With a nod to the past, the Ericson Cruising 31 is sound and well mannered. Classic Plastic from our August 2011 issue
Belowdecks, the Ericson Cruising 31 has a small chain locker in the forepeak, just forward of a double berth that’s short and pinched. A large head with a sink and considerable storage is just aft to starboard, and a hanging locker and shelf are to port. The saloon table has a folding leaf and hinges to the main bulkhead. Settee berths to port and starboard have ample storage behind them and beneath the foam cushions. The starboard seat slides out to provide a narrow double berth when the table is lifted.
The L-shaped galley has a sink, stove, and icebox and offers convenient dish and cutlery storage. A 45-gallon freshwater tank is located below the sole aft of the sink. On some boats, a clever chart table drops down over the starboard quarter berth.
Other than the usual caveats about older boats, the Ericson Cruising 31 has few structural issues. Many owners, myself included, have experienced “rudder clunk,” which occurs when the bronze pintle at the base of the rudder wears against the bronze gudgeon—it drives you nuts at anchor. An easy fix is to wrap a strip of sheet Teflon around the pintle before easing it back into the gudgeon.
The Ericson Cruising 31 is a wholesome compromise with a traditional hull and a 1970s sail plan and underbody. It stands up to heavy weather with a minimum of fuss and will ghost along surprisingly well in lighter air. Asking prices vary widely, from about $30,000 to $50,000.
Ericson Cruising 31
LOA 30’ 11” (9.42 m.)
LWL 23’ 11” (7.29 m.)
Beam 10’ 5” (3.18 m.)
Draft 4’ 11” (1.50 m.)
Sail Area (100%) 458 sq. ft. (42.5 sq. m.)
Ballast 4,500 lb. (2,041 kg.)
Displacement 11,400 lb. (5,170 kg.)
Water 45 gal. (171 l.)
Fuel 35 gal. (133 l.)
Engine Westerbeke Pilot 20
Designer Bruce King
Richard Smith and his wife, Beth, sail their Ericson Cruising 31, Kuma, in the Pacific Northwest.