Aiki, from Japanese, roughly translates to: “To be in harmony with the energy of the universe”
Aiki isn’t your typical cruising boat. Her heritage is one of racing with a smattering of cruising thrown in. Even with a full load of cruising supplies, tools and a whole household worth of living things thrown in we still sail pretty darn fast.
When she was built in 1972 Aiki was a mega yacht of her day. By today’s cruising standards, she isn’t really even considered a big boat. The majority of boats at the time were in the 27 to 32 foot range. Ericson produced 21 of their biggest yacht the Ericson 46. Of the 21 produced there are about 18 of them left in various places around the world. Of those maybe a dozen of them are still in shape to be boats, the rest of them having disappeared into the backwaters of the marine world where never ending underfunded projects tend to go.
She draws looks and comments from small boat sailors wherever we go. We have spent a lot of time, energy and money bringing her from a 1972 boat to a luxurious home afloat, with most of the modern sailing and living amenities.
We will cover more about Aiki, as we move along on the journey that we are on. In the mean time here are some line drawings and the outdated, but fun to read original sales brochure text.
Original 1972 Brochure Text
DESIGNER: Bruce King, Newport Beach, California
BUILDER: Ericson Yachts, Santa Ana, California
HULL: Hand-layup, reinforced fiberglass hull with balsa-core sandwich construction. Internal ballast of cast lead. Gel-coat colors finest available, applied under strict quality controls. Spade rudder of high-density polyurethane foam and steel core, covered with glass. Rudder shaft of 31/2″ stainless steel. Bronze thru-hull fittings with gate valves, faired and mounted flush.
DECK, CABIN AND COCKPIT: Hand-layup, reinforced fiberglass deck, house and cockpit, with end-grain balsa sandwich construction for additional strength and insulation. Non-skid molded into the deck surface. Interior light through four large, fixed windows in main cabin, and deck prisms in forward head and over navigator’s station. Main companionway hatch of teak-framed lucite on stainless steel track with molded hatch cover. Large midships hatch with magnesium frame and tinted lucite, with dogging and adjusting hardware. Forward hatch is teak-framed lucite on anodized aluminum slides. Four Dorade-type ventilators molded in deck, one each over both heads, main salon and galley. Six reinforced halyard winch bases on molded-in platform surrounding mast step, with self-draining stowage bins for halyard tails. Angled foot braces for pedestal winch crew. Molded-in instrument panel behind sliding door of safety glass at helm with rear access in aft stateroom. Removable centerline seat for helmsman. “Y” shaped cockpit with extra-large fiberglass seat hatches with molded-in non-skid pattern. Two cockpit scuppers to two thru-hulls with gate valves. Hinged panel access to storage area in stern.
DECK HARDWARE: Full-length anodized aluminum toe rail with machined holes for positioning snatch blocks. Mid-boom mainsheet traveler, ball-bearing type, with adjusters. Port and starboard sheet turning blocks. Four aluminum-alloy mooring cleats and integral stern and bow chocks. Four-inch cowl vent over chain locker. Two dogging hatches in aft stateroom opening into cockpit. Aluminum-alloy sheet and halyard cleats. Two deluxe custom transom turning blocks. 40″ stainless steel wheel steerer, bulkhead mounted, with brake.
RIGGING: Extruded-aluminum mast and boom, with stainless spinnaker pole track, topping lift, and staysail tangs. Stainless wire rigging with swaged terminals. Stainless steel mast tangs and chain plates, turnbuckles and toggles. Stainless wire rope main halyard and headboard shackle. Stainless wire rope jib halyard with Sampson Braid dacron tail, with rope-to-wire splice. Also Sampson Braid dacron and stainless wire out-haul on stainless steel track with car, and stainless wire rope boom topping lift. Double spreaders of tapered aluminum. Custom aluminum anodized mast collar.
AUXILIARY ENGINE: Diesel: Perkins Four-107; fresh-water cooled with thermostat and recirculating system; 2-1 reduction gear; 11/4″ Monel shaft; 18 x 12 two-blade sailor prop. Morse controls, mounted adjacent to the wheel steerer. Exhaust blower and intake to U.S.C.G. safety recommendations, with safety switch in cockpit. Engine beds with adjustable rubber mounts.
ELECTRICAL: 12-volt 60-amp alternator. Two 12-volt batteries, plastic battery box. Deluxe engraved electrical panel, hinged for rear access. Four-way master safety switch. Interior overhead-mounted 12-volt lights in main cabin, galley, heads, and forward and after staterooms. Port and starboard running lights on pulpit; bow and stern light. Spare switches for additional electrical systems.
WATER AND FUEL TANKS: Two separate deck-filled stainless steel water tanks, 110-gal. total capacity. Two 25-gal. galvanized iron fuel tanks with butyl rubber lining. Two flush fuel-fills on outboard deck. Fuel line shutÂ¬off valves.
MAIN CABIN: Two settees in main salon with hinged backs that swing up to form four single berths. Storage areas located outboard of the lower berth behind settee backrest. Additional shelf storage space outboard of upper berth. Drop-leaf dining table attached to the bulkhead. Extra-large hanging locker forward of starboard berths. Fabric-covered 4″ cushions on all berths. Large main salon hatch for adequate light and ventilation. Hand-planked oak on hull sides and all interior bulkheads. Trim is also oak in choice of finish.
NAVIGATION: Includes navigator’s chart table with cabinetry for electronics. Hinged lid on chart table for chart storage and easy access; 3 drawers and storage compartment beneath chart table. Linen-white Formica table top. One 3-way white and red light fixture, standard. Plastic conduit for both mast and instrument circuits.
GALLEY: “L” shaped galley with two deep stainless steel sinks. Pressure water with auxiliary fresh-water hand pump. Two insulated ice boxes of stainless steel, with hinged access lids and recessed lid pulls. Linen-white Formica countertop. Galley storage consists of 4 drawers, large storage beneath sinks. Three-burner alcohol stove with oven, gimbal-mounted in a stainless steel liner. Retractable Formica stove cover forms additional counter space. Dish and food storage outboard of the galley, with sliding decorator panels. Shelf above trimmed with custom sculptured rails.
HEADS: Extra-large heads with molded-in fiberglass shower pans and drain fittings. Paneled doors with chrome lockset and piano hinges. Cabinetry is oak. Vanity in each with stainless steel sinks and pressure water. Storrage above vanities with sliding decorator panels. Double-door access to additional storage beneath sinks. Head intake and exhaust through gate valves. Linen-white Formica vanity tops. One prism skylight and one Dorade type vent in forward head. One Dorade vent in aft head. Clothes hamper in each head.