The Boat

Alliance is an American built 1988 Ericson 380. Sweet Lines, Great Performance, Smart design, fast moves, and a Pacific Seacraft pedigree makes the Ericson 380 a classic cruiser. Maybe I’m partial to their shapely overhangs and sheer line, or perhaps I’m just a sucker for a blend of both the modern and traditional, but I can generally pick out an Ericson from a distance. The Ericson 380’s graceful lines, conservative by today’s standards, still turn heads on the water. Bill King’s design was first produced in 1980, and it has gone through quite a few changes. But the lines and the character are still there, nearly 38 years later.

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Brightly lit and well ventilated for maximum comfort, the saloon features a plush U-shaped settee and a large dining table. The adjacent galley has all amenities, plenty of counter space and storage space throughout.

A sweet sailer-
…….As we clipped along on a close reach under full-batten main and 140-percent roller-furling genoa. The instruments revealed that we were making just under 6 knots in 10 knots of wind. The 380 sliced through the afternoon chop, caused as much by passing boats as Mother Nature, without the slightest hint of pounding. Bringing the boat hard on the wind, we accelerated to over 6 knots. The steering was too easy and, after I let the helm go, the boat steered itself for several minutes, tracking true.

We tacked through the wind cleanly at less than 80 degrees, gaining way on quickly. Easing off onto a reach, we slowed down. Still, the 380 maintained excellent steerage and speed hovered around 5 knots. Perched on the port-side cockpit coaming, steering by instinct with one finger, I was reminded how enjoyable it is to sail a boat that is well thought-out and well executed. The Ericson 380 is a sweet-sailing, well-proportioned, well-constructed boat, at home in most sailing environments. And this is no idle claim!

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“….And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it — we are going back from whence we came.” -JFK

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Feature photo (top of page) by Caroline Knopf . All other images by Mark Stetler.

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