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Old 04-05-2013, 21:04   #1
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Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

Looking at a Pearson 31 with a winged keel (1990). Boat needs some work, but I think I can do a lot of it, but wanted to know what others thought of this boat. I would be sailing it off the coast of Maine. Don't know much about winged keels, though I assume it doesn't track as well as a full length keel, since it is not as long. Not looking for a racing boat, just a good stable boat. Like the lay out in the interior, for 31 feet, it is pretty roomy I thought. If anyone has any advice on this boat, I would appreciate your comments. Thanks in advance. Paul
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:53   #2
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Paul.
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Old 05-05-2013, 20:59   #3
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Paul.
I don't believe you understand my original posting, this is a new boat that I am looking to buy
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Old 05-05-2013, 22:44   #4
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

CF has a thing about greeting new members. Some just say hi if they don't have time or knowledge to contribute.

Bob Perry says nothing goes better upwind than a deep keel, your wing keel won't perform as well as a deep fin if you're worried about upwind performance. Some of the cruisers here say when they run aground they're harder to get unstuck.

The custom google search in the search button on the green bar works well

wing keels - Google Search
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:54   #5
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

Pvisich,
Are you interested in competitive racing? Are you planning to sail predominately offshore? Does an extra .38 knot make a difference in your day? If you had an induced leeway of 30 feet per mile on a beam reach in lumpy conditions would that be critical to your plans? Do you predominately go to marinas for the night? If your answer is yes to all of these, buy a deep keel boat. Otherwise, there is nothing better than a winged keel for combination offshore and inshore sailing. I have owned a P 34-2, winged keel, for 18 years and never regretted my decision. In sailing the shoal waters of Florida and the Bahamas, you will always have the most protected safest anchorage since you can tuck in closely where other boats cannot. In offshore sailing and down island, the wing allows close-hauled sailing as well as off the wind and downwind with the relatively flat section aft, you'll have a very exciting ride. I've only run aground once in the Florida Keys where the charts were incorrect and had no bigger problem refloating than with my previous deep keel boat. There are more advantages to a winged keel than disadvantages. Generally, the criticisms come from those who have never owned a winged keel but gained their knowledge in their Lazyboy recliner. That 31-2 is a sweet boat. Check it out and if it's a good one, you won't be disappointed. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 06-05-2013, 15:13   #6
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

Many winged keel boats around. They sail fine. He's 'not looking for a racing boat'.
Pearsons are among the better brands. Sounds like the yacht for you.
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Old 06-05-2013, 15:24   #7
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

I don't know that particular boat, but I don't like winged keels. I had a "wingish" bulb keel on my last boat, and I found it to be problematic when going aground, something we do a lot of around these parts. In Maine I'd be worried about snagging lobster pots on the wings. Another disadvantage is trying to get bottom paint on the bottom of the keel when the boat is hauled.

In my opinion, for a cruising boat the disadvantages far outweighed any advantages. That's probably why we saw so many of them in the 90s but tend not to see them today. For my part, I was glad to go back to a fin keel on the current boat.
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Old 06-05-2013, 15:55   #8
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

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I don't know that particular boat, but I don't like winged keels. I had a "wingish" bulb keel on my last boat, and I found it to be problematic when going aground, something we do a lot of around these parts. In Maine I'd be worried about snagging lobster pots on the wings. Another disadvantage is trying to get bottom paint on the bottom of the keel when the boat is hauled.

In my opinion, for a cruising boat the disadvantages far outweighed any advantages. That's probably why we saw so many of them in the 90s but tend not to see them today. For my part, I was glad to go back to a fin keel on the current boat.
True enough. Drawbacks are there! Let's not sanitize it.
Of course, you people up there in Maine might have more lobster pots to snag!
AND, with a shallower draft, you might run aground, (or snag things) less!. Everything's a compromise.
Now, about the whole painting thing....? Yes, I suppose,.. something else to consider. I still can't see it as being a deal breaker.
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Old 06-05-2013, 16:00   #9
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

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Now, about the whole painting thing....? Yes, I suppose,.. something else to consider. I still can't see it as being a deal breaker.
There's a lot more area down there to paint, to begin with, compared to a fin keel. If the yard rests the boat on its hull, it's impossible to prep it properly. The best I could ever do was ask the yard to paint the bottom of the bulb and winglets while the boat was hanging in the straps before being splashed. But the paint doesn't really dry properly at that point.

No matter what we tried, the first place I'd ever get barnacles was on the bottom of the keel. That was a total deal-breaker for me.
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Old 06-05-2013, 16:12   #10
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

That spade rudder and prop on strut will be a much bigger problem with lobster fishing gear in Maine. If this is going to be your primary cruising ground, please consider a full keel or skeg hung rudder with prop in aperture.
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Old 06-05-2013, 16:13   #11
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

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There's a lot more area down there to paint, to begin with, compared to a fin keel. If the yard rests the boat on its hull, it's impossible to prep it properly. The best I could ever do was ask the yard to paint the bottom of the bulb and winglets while the boat was hanging in the straps before being splashed. But the paint doesn't really dry properly at that point.

No matter what we tried, the first place I'd ever get barnacles was on the bottom of the keel. That was a total deal-breaker for me.
Right! Didn't mean to minimize the problem.
I'm more of a racer so painting the bottom of the keel is always a worry.
You always think, "man,... I bet that was a waste of paint."

But the guy next to me in the yard has a wing keel. Painting the bottom of his keel seems as though it might be EASIER!. Can't say for sure though. Never tried it.

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Old 06-05-2013, 16:17   #12
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

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No matter what we tried, the first place I'd ever get barnacles was on the bottom of the keel. That was a total deal-breaker for me.
I have solved that problem by going aground often enough to whack off most of the growth, but most people don't poke around in the shallows like I do.

To the OP, nice boat. I'm not too concerned about the winged keel even though it wouldn't be on my list of things to look for. The biggest disadvantage I see is that when you are aground you will be more firmly anchored than on a regular keel, and you can't heel the boat down to get her off. However, in Maine you avoid going aground as much as possibly in case there is granite down there! Lobster pots might be an issue too.
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Old 06-05-2013, 16:25   #13
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

My last boat had a MASSIVE wing! It sailed very high to wind so it isn't a given than a winged boat wouldn't point as high as a non winged boat.

I never caught a lobster pot, but I will say that when you went aground you were aground and you were not getting off till the tide floats you!
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Old 06-05-2013, 17:55   #14
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

With all due respect to several of the respondents, it sounds like many experience numerous groundings and are forever snagging crab pots as part of their enriched sailing resume. I have never sailed the waters of Maine, but I can assure you there are few places in the world that have as many pots as the Gulf side of the Florida Keys during season. Since we never sailed in these areas at night, we never snagged any pots . . . ever. I have been aground once in 24 years and have explored more shallow water than most (winged keel- 4 feet) and found it no more difficult kedging than my old fin keeler with one caveat: we always motored in these thin waters with a lookout at the bow and never exceed 2 knots over ground. The beautiful and uncharted areas with no other cruisers to foul your rode and annoy you with their versions of the world's greatest music were the prize for the shallow draft -- something deeper draft vessels could never experience. And finally, in regards to painting the bottom, the only area I cannot paint each year, while it is on the hard, is the narrow strip in the center under the keel--an area about 6" wide and a few feet long that is supported by a few 2x4's. We paint it while it is in the sling and launch before lunch so it hangs like a happy witch in Salem to dry. Every boat is a compromise based upon finances, availability,sailing characteristics and where you like to cruise but I can assure you there are far more places of beauty to sail and anchor that are inaccessible to deep draft fin keels than the reverse. Finally, I have met countless cruisers who have cursed the day they bought their deep draft fin for their restrictiveness(but they can point really high), but never one who was unhappy with their shallow draft boat . . . that is, however, unless they were constantly running aground and dragging a strings of pots as must be the case with some of our hapless commentators. Never see Captain Ron do that! Good luck, good sailing and happy navigation?
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Old 06-05-2013, 18:07   #15
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Re: Advice on Winged Keel Pearson 31

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I have been aground once in 24 years and have explored more shallow water than most (winged keel- 4 feet) and found it no more difficult kedging than my old fin keeler with one caveat: we always motored in these thin waters with a lookout at the bow and never exceed 2 knots over ground.
Well, then, there's your problem! If you haven't gone aground with the spinnaker up and drawing, you really haven't been properly aground.

I don't want to sound like an expert in going aground since I haven't done so since April, but if I don't keel-anchor at least twice a year I know I haven't been sailing hard enough.
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