The mast step on the Pearson (later versions anyway) is made of carbon steel, and this is in contact with the aluminum mast. If the bilge
was wet over the life of the boat, then there can be galvanic corrosion
, where the two dissimilar metals are in contact. The aluminum loses in that battle.
The problem is, you cannot necessarily see the corrosion
from the outside; once you pull the mast, if there is bad corrosion, the typical fix is to cut off the bottom 2-3" of the mast to get rid of the thinned section, and install a new step either made of aluminum, or build up an elevated platform in the bilge with fiberglas.
A new aluminum step is great, but will cost you about $400 delivered, but building up a fiberglas platform will be considerably less. If you do pull the mast, be sure to plan on pulling/cleaning/resealing the mast collar.
As for a new engine, you may also need a new transmission
, and/or vee-drive (gear box). Beta Marine
makes a nice engine, and anywhere from a 20, to a 25, to a 28 HP motor will fit fairly well. The 28 has the oil
changer and water
pump">raw water pump accessible from the galley
. Since the engines on the Pearson 323 are installed "backwards", on the beta 20 and 25, that puts the oil
access and the raw water pump
into the cockpit
locker (tight fit). If you go with the new engine, there is a good chance you may also need to change prop diameter, as the newer engine will rotate at a higher speed.
I have been drooling over a new Beta, but my MD11C so far keeps on ticking. If you could get the boat for 10K, and there aren't any hull
issues, sounds like a pretty good deal. Also better have the standing rigging
checked, because on a boat that old, if the rigging
hasn't been changed, there is a good bet you will need it. New standing and running rigging can run a pretty penny as well.