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Old 27-06-2015, 07:50   #1
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Newbies

My Husband and finished a course on bare boat charter and coastal cruising in February. We have decided to take a year, off purchase a boat and hit the water. We have found 1985 Pearson 37 on dry dock in Gloucester Mass that we are interested in, but there are a few items that with your knowledge will help us to make a decision as to purchasing a boat in New England or driving to Florida and purchasing one.

And before anyone says, "Are you crazy?!" I would answer no, but come hell or high water we are going forward. With that said, sage advice is very welcome.

This time of the year, what is your experience in sailing down the Atlantic coast.
1. Do you have any experience on a Pearson? There tons of people on both sides of the pros and cons camp. I also understand that a boat only sails as well as the handler is capable.

2. Are there items that we may not beware of that we should take heed to prior to heading down to Florida.

3. In your experience do boats age better in New England or Florida with all things as maintenance and normal care being equal?

If you can help us with these items and any other thoughts or wisdom that you would like to throw our way, I would truly be indebted to you, since we are such novices. My husband is also an experienced smudge potter, I on the other hand am a complete novice.
Thanks to all that take the time to answer
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Old 27-06-2015, 14:27   #2
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Re: Newbies

greenbean, Welcome to the community! I see by your previous posts that you've been looking at a number of boats. Boats in the Northeast are out of the water and stowed for half their life and this can allow them to be in better condition including the lower incidence of sun & UV damage; however, they may also suffer from freeze and thaw expansion damage that can be severe. I think it's best to treat each vessel individually with it's survey and not place to much importance on it's location.

I have little experience on Pearson's, but I've known many to be successful and pleased with cruising and living aboard them.

My wife and I have made more than two dozen transits along the US East Coast; however, we are not among those that head out for the long passage. We are very pleased with short hops in the best of weather. There's a huge difference to the task for those that impose a deadline for their arrival! We typically leave Gloucester for Provencetown and then take the Cape Cod Canal , Buzzards Bay with a stop at Napatree Beach behind Watch Hill, RI. We take New Jersey Coast in a couple of hops after anchoring in Atlantic Highlands south of NYC's East River passage from Long Island Sound. From Cape May we're up the Delaware and through the C&D canal to play in the Chesapeake. We always cut through the North Caorolina Sounds (good sailing) bypassing Cape Haterass & Frying Pan Shoals. From there to Florida good inlets are well spaced for offshore hops or the ICW in less favorable weather. We are northbound now on this same casual route that we've taken now and then since 1972.

As for where to buy the boat, my advice would be to research the individual boat for your best purchase. The best gem may be north or south; it may be a Tartan, Pearson, Catalina or an unknown custom "something", but shop the boat and not the geography, brand or limiting feature.

Oh, and most important of all,- don't fall in love with a boat until it looks good on the survey!
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Old 27-06-2015, 14:56   #3
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Re: Newbies

Hi Greenbean and welcome to the forum.

Overall I think your plan is perfect but I may be a bit biased. I did buy a Pearson in New York, kept it in Bristol RI for the summer and moved it to FL that fall.

I have spent the last five years completely overhauling my Pearson in preparation for retirement and a trip across the Atlantic to cruise the Med. At this time I can truly say I have seen how Pearsons are made from the inside out. I'm sure there are variations in models but from what I understand the overall construction techniques and quality are consistent.

Based on my work and a lot of discussion with other Pearson owners I have no hesitation recommending the brand. Certainly not the ultimate built like a tank but are not lightweights by any means. Not a rocket ship but performs well enough (although this varies with the model). All in all a good boat, not without a few faults and things that will probably need addressing (as would be the case in any older boat) but a lot of bang for the buck.

Regarding FL in the summer. Unless you are extremely lucky, even if the boat is in excellent shape you will need to spend a month or two (or three or four) getting ready to go anywhere. If nothing else, you'll need to spend a few weeks just learning all the systems, where all the switches and pumps and valves and everything is and how it works. By that time, it will be approaching fall and time to go south anyway.

You will probably be cautioned that summer is hurricane season and it is the height of folly to head to FL this time of year. While one should certainly exercise caution and a hurricane is not to be trifled with there are tens of thousands of boaters that live in Florida and keep their boats here for years and haven't died yet.

Items that you need to be aware of before heading to Florida? Yes!!! Thousand of items. Might need to narrow this down a bit as it would require a few book to give a definitive answer to such an open ended question. But ask away. That' what the forum is here for.
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Old 27-06-2015, 16:21   #4
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Re: Newbies

Thank you so very much for the information. We aren't in a rush either, so I am going to look closely at you itinerary. Glad for the advice on not falling in love with a specific boat prior to survey I was getting a little ahead of my self. All of the points that you made on the geography of purchase, makes sense. Maybe we will run into the two of you.


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Old 27-06-2015, 20:13   #5
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Re: Newbies

If you haven't spent a lot of time on boats or time on a lot of boats it won't hurt to take your time shopping and look at a few before making up your mind. But if you do find a great deal on a boat that make your heart go pitter pat then be ready.

You didn't mention what part of the country you're in, maybe close to Gloucester? It is easier to start the search close to home but if you narrow your preferences to one or two specific models or types you may have to go where the boat is. I spend most of the time in FL but as I mentioned, ended up buying in New England.

If you focus in on the Pearson feel free to get in touch and I'll be happy to fill you in on what I know. My daughter lives in MA and I might be in the area and could take a look if you like.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:59   #6
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Re: Newbies

I always recommend that people looking for their first cruising boat read The Voyagers Handbook by Beth Leonard. It was the single best resource we found in selecting a boat and preparing for cruising. It will address many of your questions and also give you things to think about that you haven't considered.


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Old 05-07-2015, 09:06   #7
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Re: Newbies

1) You will not get any universal consensus on any boat. Search for Multihull vs. Monohull, full keel vs. fin keel, etc.

2) No matter how good a boat was when it was originally launched, after 30 years, it depends on maintenance and refits in the interim. What does your surveyor say?

3) Another Pearson owner here. We live aboard, but we also participate in informal monthly races and we have been doing pretty well (ie, winning on handicap), so we see our boat as the best of all worlds. That being said, we often miss races due to projects. So far, the only construction complaint we have is that stanchions were never properly sealed and bedded, not even by other owners.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:22   #8
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Re: Newbies

Thank you all for the wisdom you have shared, tons of great information, we are working our way through it all.


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Old 05-07-2015, 11:58   #9
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Re: Newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenhand View Post
1) So far, the only construction complaint we have is that stanchions were never properly sealed and bedded, not even by other owners.
Stanchions were one of my complaints on the Pearson. Several had leaked into the core so had to do drying, routing, filling on them. While I was at it I added nice, big, SS backing plates.
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