Filed Under (Boat Reviews) by Debbie on 10-11-2008

The Ericson 25+ sailboat proved that families didn’t need to make serious compromises. These Bruce King designed boats were introduced in late 1978. They gave move up families sitting head room, better berths and much more. The Ericson 25+ sailboat opened the door to big boat amenities on a smaller boat.

The hull of the Ericson 25+ is a solid hand layup. The molded fiberglass body pan is glassed to the inside and works as the base for a bunch of the interior furniture which gives a more rigid hull. The deck, cockpit and cabin trunk molding is balsa cored and is replaced with plywood in the high stress areas such as under the deck stepped mast and deck hardware (although hardware added by previous owners may not be.)

The hull to deck joint has an external molded flange and a glass reinforced polyester resin was used as a bedding compound between those flanges. The inside of this joint was lapped with 4 layers of mat and cloth. The outside was covered with a soft plastic insert rub rail. The transom is plywood cored which helps with rigidity.

The mast is a black, deck stepped extrusion. It was designed with a cut away in the forward lower half of the base to help owners step the mast themselves. This design reduced the bearing surface of the heel of the mast. Although, the chainplates, shrouds and turnbuckles are of heavy construction.

The Ericson 25+ sailboat features Bruce King’s trademark ‘delta’ fin keel. King stated that this keel form has a low induced drag and the boat’s performance reinforces his belief. There was also an optional shoal draft keep which reduced the draft by a foot.

The rig of the Ericson 25+ is a high aspect ratio 7/8 sloop rig. This will help sailing upwind in light airs. They have a split backstay which should help with mast bend to control sail shape. As most came without a main boom topping lift it is helpful if a previous owner has installed one. The lack of a topping lift makes it much more difficult to reef or lower the main sail particularly if you’re short handed or solo. Be sure to keep an eye on the boom so you don’t get knocked on the noggin if there still is no topping lift.

Auxiliary power will vary from a small outboard engine to OMC gas saildrive, Volvo diesel saildrive or even a Yanmar diesel inboard. The Ericson 25+ is small enough to be pushed pretty well by a small 10 hp outboard. However, if you are planning on more than the occasional weekend or day-sail, then you’ll want to find one with one of the inboard engines. If you find one with a well maintained Yanmar diesel engine it should run more price wise and be worth the extra cost.

Specifications are:

LOA 25′ 5″

LWL 21′ 10″

Beam 9′ 3″

Draft Standard = 4′ 11″ Shoal = 3′ 11″

Displacement 5,000 lbs.

Ballast 2,000 lbs.

Below decks you’ll be pleased as it is large for a boat this size. The main cabin boasts 6 feet of headroom! There are two settees that will seat 6 in comfort and a fold-down drop leaf table will serve 4. There is enough teak to give the interior a warm classic feel while there is also enough white fiberglass to keep the dark cave feel away. Stowage can be found under each settee.

There is a stand up enclosed head aboard and has two lockers mostly filled with plumbing lines. However, an enclosed head on a boat this size is a real plus when weekend cruising with the family.

The galley will surprise you. There is a nice sized ice box (see how to convert it here) a stove and sink. The stove originally was a recessed Kenyon two burner alcohol unit with a cutting block cover. I’m not a big fan of alcohol stoves because there is too much potential for fire or explosion. Hopefully, a previous owner has replaced it.

The V berth would be more suited to sleeping a single adult or a couple of kids. There was an optional extension on the starboard settee that converts it to a double bed and while making it more difficult to reach the stowage below it is much nicer for adults.

While you’ll find that some of the amenities have been made smaller such as the sinks and hanging lockers, I think this is a great small boat. They would be a great boat for a couple to do some coastal cruising on. If you own one please leave a comment below in case I’ve missed something.  If you found this helpful, please remember I have a real estate license and if you’re going to buy or sell I’d love to refer a local agent for an interview.  It costs you nothing and if you use them, they pay me a percentage which helps me keep this blog on the web.  Again, the Ericson 25+ sailboat is a wonderful step up to an affordable cruising boat.

48 Comments posted on "Ericson 25+ Sailboat"
Larry Patterson on April 29th, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

Currently I have a Cal 20 at the Alameda Marina, but I have my eye on the Ericson 25+. If somone would’t mind showing me their boat, I’d love to see one in person. I used to have an Ericson 23 so I appreciate them. Larry 559 2243973.

Debbie on April 30th, 2009 at 7:46 am #

Hey Larry,

Thanks for visiting with me. Sounds like you need to do some ‘dock wholloping’ (walk the docks looking for boats for sale). Boater’s generally are a pretty friendly lot and often willing to chat about our boats and with luck maybe someone will let you look at theirs.

Best of luck in your search!

Thomas Antel on October 7th, 2009 at 10:51 am #

I just fell into an Ericson 25+, very nice built boat,
I’m looking for parts down in the San Diego Area.
Great site , thanks !

Debbie on October 7th, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

Hi Thomas,

Thanks so much for visiting with me and congrats on the new to you boat! We’ve had good luck in our area finding parts by going around ‘often’ to the chandlers that have consignment parts. I’m sure you’ll be able to find some in your area too.

It’s fun and frustrating to fix up a boat…welcome to the club!

Greg on October 8th, 2009 at 10:34 am #

Just got a 25 + in Boston area and am looking for anyone who might have documentation/manuals on the boat. I have engine manuals, but none for the rest of the boat. Ericson site does not have for the 25 +. Are you aware of any?

Keith on October 23rd, 2009 at 9:42 am #

I purchased my 25 + a few months ago. The exterior was in ok shape but the interior has a lot of workto be done. I completed remove all the wood and have just finished refinishing and or replacing it. The ceiling had dry rotted from all the leaks and had to be completed remove. I am replacing it with a plastic material that emulates wood, hopefully it will turn out ok. I was wondering how many of these boats were built.

Debbie on October 24th, 2009 at 10:55 am #

Hi Keith,

Thanks for stopping in to visit! So how about it all you Ericson owners? Anybody have the answer?

According to an old ‘Practical Sailor’ book of mine, they made over 660 of them. Like I said, it’s an old book so they could have made more. Anyone else have a number?

Phil Schofield on October 29th, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

My boat partner and I are selling our 1979 Ericson

25+. It is located at Marina Del Mar in L.A.

Check out the website about our boat at:

It is a great deal on a great little yacht!

Phil Schofield on October 29th, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

Also check out this web listing:

Debbie on October 30th, 2009 at 8:27 am #

Hi Phil,

Nice little boat you’ve got…just needs a bit of help on the engine. I’m sure you’re sad to sell her. Hopefully you’re moving up!

ken on February 11th, 2010 at 6:10 am #

That was a great write up on the Ericson 25+. I have owned one (2nd owner) for 5 years and the Zephyr has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. We (wife, family, and friends) cruise the PNW all year long and find her wonderful. I single hand her in lots of ‘dirty’ weather, she is always a champ, we have great times. Her only engine is a 9.9 Yamaha, and it pushs her along at about 5.2 knots, no problem. We are at the Port of Everett, H dock, slip 4. Light blue hull. Roller furling Genoa.

Debbie on February 11th, 2010 at 6:51 am #

Thanks Ken,

I too view my sailboat as one of the biggest blessings in my life. I’ve only single handed a couple of times but boy oh boy, did I get a nasty little squall the first time.

Looking forward to spring and getting back out there on the water. Keep on enjoying your Ericson 25+!

Linda on February 17th, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

A few years ago we attended an Ericson Rendevous at Bedwell Harbor but have been out of touch with anyone since then. Does anyone have any information…are they still happening? We’d like to attend one again. We have an Ericson 25 (not+); small but very easy to trailer.

Debbie on February 18th, 2010 at 10:08 am #

Hi Linda,

Thanks for visiting! How about it, anyone out there know about any Ericson Rendevous?

lotgar on September 25th, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

I have an Ericson 25+. My title says it is a 1976, but I can only find where they started making them in 1978. This boat went through a court process with no title present. I know it is not a 25 because of the pic of the keel. Anybody know anything about when they started making the 25+

Debbie on September 27th, 2010 at 6:39 am #

From a Practical Sailor book I’ve got it says they started making them late 1978. Is there still a metal tag or intended info on the stern? If so, it should list who made, they year and hull number.

David on September 28th, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

Nice review of the 25+. I’m looking at a 79 25+ shoal draft (I would prefer fin keel) but came across a 78 E27. The 25+ is newer design and interestingly has a broader beam and LWL than 27. I expect 27 would be more stable cruiser due to greater displacement and similar sails. But other than that, does 27 have any advantage over 25+. I inspected 25+ and it feels bigger inside than Catalina 27.

Hud on October 2nd, 2010 at 10:23 am #

I find the Ericson 25+ easy to single hand. It points well, and responds well in gusty wind. I like the solid feel of her. Great boat for family sailing in lakes and bays.

Jeffrey on March 26th, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

I’ve had a 25+ for 6 years now. It’s been Awesome! I had 2 other sailboats before, but the Ericson 25+ called out to me and I got a great deal on it. It Sails Really Well and will Point well into the wind. Though it Heels quickly… it stiffens up and has never broached.

I’ve had some trouble with the OMC Saildrive, but after talking with other owners, discovered that you can get Johnson/Evinrude parts for it (like the coils, starter motor…etc).
If you change the plugs frequently, they won’t “foul-up.”
I’m never planning to Sell, I’ve still got a lot to learn with mine.

Debbie on March 28th, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

Enjoy that boat Jeffrey! Nothing’s better than being on the water.

John Federico on April 20th, 2011 at 5:45 am #

I own a 1979 25+ thats going through a restoration in Atlanta. Would love to talk with other owners.

Debbie on April 22nd, 2011 at 8:15 am #

Thanks for visiting John. I’m excited the boating season is almost here. We’ve gotten ours ready, it just needs to dry out a bit and warm up a bit.

Jerry on February 8th, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

Just bought an Ericson 25+ two weeks ago and trying to learn my way around it, inside and out. The first thing I did was to take out the alcohol stove and bring it home to clean, restore and learn how to use it. It works great now and have already installed it back in the boat. I have not found the boom vang and wonder if it ever had one. It also came with an EZ Loader trailer that needs much attention, new brakes, bearings, races, etc. Look forward to actually sailing her this spring.

Debbie on February 9th, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

Congrats Jerry on the new boat! How much fun to get ready to sail her.

I’m thinking they did not come with a boom vang. How about it Ericson owners?

Roger on March 30th, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

just curious about it capsize capability.
using simple calcs it appears to have a ratio of 2.16. Just wondering if it should be something to worry about in coastal waters

Dirk on May 29th, 2012 at 6:26 am #

We keep our E25+ in the Watkins Glen Village Marina on Seneca Lake. Love our Ericson!! Fantastic sailing boat; fast, stable and comfortable. Primay stability is a bit tender, but she just rolls into that big beam and sits right down. Forestay tension is critical…you want it tight. I put in a 6:1 backstay adjuster that has made all the difference when the wind comes up; you crank dowwn the adjuster, flatten those sails and the 25+ points right up and goes like hell. I rarely ever reef anymore un less it is just howling and then we typically stay in port anyway.



Debbie on May 29th, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

Hey Dirk,

Thanks for chiming in! Sounds like your E25+ is fine tuned for you! I’m so excited for our boating season to get going, I can hardly wait.

Valan Martini on June 5th, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

Greetings to all Ericsoners! Our 1981 25+ “Papillon’ has always been in fresh water here in Atlanta. I have significant documentation, all the way down to the original blueprints for the hull. No Boom Vang option is shown any of the paperwork for our boat. We love the spacious interior, and hope to refit her galley this fall. Would appreciate any comments on what would make a good replacement for the Kenyon alcohol stove. Did you replace the countertop too? Also, where to get sales, the current ones are in pretty good condition, but the Sunbrella sun cover got staged and the stitching tore. Any comments appreciated.

Debbie on June 6th, 2012 at 7:41 am #

Hi Valan,

No help here on the stove. We have CNG (compressed natural gas) on ours and I like it alot but it’s a pain in the butt to get the tanks filled. Only one guy in the area.

If you can’t find anyone local for sails then you might look at this site, they have lots of goodies. I bought supplies from them and made my own sail cover.

Bob on November 6th, 2012 at 8:29 am #

I’ve always liked these 25+ boats, though I own and sail an E23. Looked at one last week and was reminded of what a good package it is – in fact, if my buddy doesn’t buy it, I might. I strongly recommend a Garhauer solid vang – it does away with that pesky topping lift and has a number of good qualities. Mine saved my face and maybe my teeth when we broke the boom on my 23 gybing in heavy wind during a race – the vang held the boom in place and kept it from doing anything dangerous. Paid for itself that day. The E25+ strikes me as about the most boat you can find in this size, and the build quality is very good. I’ve never heard or read of an owner who doesn’t like theirs.

Debbie on November 8th, 2012 at 7:44 am #

Thanks Bob, appreciate the info!

Bill Valley on February 23rd, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

I,m new to sailing having run power boats most of my life. The Ericson 25+ that I bought is a 1980. I’ve only had it for two months but every time that the wind is up and there is no big rain I’ve had it out on the Sound. I have only single handed as most people are busy working and not yet retired.

What is this capsize ratio that has been discussed? I understood that it wouldn’t capsize with the ballast that it was installed at manufacture.
We have been in 20+ knot winds and when bigger gusts hit it tries to head up into the wind and seems to feel stable. Should I be more cautious?

Debbie on February 28th, 2013 at 9:16 am #

Hi Bill,

For sailboats the “capsize ratio” is a number used as a guideline for safe operation. A ratio of less than 2.0 is considered suitable for offshore operation. It’s just a guideline, as there are lots factors involved in vessel stability.

The ballast of a sailboat is designed to keep the boat from ‘falling over’ when she heels while sailing. It should also bring her back up if you experience a ‘knock down’ (mast hitting the water, which isn’t a good thing). Generally a knock down happens when you’ve too much sail for the amount of wind. So reef the sail before you get into trouble. For ME, when my boat wants to head up all the time, I reef my sails.

If you’re interested in the capsize ratio you can go here:

ANTHONY SANTAMARIA on August 5th, 2013 at 8:26 pm #


Debbie on August 8th, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

Awesome Anthony,

Happy sailing!

John Federico on October 23rd, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

I have been searching for Rub-rail insert replacement and think I have found ericson RR at Hamilton marine. Anyone have experience doing this?

Leonard Bartholomew on December 22nd, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

The previous owner of my 25+ replaced the rub rail in 2001 with WEFCO #788.0. It has some scars now but is still supple. I did get it caught on a lip at the haul out. I was able to work it back in place.

Debbie on December 26th, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

Thanks Leonard,

Every little bit if info really helps other boat owners. Appreciate your input!

mike on July 10th, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

are there any sails of a similar shape readily available? (j24, C27) looking to pick up some used sails on the cheap

Debbie on July 24th, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

Hi Mike,

Sorry for the delay your comment got buried in 353 spam comments!

You might try here:

Justin on April 13th, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

I’m a new owner of a 1983 E25+ and was wondering if anyone knew the tension specs for the standing rigging? I have a loos b tension guide but can’t seem to find any numbers for forestay and shrouds..

Debbie on May 24th, 2015 at 8:33 am #

Hi Justin,

I may have that info somewhere but the poop hit the deck once again in my life and all my reference books are still packed away in storage. Best suggestion I can offer now is try to pick the brain of a local rigger. Once I find the correct boxes I’ll see if I’ve that info for you. Congrats on the new boat!

Simon on August 15th, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

Hi there,

Looking at 1 78′ 25+ in nice condition for 11,500. Too much? Thanks.

Jim on March 6th, 2016 at 8:12 am #

I own an ’81 25+ with a volvo penta md1b that needs replacing without breaking the bank. Any suggestions as for a slide in replacement? 3/6/16

Russ on February 4th, 2017 at 2:06 am #


Well, the first of the two happiest days in a sailor’s life is coming up in a few weeks – an sweet E27 on Percy Priest in Nashville! So thank you for writing such a informative, inviting, period.

you write: “There was an optional extension on the starboard settee that converts it to a double bed and while making it more difficult to reach the stowage below it is much nicer for adults.”

Does anyone have any information on how you can create one of these, or obtain one of these extensions? (Girlfriend wants deets!)


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Steve Gove on January 8th, 2018 at 2:37 pm #

I just purchased an Ericson 26 (1987). Is this boat similar to the 25+??

Paul Cramer on February 5th, 2018 at 10:16 pm #

I purchased an E27 in pretty good shape last summer. Learning to sail at 70 years old with an experienced partner. Great fun doing minor restoration work at my back yard dock here in the SF Bay area.

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