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Old 24-06-2017, 09:46   #1
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Free Pearson commander 26

Hello all, I am a new member and this is my first post!

I found this boat listen on Craigslist for free.

A little about myself, I have no experience with sailboats and have never even been on one, but I've become enthralled with the idea of cruising, living aboard, and traveling the world. However that goal is a long way off, and I have a ton to learn in the meantime. For now I would like to know if this boat is worthwhile, or does it look to be a waste of time? I found an article online that said Pearson's were not intended for blue water cruising. Thoughts?

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Old 24-06-2017, 10:32   #2
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

It depends on your goal. As a stepping stone to learn and gather skills, it would be fine, especially since she's already floating which is a step above some! But if you are intending to use this to use to travel the world, you might be better off looking elsewhere. But to learn on, a great size boat and will teach you a lot while you go.
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Old 24-06-2017, 14:12   #3
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

Free, but is she sailable? The cost of outfitting an old boat will shock you. Sails standing rigging, running rigging, anchors, electrical, so many things. You need to check and see if you can take her out with out a ton of money sunk into her first. You may be better off paying for a used, sailable boat and start learning how to sail rather than taking a free boat and learning how to restore it to the point of being able to sail.
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Old 24-06-2017, 14:59   #4
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

Are there boats ready to sail without first, or soon after acquisition, spending a anywhere from a lot to a hell of a lot of money? Just because I've never heard of one does not mean they don't exist, but I've seen no evidence that they do.

I suspect "free" sailboats generally require more money than the cost of, "ready to sail," boats, but I think the great majority of us dump a great deal of disposable fortune into our boats while convincing ourselves we are making wise financial decisions.

On the brighter side, I believe what makes life worth living is the anticipation of joy and a sailboat certainly provides that, both at sea and ashore.

Now, to your specific post, I suggest you head down to a local marina and try to get invited to day sail with some fool who owns a sailboat; tell your tale, offer to provide labor, food, and drink. I think many of us love sharing our addiction with others and will invite you to come along. I do this frequently and very few of my guests, in fact none so far, have been moved to purchase a sailboat. Most do really enjoy it, but sometimes I hear something along the lines spoken by a very seasick fellow who sailed to Cuba with us, "I don't think I'm a mariner." The only advantage to his misery is that he was completely unaware we went through a nasty storm three days out; he flew home from Havana and missed a perfect sail to Key West.

You'll probably love it, but you just might discover that it's far more work than play. Most sailors I know get great joy from giving their boats TLC, and rest assured, boats all require a great deal of it. If you discover most of it is not standing like Francis Drake at the wheel with a fine salt spray through your locks, and if you find you really don't like cleaning, maintaining, and throwing hundred-dollar bills into the ocean, you can just walk away.

I hope it works out for you and we see your out there; we need all the dreamers we can get.

Fair winds,

Leo
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Old 24-06-2017, 16:02   #5
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Ticheli View Post
Are there boats ready to sail without first, or soon after acquisition, spending a anywhere from a lot to a hell of a lot of money? Just because I've never heard of one does not mean they don't exist, but I've seen no evidence that they do.



I suspect "free" sailboats generally require more money than the cost of, "ready to sail," boats, but I think the great majority of us dump a great deal of disposable fortune into our boats while convincing ourselves we are making wise financial decisions.



On the brighter side, I believe what makes life worth living is the anticipation of joy and a sailboat certainly provides that, both at sea and ashore.



Now, to your specific post, I suggest you head down to a local marina and try to get invited to day sail with some fool who owns a sailboat; tell your tale, offer to provide labor, food, and drink. I think many of us love sharing our addiction with others and will invite you to come along. I do this frequently and very few of my guests, in fact none so far, have been moved to purchase a sailboat. Most do really enjoy it, but sometimes I hear something along the lines spoken by a very seasick fellow who sailed to Cuba with us, "I don't think I'm a mariner." The only advantage to his misery is that he was completely unaware we went through a nasty storm three days out; he flew home from Havana and missed a perfect sail to Key West.



You'll probably love it, but you just might discover that it's far more work than play. Most sailors I know get great joy from giving their boats TLC, and rest assured, boats all require a great deal of it. If you discover most of it is not standing like Francis Drake at the wheel with a fine salt spray through your locks, and if you find you really don't like cleaning, maintaining, and throwing hundred-dollar bills into the ocean, you can just walk away.



I hope it works out for you and we see your out there; we need all the dreamers we can get.



Fair winds,



Leo


Thanks to you all for your input. I gotta say spot on advice Leo. I will take it. I have considered the fact that I may get sea sick, I just don't know yet. I don't think I'll have an issue with the maintenance aspect. I prefer an old vehicle and prefer to do all of the work myself. I replaced the engine last winter without a garage to work in. I'll aim for finding a vessel to ride along on.
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Old 24-06-2017, 18:57   #6
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

According to many that are much more experienced than I, a "free" boat will be the most expensive boat you ever buy.
Much can be said though of the satisfaction you get of fixing up something up and making it your own.
That boat would be a good learner.
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Old 25-06-2017, 09:34   #7
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

Unless you have a ton of money, don't ever confuse a "learn about sailing" boat with a "sail blue water" boat. You absolutely don't need a bluewater boat to learn the basics, and realistically it will take a year or two or three to learn the basics.

Starting from scratch, you might want to consider a sailing dinghy -- a
Lightning or a Flying Scot, or a Hunter, or some other reasonably sedate boat. You will learn way more about sail trim, jibing in a strong wind, etc., on a small boat than on any keel boat. We did this, then graduated to a 30' keel boat after several years.

I also highly recommend an ASA or US Sailing keelboat course. It really helped us jump-start our learning curve.
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Old 25-06-2017, 10:36   #8
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

The Pearson Commander is a very nice, solidly built, little old-school boat. It may not be as maneuverable as a fin keel and spade rudder, but I think, even with having to buy a few things, it could be a very good starter boat. But where are you and where is the boat? How much does it cost to keep it in the water there? How is your cash flow and extra cash available? You do not need to spend a fortune to get this boat sailing and if you try to make this boat Bristol, you will be defeating the purpose. You can get good used sails for not much cash. It's not a big boat so pulling the mast is not sa bad and if the rigging is sound, you don't have to replace them all. If one swaging shows a problem, just change that one shroud or stay. The hull I bet is sound. If it has an inboard that is not running, just leave it in there for ballast and get a cheap outboard, and then go sailing! When you get good at an old school long keel boat, you'll be able to sail anything! And with this boat you can run into things (avoid other boats though!!) and you can run it hard aground and it will just bounce off and keep going. This boat can also do some coastal cruising, it is well ballasted to help it handle rougher conditions or bigger winds, and you can put a big tarp over the boom and camp out in it in the small cabin. I had a boat very similar to it and had a blast cruising local islands and CA coast. That big cockpit is great for daysailing and taking friends out, but it is a big ice cream scoop for a big breaking wave, but I DOUBT you are headed for any big green waves right now!

This particular Pearson was not meant for "bluewater" cruising, but other Pearsons from this era were and do quite well. That said, this boat could be made into a bluewater cruiser, but I wouldn't recommend it. The money you would spend trying to fix this boat up like that is not worth it. This boat is a solid, though perhaps ugly right now, starter boat. But this boat's ugly is on the surface. There are younger, prettier boats that are ugly all the way through! I will say it does look like it will need jib sheet winches, but you can get old ones that are perfectly good. You should not but a lot of new expensive stuff for this boat unless you want to do a total refit. You can get her sailing MANY miles very safely for not a big cash outlay.

But be warned! Once you start sailing you are going to fall in love, and you'll catch the bug you will be hypnotically compelled to make her prettier and buy all kinds of stuff you don't really need to go sailing... and it will be fun!
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Old 25-06-2017, 10:42   #9
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

I took a free about a little over a year ago. It was a Cal 20 and a long way from perfect but so far has cost very little. I had someone more knowledgeable than I am look at it and was told it was old and tired but still safe to sail. Turned out to be one of my better decisions. I sailed all last summer, poked at some things that needed attention like rebuilding the winches but overall I'm very pleased.

be sure you have a place to keep it at a cost you can afford, be sure it's safe and have a great year of sailing.

Gordon
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Old 25-06-2017, 11:02   #10
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

BTW the Commander and Ariel were the same hull I believe. My old boat and my boat now were very similar to these Pearsons. I am sure folks have sailed Ariels across oceans, I just don't know of any offhand. They have a good displacement to length ratio (they have a lot of lead in the keel for that size boat!) But you will not find a more modern boat with a more solid hull than that thick, hand-laid up, hull there.

ARIEL 26 (PEARSON) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

COMMANDER 26 (PEARSON) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
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Old 25-06-2017, 11:06   #11
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

Here is the Commander's slightly bigger cousin:

The Pearson Triton 28 Sailboat : Bluewaterboats.org

for reference

I can recommend these for used sails and stuff:
http://baconsails.com/
http://www.minneysyachtsurplus.com/
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Old 25-06-2017, 11:38   #12
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

If it floats you can sail it. Just go easy on expenses i.e. buy sails or other stuff used on craigslist or get hand me downs at your marina/docks. A 40 year old boat will be happy to have 10-20 year old equipment installed.

Sounds like a good learner boat overall.
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Old 25-06-2017, 15:08   #13
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

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Originally Posted by cjbeane01 View Post
Thanks to you all for your input. I gotta say spot on advice Leo. I will take it. I have considered the fact that I may get sea sick, I just don't know yet. I don't think I'll have an issue with the maintenance aspect. I prefer an old vehicle and prefer to do all of the work myself. I replaced the engine last winter without a garage to work in. I'll aim for finding a vessel to ride along on.
I looks a fine little boat. Go for it it's FREE. Don't spend a lot of cash but by fixing her up you'll learn a lot. So many sailors with lots of cash can't knock a nail in! I would not go across a river with them. All boats, regardless of cost need skippers with a bit of D I Y ability. Six months ago a very nice Hansy 52 was abandoned mid Atlantic cos the rudder failed, what a joke. Have a look at V R Vind and his simple designs. He would have got it home.
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Old 25-06-2017, 17:07   #14
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

It's free, folks. If the Reality doesn't meet the Dream, it can always be gotten gone.
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Old 25-06-2017, 17:28   #15
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Re: Free Pearson commander 26

Well I am definitely diy handy. Like I said, I replaced the engine in my truck, I do all of the projects on the house and while they may not be all finished it's not because I'm not able, just lazy. Lol. I am a construction worker by trade, specifically a union electrician. I believe I have the know how and the umph to tackle. The money to work on it would be the stand still I think. First off, with no sailing experience I would have to move it to a marina or hire a trailer to bring it home to Richmond.
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