I’ve had several people who were looking to buy an Express 34 ask me what are they getting into?
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.
Questions? Comments? Other opinions? Click the ‘Reply’ button at the top of the page.
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Greg S. – Wailana – Hull #1