30 is apparently a good sailor and fairly solid boat built to coastal cruising standards. It's similar to the 1975 Pearson
28-1 that I'm restoring in many ways so I'll share some observations, though they will be fairly generic and somewhat obvious.
The boat is old so with improper maintenance
it could have a ton of expensive problems and not be worth buying/saving/owning. That's true of any boat new or old from what I've seen and all need to be carefully reviewed. Boats of this size/age are a dime a dozen though at this point, the trick is finding ones that are in good condition which are much more rare.
The P30 has balsa cored decks and unless they have been properly re-sealed a few times over the boats life most of the deck hardware
will leak or will have leaked at some point. Stanchions are the most likely source for leaks
that could lead to soggy/rotten core
but anything bolted through the cored segments of the deck
(or above) could lead to soft core
issues. The external deck skin on these Pearsons is pretty thick which may lead you to thinking that the deck is solid when in fact it is soft/wet. Tap testing with a screw driver handle or similar can help determine soft/delaminated areas. Heavy stepping can help you find flexible areas and keep in mind that the decks may be fairly stiff overall even with soft decks but that soft areas will be noticeable vs. dry/non-rotten ones.
On an older boat like this a recent re-power is a plus. Many P30s came with Atomic Fours which aren't necessarily bad if properly maintained but they are old and need to have perfect fuel
and ventilation systems (gas leaks
can be dangerous on a boat).
can be a problem. I don't think that the P30 wiring
was tinned from the factory and I imagine that some hacks/changes have been made to the boat you are looking at. If it all works, that may be good enough, but expect to become good at troubleshooting old wire/connections and to need to replace some circuits/connections over time.
I think that the keel
on this boat is externally mounted so check for a gap between keel
and keel stub. A small crack along this joint is normal, though not really desirable. A large gap/crack can mean structural issues/grounding damage etc.
Look all over the boat for cracked/delaminated bulkhead tabbing etc. My P28 looked good at first but had a gap between keel/hull. After tap testing them I found that all of the structural members (floors) in the bilge
were delaminated. They had looked fine under the bilge
coat and filth.
If original a lot of the systems on these boats will either be worn out or insufficient in their original form for much more than simple weekending/day sailing. Make sure that the head
, fresh water
and other domestic systems are up to a useable standard and in good repair. Look in out of the way places and smell closely for mold/mildew etc. You can still clean up a moldy boat but if the spots that you find that haven't been cleaned are not covered in mold/mildew that's great. If the boat is moldy/mildewy then it's been wet and there may be rot
,, the cushions
may smell,, you may get allergy issues etc. Check for signs of leaks/water drips in out of the way places. You can often find leaks by simply noticing streaks/stains below deck hardware/windows etc.. They may have been fixed but are worth checking/tracking down and looking around for rot/mildew/etc.etc.
is another area that is important and that can be expensive if poor. Chainplates, swage fittings, etc. need to be inspected closely for crevice corrosion
etc. Pearsons were rigged pretty well from what I've seen so no boat specific issues, mostly just the generic areas that need to be reviewed on any old boat.
She'll have some problems but if she is useable and suitable for your needs as is that is great. I'd avoid getting into a project
if you can, or unless you really want one. I'm well into the restoration
of my P28 and am strongly feeling that I'll never do it again. Of course, only time will tell.
There are a lot of P30's out there so hopefully you will hear some good responses from owners. I'm sure folks can weigh in on the P30 specific issues better than I can but I imagine those may include mast
support structure (it is a deck stepped mast
I think) and perhaps rudder
bushing (spade) tolerances etc. that may need to be checked.
Good luck with it,