What do you get when you buy an Express 34?

I’ve had several people who were looking to buy an Express 34 ask me what are they getting into?

Petite Helene

Here’s my thoughts:

  • It’s an racer/cruiser not a cruiser/racer; Think 70% racer and 30% cruiser.
  • They are a blast to sail. I would compare them to BMW car. In fact the Express tag line used to be, ‘The Ultimate Sailing Machine’!
  • They are fast but won’t keep up with the latest rocket sled out there.
  • They are a sailors boat. Super maneuverable. Very tweakable. But don’t expect to let go of the tiller and go below and make a cup of tea!
  • A well built boat; Carl Schumacher didn’t design crap and the Alsberg Brothers didn’t build crap. This is a boat with good ‘bones’.
  • The PHRF rating of 99 is neither a gift or a punishment. They have won a ton of races both inshore and offshore but you need to sail well to sail to the rating!
  • I think they are a bargain. The price range seems to be between $30K and $60 (2017 dollars) depending of the condition.
  • It’s an older boat that holds up well. That being said, any 30 year old boat is going to have issues.

Things to watch out for:

  • Water intrusion into the deck core especially around the anchor locker. Many E34s have this removed and glassed over.
  • Plywood backing plates under the winches. After 30 years mine were pretty well compressed.
  • Freeze cracks in the base of the stanchions. Not really a deal breaker but something to watch out for.
  • Standing rig. If it’s the original, probably time to replace it!
  • Bulkhead rot
  • The Express 34 is a boat that is easy on the eyes. These are sexy boats that still make my heart go thump when I walk down the dock. Easily the best looking boat in my marina.

    Epiphany spinnaker run

    Epiphany spinnaker run

Questions? Comments? Other opinions? Click the ‘Reply’ button at the top of the page.
We’re here to help!

Greg S. – Wailana – Hull #1

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