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Old 17-07-2005, 01:39   #1
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pearson vanguard amended

i just caught up on other posts and read the discussion on vanguard in the "long keel" thread and thought i should clarify before jeff h has to straighten me out. we are still three years away from taking off cruising and we have decided not to tie up too much cash now by buying our liveaboard cruising boat. we run a 23' center console seacraft and flyfish for blues, tuna, albies and bass. we plan to keep doing that while we are in new england. we are also planning to buy a smaller daysailer and weekend cruiser for the waters of buzzards bay, cape cod bay and vineyard sound. this boat will let us get sailing time in and do a few weekend cruises on those waters. i happen to think the vanguard has nice lines and since i have owned all sorts of power and sail, i understand this price range does not purchase an ocean voyager. i am interested in the discussion of stability. i wonder if jeff or others read this thread, how high is the cg and are there real issues. i am also interested in knowing if the boat will point. upwind progress is important to me, more than comfort (used to race stars) any input on the performance would be useful. i understand shorter waterline limits things, but i would rather have a boat with decent lines than one that looks like the stern was carved off with a chainsaw. this is a short term fix for us. as to putting the sabre 28 on the offshore list, i owned one and sailed some distances - talk about tender. capt. lar
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Old 17-07-2005, 05:24   #2
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Red face My input

If you want a boat that points into the wind she'll have to have a deep fin keel and one with wings will eliminate some of the windage.

BUT, wings have a tendency to get stuck in the muck of you run aground as well as having to avoid kelp.

One thing to remember, what is pleasing to the eye is not necessarily going to cut thru the water with proficiency.

That’s my $.02……………………._/)
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Old 17-07-2005, 12:44   #3
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finally found a mooring at a nice marina but there is a depth issue - want to stay under 5' draft so i will not be affected by tide. we also like gunking, so again we trade some performance for access to shallow areas. i guess i need 3 boats - j boat for the zoom. even my wife won't go for that. capt. lar
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Old 18-07-2005, 14:44   #4
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My family owned a Vanguard in the 1960's. While we enjoyed the boat at the time, Vanguards were a very mixed bag. Pearson was very much a production boat builder; Pearsons and Columbias were the Hunters, Catalinas, and Beneteaus of their day. They offered reasonably good performance for that era, but were not especially fast, erring on the side of being a little more roomy at the price of offering less performance.

Even for their day they were not especially weatherly, and by any objective standard they do not point well and do not offer minimal leeway by any modern standard. They were quite tender. My Father spoke to Phillip Rhodes about this. Rhodes said that the boat was designed to have 10% more ballast than they did. He said the ballast was supposed to be in the form of 'trim ballast'. I also heard from someone at Pearson that the boats were substantially heavier than the design which partially lead to the decision to keep the ballast minimal. That combination of being overweight out of the box and being short on ballast made a big difference compared to the earlier wooden versions of these boats.

These were hard boats to sail at either end of the wind range. They were designed to be sailed with 180% genoas in winds up to 15 or so knots. These were huge sails that were a pain in the neck to sail with, especially with the primitive winches of the day. These large genoas were a bear to drag around the shrouds on each tack. I have sailed Vanguards with 155% and 135% jibs and pretty much lose the lower end of the windspeed range. Because the boats were tender, sail changes were very critical with windspeed changes or else you use a compromise genoa size and motor a lot. In heavy air these boats developed shoulder wrenching weather helms.

These boats do not track worth a darn, My current fin keeler which is no great shakes when it comes to tracking still tracks better than the Vanguard.

The build quality was a mixed bag on these boats. The glass work was pretty poor. Corings to install instruments and make repairs to the keel showed lenses of overly rich laminate mixed with other areas with dry cloth. Like many boats of this era these boats were built with laminates that would be prone to fatigue and being brittle over time. The electrical and plumbing on the boats were pretty poorly done so that with the short time that we owned the boat we had did a fair amount of work on these items.

So here is the deal as I see it, the Vanguards were pretty mediocre boats for their day. Their day was forty years ago and a lot has happened since. You can buy a lot better sailing and a lot more confortable boats for roughly the same cost as a Vanguard. Unless a prior owner has poured a lot into maintenance and upgrading the boat, any forty year old boat is bound to need a lot of maintenance and to be pretty unreliable. There is a very different aesthtic to sailing these older boats, and I still sail on them for the nostalgia of doing so, but that does not mean that they sail well or offer any kind of reasonable performance.

A quick comment on Delmarrey's comment, fin keels with separate rudders do offer much better windward perforance than you can expect out of the Vanguard. I disagree that a wing is necessary although a bulb keel is helpful if you are trying to obtain reasonable perforance coupled with shoal draft. Bulb keels generally the easist of the keel options to free in a grounding.

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