crew opens a hatch in the side of the ship and the harbor pilot, who is standing on a platform atop the harbor pilot boat, leaps over to the ship. Then he goes up to the bridge. When I was out there, I saw Russian sailors helping harbor pilots aboard, and also Chinese. I really hate it that I forgot to take my camera with me that day. I'm grateful to the Charleston Harbor Pilots Association for the use of this image.
Huge rub-rails on the harbor pilot boats allow them to pull along side the hull of the ships
Now back to the chart. You can see the twelve-mile line clearly, even though the quality of the on-line image of this chart below leaves much to be desired. The three-mile line is easy to visualize as well - it's basically the boundary between the blue and the white.
Despite the fact that tall ships and cruising sailboats often parallel the three-mile line, weather conditions or time considerations might lead them to sail much farther out, leaving the land far behind. For example, the shortest distance between the Carolinas and Florida takes you well offshore of the Georgia coast, which is nestled back to the west, and thus out of the way. Sometimes, coastal geography dictates the route. This is especially the case when sailing northward around the shoals of Cape Fear, Cape Lookout, and Cape Hatteras.
Having completed the above digression on charts and coastal geography, let's return to the subject of our discussion - the cruise my wife and I made from Charleston to Edisto Island and back with Captain Sterling.

Our cruise began at the Ocean Sailing Academy dock on Charleston Harbor. We had practiced docking and departure from docks many times before this day, since a great many boating accidents occur at these times when space is tight and there are many things going on at one time. Tides and currents add to the challenge, especially in the harbor, where 5 knot currents can quickly push you into places you don't want to go.
Captain Sterling had us motor through the harbor and out of the jetties before letting us set the sails. Off the starboard bow you can see Green Buoy 17, at the end of the jetties. Green Buoy 15 is visible farther out. That's where we turned south. To the left, just beneath the boom, you can see the rocks of the jetties.
It was a great feeling getting those sails up and sailing southward down the coast. We made some lunch and ate in the cockpit as we moved along. The first landmark we spotted was the Morris Island Lighthouse, a structure now abandoned and sitting in water just off the beach, a victim of erosion on account of the jetties.
Here's what the Morris Island Light looks like from the beach. I took this photo at a later date.The island is only accessible by boat, since it remains uninhabited.
We sailed on the same tack for many hours. This boat had an autopilot, so we only manned the wheel from time to time. I even found the time for a short nap in the V-berth, something I rarely do, but, hey, the opportunity arose, and rocked by that soothing sound of the water, I dozed peacefully.
After we turned-in at the North Edisto River inlet, we were directed by Captain Sterling to an anchorage just inside the mouth of the inlet, behind Edisto Island.
With the anchor set and the motor cut-off, it was time to pop a few beers. Even though the weather was still chilly, the no-see-ums were flying around at sunset, but they weren't too obnoxious.
Having hit our berths early the night before, we arose before sunrise to enjoy the placid waters around us.
After breakfast, Captain Sterling had us work on our mooring skills by picking up moorings along the waterfront of the small town of Rockville on the Wadmalaw Island side of the river.
We spent the rest of the day sailing up and down the North Edisto River and its surrounding creeks. There were several old plantation houses, like the one below, here and there along the shore of Edisto Island. We anchored in a protected creek near one of them, mindful of the winds that NOAA was predicting for the night.
The next morning, the weather was definitely up. On the VHF we heard from NOAA that there were six foot seas and strong gusts offshore. On account of this, Captain Sterling said that the prudent route for our return to Charleston lay not offshore, but along the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). Accordingly, we made our way up river until we came to the point at which the ICW intersected it. It's difficult to tell from this picture, but the river too was feeling the effects of the stiff winds.
We sailed all day long up the ICW on the jib alone. The only time we furled it was when we stopped briefly to wait on the operator to raise the bridge at the Wappoo Cut.
Soon after leaving the Wappoo Cut, we were in the Ashley River, sailing briskly toward downtown Charleston and the harbor. We furled the jib and fired up the engine when we neared the docks of Ocean Sailing Academy. Captain Sterling took over at this point. It was impressive to watch him crab the boat down the fairway at a 45 degree angle, countering the strong currents and winds in order to bring the boat safely into its berth.
I've already spoken about the important lesson I learned about the three-mile line from this Ocean Sailing Academy cruise. Another important lesson that I learned from this cruise is that the creeks and rivers of the ICW can provide some fantastic opportunities, not just for sailing, but also for relaxing when you're aboard a cruising sailboat. Sure, I'd fooled around in powerboats in the ICW on many occasions, but as everyone knows, most of them offer little-to-no shelter from the elements. They're not the sort of thing you'd want to spend the night on. No galley. No head.
Yes, this cruising sailboat made for a comfortable experience, day and night, out there on the ICW, and if my wife (the Admiral), felt the same way, if not more so, then maybe, just maybe, I thought, it was time to start thinking about getting our own cruising sailboat. Captain Sterling, in fact, had already planted this seed during the course of this cruise, knowing that this would be the last class we would take at Ocean Sailing Academy. There's one sentence he said that stuck with me, and still sticks with me to this day. He said, "you'll never really know everything you need to know, unless you own your own sailboat." I don't think any words about any cruising sailboat could ever be truer that these.
Before closing, I must also mention another event, entirely serendipitous, that happened sometime at this point, that led me to travel the course of purchasing a cruising sailboat. One Saturday my daughter asked me to take her to see her friend, who lived in an apartment on Charleston Harbor, adjacent to the Maritime Center, where the Spirit of South Carolina is berthed. My young son rode with us. After I dropped off my daughter, I decided to take my son out to the end of the dock to pay the Spirit another visit, since she was in the process of being docked. After the visit, while we were on our way back down the long dock, where cruising sailboats often occupy transient slips, I happened upon a gentleman from North Carolina, who said he'd recently retired and had decided to take a lengthy cruise, with his wife, down the coast to the Florida Keys. He said that he and his wife were on their way back, and that they had stopped in Charleston to buy some groceries and do their laundry. I asked him about this boat, and he led me down the dock to where his boat was berthed.
Maritime Center dock with some of its transient slips. The masts in the background belong to the Spirit.
There were numerous large cruising sailboats in that marina. This was not one of them. I was intrigued. This gentleman asked my son and me if we wanted to come aboard. We accepted his offer. He began by showing us his cockpit with its tiller steering. He then led us down his companionway stairs and offered us a seat. We sat on one settee. He sat on the other. We talked for some time about their life aboard this vessel. No, this was not an Ericson 25. It was actually somewhat smaller. To this day it kills me that I can't remember what kind it was, but I do know that it was no more than 22 or 23 feet.
Main Salon and V-berth of an Ericson 23. This is sort of what that mystery boat looked like.
There was no functional galley. He said they cooked with a small Coleman stove in the cockpit. There was no enclosed head. There was, though, a porti-potty, but they kept it stowed. The settees were not full-length as I remember them. They were more like large seats, definitely not the sort of thing you would sleep on. There was a V-berth, so to speak, but it was not separate from the main salon. All in all, this was a boat with far fewer luxuries than the Ericson 25. It terms of sailing this boat, this gentleman said that he and his wife used both the three-mile line offshore, and the ICW in making their way down to the Keys and back. He said that when the weather was good they often preferred to sail offshore, working in shifts through the night. That way they were not disturbed by the bugs in an anchorage. He ended by talking about the storage and transport of his boat. He said that his was a trailerable sailboat, and that he and his wife had opted for this type so that they could haul the boat from their house, somewhere in North Carolina, to Oriental, NC, where they would launch it. As the conversation was coming to an end, he asked if I could give him a ride to a nearby laundromat. His wife was off in another direction shopping. I gave him a ride, shook his hand, and drove off thinking about everything he had just told me.

Soon afterwards, in the spring of 2009, I would begin the research that would lead me to purchase my own trailerable cruiser. That research is the subject of my next posting.