Ericson 25, Rigging, Spinnaker and Staysail Options

An Ericson 25, flying a spinnaker in a promotional document from the 1970s
A spinnaker is useful in light air. A staysail, on the other hand, can be useful when sailing upwind, if the weather is up. When Ericson was producing the Ericson 25 in Southern California in the early to mid 1970s, the rigging for both of these sails (and the sails themselves) were optional. Despite the occasional usefulness of these sails and despite their availability, few original purchasers of the Ericson 25 appear to have opted for them. Most appear to have been content with the standard sloop rig - in other words, a main sail and a single headsail (either a jib or a genoa). When I wrote the article, "Rigging, a Tutorial," in August 2012, I stated that, of the many pictures I had seen of many different Ericson 25s, I had never seen one that had the double head-rig option, in other words, the staysail option, whereby a staysail is capable of being flown immediately behind the jib. In response to that article, Steven Hemphill, an Ericson 25 owner who sails out of Lake Mead, Nevada, contacted me in August 2013 to say that his boat, Old Navy, had both the spinnaker option and the staysail option. Since that time, I have cast a keener eye upon any picture I might see of an Ericson 25 to see if she might possess the rigging typical of these options. Of all the pictures I have seen, I've only noticed one boat that might posses this rigging. Therefore, at present, Old Navy stands out as the only Ericson 25 (except for the company boat in the promotional literature) that unequivocally possesses these two different setups as they were originally designed by Ericson.
In the original paperwork that was conveyed to me at the time I purchased my boat, Oystercatcher, there was a list of all the optional equipment available from Ericson Yachts.
In a cropped version of this list, I have highlighted below the double head-rig (jib and staysail) option and the spinnaker option. Let's focus first on item 40, "Spinnaker gear, complete." Note that this is different from item 46, "Spinnaker Sail."
Now let's take a look at the Ericson 25 shop manual. Below, on page 72 of the shop manual we see instruction to the Ericson boatyard workers on the proper installation of the optional spinnaker gear. This page, the first of two pages on the optional spinnaker gear, concerns the installation of the spring loaded deck block that is designed for the foreguy of the spinnaker.
The next page of the shop manual concerns the fairleads that route the forguy aft from the spring loaded block to the cockpit.
Having looked at the optional equipment list and having looked at the two pages from the shop manual that concern the optional spinnaker gear, let's now look at an actual example. In the picture below, we see Old Navy, Steven Hemphill's Ericson 25. Pay no attention to the wood on the foredeck. These are the hatch boards for the companionway. It appears that Steven had been applying some varnish to these boards at the time he took this picture.
In the close-up view below, note well the red circles that I have placed around the hardware on deck. The first circle (in the foreground) indicates the spring loaded block. The second circle (near the cabin trunk) indicates one of the fairleads. Note also the spinnaker pole stored on deck.
In September 2013 there was an Ericson 25 for sale in Washington, North Carolina. Note the red circle that I have drawn around what appears to be a spinnaker block on the foredeck of the boat. If this is indeed a spinnaker block, it's the only example of one I have see other than the one on Steven Hemphill's boat, Old Navy. In terms of the spar that is stored on the cabin trunk, this might simply be the boom at not a spinnaker pole.
Let's now turn our attention back to Steven Hemphill's Old Navy. The picture below offers us an unobstructed view of the spring loaded spinnaker block.
A closer view.
In the picture below from an original promotional document for the Ericson 25, we see a spinnaker, a spinnaker pole, a foreguy, and an afterguy.
It's difficult to see in the picture below, but the foreguy must pass through the spring loaded block, which is partly concealed by the doused jib.
Having discussed the spinnaker option, let's now focus on the double head-rig option that was available at the time of purchase. First, let's consider Item 22, the double head-rig assembly.
Aside from the extra winch, the "assembly" indicated in Item 22 for the double head-rig must indicate the 3 inch diamond shaped pad eye that would be located on the foredeck of the boat. This pad eye would of course secure the tack of the staysail to the deck. Page 81 from the Ericson shop manual provides instructions for its installation.
If we look back again at the foredeck of Old Navy, we see a clear example of one of these pad eyes. The shop manual called for the pad eye to be installed 42 inches aft of the bow. The pad eye in the picture below appears to be at this distance.
In the picture below, we see the nuts and washers for this pad eye. This is the overhead of the V-berth on Steven Hemphill's Old Navy. I'm really surprised that the Ericson 25 shop manual did not call for the installation of a backing plate for this pad eye. Then again, there were no backing plates for the main sheet traveler on the Ericson 25.
In the close-up shot below, you can see that the washers, over time, have created indentions in the fiberglass hull liner. I can say that the washers for my main sheet traveler had created similar indentions in the fiberglass hull liner in the main salon of Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.
Having discussed Item 22, the double head-rig assembly, let's now focus on Item 35, the racing rig with the inboard lowers for the double head-rig. By "inboard lowers," they appear to be referring to inboard lower shrouds.
The standard rig for the Ericson 25 consisted of a single pair of spreaders and a single pair of chainplates. This "racing rig," appears to have consisted of the above-mentioned items as well as a second pair of spreaders and chainplates. In the picture below, from an original promotional document, we see a second pair of spreaders.
Not convinced? Take a look at this close-up.
In the picture below, I have drawn red circles around the two different chainplates. The outboard chainplate (on the deck) supports the upper spreader; the inboard chainplate (on the cabin trunk) supports the lower spreader. This inboard chainplate is not the norm. I have seen only two examples of it - the first on the boat in this picture, the second on Steven Hemphill's Old Navy.
Below, we see the deck of Old Navy.
In this closer view of the deck, notice that I have circled in red the outer chainplate and the inner chainplate on the port side.
Although there are no instructions for its installation in the Ericson 25 shop manual, the double head-rig assembly must have included a piece of hardware on the mast for the head of the staysail.
These pictures provided by Steven Hemphill, show this hardware on Old Navy.
Having surveyed the spinnaker and staysail options, I conclude this brief article with three pages from the Ericson 25 shop manual which pertain to additional hardware related to these sails.

This ends this article on the spinnaker and staysail options for the Ericson 25.


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  2. Have you ever come across any pictures of a boat sailing with dual headsails? Or talked to anyone that has raced with them? I would be most interested in what type of performance advantage they would give.

  3. John, I've never seen any pictures of the E25 under sail with this set-up. You might try to message Steven Hemphill on the Ericson Forum. I think he's a member.

  4. I just acquired a E25 with the racing rig. When I get her home if I can add anything to this (pictures) just let me know.

  5. Russ, Congrats on your purchase. Sure thing. I'd be happy to add some pictures and details to this article, if you like to pass them along. Roscoe.