It is pretty well documented that I have a tendency to enjoy the hell out of a boat for a couple years, and then move on. My giant misstep with the SC 33 excepted. I have loved A4 more than any of my previous boats for a number of reasons. Of course it is really fast in light air, fun and easy to sail, and I have been lucky enough to have some really fun people and good sailors sail with me. Oh that and we win a lot, which of course really makes it fun. Duh.
But, the reasons I bought the SC33 for, are very much the same for what I’d like to do next. I’d like to go old school, I’d like an interior that people can stand up in, and something comfortable that we can weekend on, entertain on, day sail on, and yes, race on! Oh yeah, it needs to be no wider than 10′ to fit in my slip!
Some of the greatest things about being a member at SDYC are the people, the racing, the clubhouse and all the amenities. The problem (if you can call it that) with the Flying Tiger is that it isn’t a great boat to do any of the above, except race. Yes, I had custom interior and cockpit cushions made and even an awning, so the thing is actually not that bad to hang out on. Hell, we’ve spent two Fourth of July long weekends on the boat – no sweat!
But I’d like a boat that after a race, we can enjoy the comforts of a more proper boat, go to the bar, and then instead of driving home, hang on it for the rest of the weekend. And use the club facilities, which we really don’t as we currently race, drink, go home. I like the first two, but I’m rarely wanting to do the third!
My gf is really getting into the scene, loves to sail and sees the beauty of having something we can enjoy together, especially for weekends and some local “cruising”. Hell, she has even spent the nite on the Tiger a couple times and liked it. (Crazy, I know). We have a killer end slip that overlooks La Playa, a very tranquil and peaceful place to hang with my girl and friends. Oh and just to add another twist, I can’t put a boat in my slip any wider than 10′! So that narrows the list of eligible boats, pun intended.
I’d like to do this on a reasonable budget, again, with the old school angle, and thus I have narrowed my search to an Ericson 35-2. In fact three years ago I tried to buy one, couldn’t find a decent one (got the SC33 instead), and then decided to have another go with a FT, which resulted in A4.
E-35’s are still hard to find in good shape, but I have begun my search anew, and as such, I am putting A4 on the market. I had a three-year plan with the boat, and halfway into the third year of ownership I think I’d like to make the switch.
Yes, there is a chance that none of this will happen, but if it all comes together, with the design era it came from, the great interior, weight and good size platform, racing the 35 will be a bit somnolent compared to the Tiger, to put it mildly. But Benny Mitchell, Karen Busch and their crew have proven the boat can win. Hell, they just won the Hot Rum Series overall, so it will be fun to get the boat in fighting shape and race against those guys. The picture of the 35 above is for decorative purposes only, although the name is not!
If I was a lot younger, no way would I do this, but there is more to sailing than just racing (christ, it hurts to even type those words), and with a nice 35, I can have my cake ( a much slower cake) and eat it too. At least that’s the idea! – ed.