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Old 05-07-2014, 09:59   #1

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1968 Pearson 35 modified full keel centerboard

Hey everyone. Does anyone know how this boat performs with the centerboard drop down keel? Is this a maintenance issue ? Mostly wondering about this weird keel but any info on other aspects that made need looking at is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:07   #2
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Re: 1968 Pearson 35 modified full keel centerboard

In general, people do complain about centerboard noise at anchor etc. But once inspected and maintained, I would think it would be an asset for cruising. I should be inspected including the pin and cable and then you should be good to go for years.
Likely a smaller job than inspecting renewing bolt on keel bolts...
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Old 05-07-2014, 18:31   #3
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Re: 1968 Pearson 35 modified full keel centerboard

These are nice boats that sail well. One of Bill Shaw's better designs. The cockpit is a little too big for offshore, but some folks enlarge the drains. If the boat is in decent condition and priced right, I wouldn't worry about the keel configuration at all. And you'll be thankful for the centerboard when you can get into shallow places that others can't.

The biggest issue with centerboard boats is the shivs that the centerboard cable passes through. If the shivs need to be replaced, it can be a PITA.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:45   #4
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Re: 1968 Pearson 35 modified full keel centerboard

We lived and sailed the Carib for thirteen years in a keel/centerboard . No problems at all .
My board was quiet at anchor . I believe those that complain about the rattle may have been leaving board full down at anchor . Do not do that as board will act as a knife blade and cut your anchor line when tide changes , I found out about that twice, chasing the boat with a dingy once and swimming like hell the next . As far as large cockpit is concerned you must remember that these boats ran and won many long offshore races in the 60s and 70s .
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:44   #5
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Re: 1968 Pearson 35 modified full keel centerboard

Have a '69 Pearson 35 that I've single handed to Hawaii from SF. Boat sails well in all conditions and has a nice easy motion at sea. Made the trip to Hawaii DDW for most of the way in 14 days. Ran wing and wing with the 135 Genny poled out in light winds for that route. Relative wind was about 8k. Seldom have the board down. The beauty of a center boarder is you don't have to drag that deep keel around when you don't need it. Board is a loose fit in the well and can clunk with it down. Simple solution, don't put it down and it's completely silent. Board helps hard on the wind but not really needed when you ease the sheets.

Have done a lot of modifications including getting rid of the wheel for a tiller. Added to additional 1 1/2" drains at the aft end of the cockpit to help in emptying that large cockpit. Cockpit is nice cause you've got plenty of stretch out room and can take a lot of people out without getting too crowded. Have a full batten, 3 reef main and 135 Genoa on a furler with luff pad. That sail combination has worked great reefing and furling from 5k-40k of wind. Bought a new boom with internal reefing. Set up the main with double line reefing lead back to cockpit. Has been the best addition to the boat as I can Reef in a minute under the protection of the dodger. Also have an Asym. but haven't used it much. Have a WindPilot Pacific auxillary rudder self steering vane which has worked great on all points of sail. If the sails are up, the vane steers the boat. Removed and filled the large fixed ports in the main cabin. Replaced them with three opening ports on each side that's made living in a marina way cooler.

Interior is small for a boat of its overall length. Has proven fine for my mostly solo use. Wouldn't want more space though may get a bit tight for a couple. The huge cockpit lockers and lazarette are really great. Many of the things that would end up cluttering interior space stay conveniently out of the way in them.

Biggest negative is slow speed handling under power in close quarters. You need to get very familiar with using prop torque backing and filling with the engine. Not a big thing unless you have to turn into a strong wind to get in a slip. The cutaway forefoot lets the bow fall off. Of course, the backing steering sucks like it does on all full keel boats.
Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
'Ms American Pie', Sabre 28 Mark II
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Old 06-07-2014, 19:15   #6
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Re: 1968 Pearson 35 modified full keel centerboard

By the way, it is not a drop down keel , only a skinny board drops down , maybe 40 inches long and 16 or 18 wide . You do not have to put it down at all . I would usually get the boat up close to the wind and then start cranking it down and the boat would start creeping closer and closer to the wind .
We did daysails for hire in the V.I. and in reality what you was selling was a day on the water for tourists and they did not care how close to the wind we sailed they just wanted their full seven hours .
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centerboard, keel, pearson

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