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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » P - Boats starting with 'P' » Pearson
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Pearson 26
Reviews Views Date of last review
19 12509 Sun March 13, 2011
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $3,250.00 9.0












Description: Pearson 26
Keywords: Pearson 26
 


Author
administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Thu September 19, 1996 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:



Pros:

Excellent overall boat and excellent value.
Very well built, fun cruiser, good club racer.

I race mine locally and it is very competitive in over 10Kts wind.

As used boats can be found in the 5.5K to 8.5K range, I think it provides the most boat for the money. It provides more boat than many at twice that cost.

Very stable in heavier air.

My decision to buy this boat looks better every year I own it.

Cons:

Check the rudder shaft at the lower bearing before buying. Repair is a challenge and a new rudder is a grand.

A bit sluggish in light air.

I've spent a good bit getting it up to racing form. Not a problem if you don't intend on racing it.

Interior is not luxurious.





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administrator

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Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Thu October 3, 1996 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The Pearson 26 is a fin keel masthead sloop with 321 sf of sail area, 5400 lbs displacement, 4 foot draft, 8.75 foot beam and 21.6 foot waterline. The SA/D is 16.6, the D/L is 237 and the ballast ratio is 40. The mast height off the water is 35 ft. Most of them are outboard powered. (There was a P26 OD with a larger cocpit and smaller cabin with the same hull and rig.)Production started in 1970 and ended in 1982(?) with more then 1600 built.

STRENGTHS

The P26 is a well built, stout boat with a solid glass hull and deck stepped rig. I have never noticed any "oil-canning" or hull flexing under loads. The standing rigging is 1x19 wire and each piece is one size larger then the corresponding piece on a Cal 25. The mainsail is 137 sf and does not power the boat very well by itself. You don't need to reef the main until the wind is up in the mid 20s. The helm is easialy balanced with the right sail combination. I have been out in 20-25 knots with a full main and working jib (90%) and the tiller was very light with just a bit of weatherhelm that was easially adjusted with mainsail trim. I think the P26 is a fairly stiff boat, much stiffer then the Cal 25 I got a ride on.
It's not very fast in light air by current standards but does well when compared to contemporary (early 1970's) designs. I have had the boat surfing dead down wind with a spinnaker in 10-15 knots with 3-5 foot waves at sustained speeds of 7 knots ocasionally hitting 8.5 (Honest!). Our highest speed was 10.3 running 150 degrees apparant in 20-30 knots with 2-4 footers flying the full main and a 130% genoa. These speeds are pretty unusual. Typically we can make hull speed with 7-10 knots of wind and our 170% close reaching which is the boats fastest point of sail. The J dimension on the boat is large for a 26 footer (11.6 feet) and I think this would make it a good candidate for an asymetrical spinnaker. It would certainly help in light air and off the wind.

WEAKNESSES

The rudder bearings are a weak point and should be carfully inspected at regular intervals - especially the bottom one. early P26s had aluminum ruder shafts that can be worn down. The rudder is very heavy which probably contributes to the wear on the lower bearing. Watch out for delamination in the cockpit sole. The OEM genoa track does not go far enough forward to properly sheet any but the largest ( >150%) headsails. I replaced mine with 14' sections and the boat points 5-10 deg higher with the smaller sails. The electrical system is inadequate. There was no battery switch from the factory (on ours at least) and the wiring was non-tinned. Re-wiring the feeds to the mast step was a difficult job requiring disassembly of the main bulkheads and compression posts. This was straight forward (no glass cutting, just unbolting) but time consuming. It is also difficult to rewire the interior lights - the wires run above the headliner. I don't think the wiring is any worse then other boats from the 1970's.
The OEM drain in the engine well was 1/2" and perpetually clogged. I glassed in a 1.5" tube. The cockpit of the P26 is about 6 feet long and is a bit small for more then 3 people. The tiller takes up alot of space and the boom is in head banging range. Of course, it is a 26 foot boat. The space is very good for 2 people and good for 3.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

We are extreemly happy with our P26. We looked at allot of other boats and think we got more for our money with the Pearson. It held up much better then Catalinas and Hunters of the same vintage that we looked at, partly because it was well cared for but mostly, I think, because it was better built. The longer we have it the more we think we chose the right boat. I have made many modifications to improve perfomance and livability. These include longer genoa tracks, in-boom 4:1 outhaul, in-boom topping lift, additional locker space, 2nd battery, re-wiring, enlarged engine well drain, and new bottom.
Email me for details and check out my web page. You can click on the link below.

www.en.com/users/danp/boat/boat.htm. . . Lots of boat photos and info.


















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Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri October 18, 1996 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:


My P26 hull no.636 is a 1973 P26 model, it is a fin keel, high cabin, outboard model. The boat was made for about 12 years in three configurations, the standard, which has a high "hump" cabin,the Weekender lower cabin height and the other lower cabin OD (one-design) model. Obviously, the "standard"is more "cruising" oriented and the Weekender & OD more "racing" directed. In the Standard model the headroom in the cabin is probably 5'8". The cabin is traditional with setee to port, (converts to "double" ) and couch/berth to starboard. Vee berth in bow, passing the head (port) and hanging area (starboard). Not bad accomodations for two, where showers are not far ashore. Single or twin burner stove to starboard and cubbord to port with sink.

I believe the construction is superior to many of its competitors, Catalina 27, Hunter 25-26, and on par with Ericson ,Tartens, Bristols, etc. By comparing the fiberglass and the hardware, (hinges etc.) the P26 seems to be overbuilt. For the short cruiser, that's great, for the club racer, it's probably not competitive with newer, lighter and not as sturdy boats.

I have been told by experts that the rudder bearings need attention on a regular basis and are available through several dealers. The standing rigging on my boat appears to be original, 23 years and seems to be in better condition that several 5 year old boats I've seen.

Our overall satisfaction with the boat is very high, it is a classy boat with high name recognition, excellent quality and our old boat looks better than many 5 year old boat of lesser quality. From an investment standpoint, our boat cost about 15% of what a replacement boat of similar size, and type. The depreciation has long since been suffered by others and I am confident I could get my money out of the boat and could donate the boat and recoup almost what I have in her. It is truly a great little boat that sails like a big boat and provides pride of ownership sailing into one of the most affluent harbors in the world. It also always produces a smile on our faces when we think of the payments we would have on anything even close. The ultimate "guru" and font of knowledge on the P26 (and probably a lot of other topics) is Dan Pfeifer, if you own a P26 or are considering buying one, study Dan's site, it is beyond excellent.


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Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Tue January 14, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:


Dan Pfeiffer's excellent review contains all the specs. The boat is extremely stable, even when it is blowing. I added an asymetrical to my inventory and drilled out the masthead to run the halyards internally. With most leads running back, the boat is easy to single-hand (which is most of my sailing) even in Oct. & Nov. on Lake Erie.




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Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri July 25, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Wonderful boat. No complaints about it at all. Fast and
stable. In 20 knots of wind you can put up the main and
genoa and still not hell that much! I have owned three of
these boats and I know them inside out. This is a wonderful
cruiser and racer. And if you have any questions feel free
to write.
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Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri September 12, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Sloop rig with 150/130/100 and main. Strengths - solid, quick, fast, easy to handle. Weakness - mast step, transom @ OB motor clamp.
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lowergard
Junior Member

Registered: March 2001
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sat November 1, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I have hull # 91.

The one design version has a large cockpit, smaller cabin with very limited head room - about 5'.

Strong rig, stiff boat that is fun to push to the limit !

Lots of weather helm, and tends to yaw quite a bit but is quick for a 26' footer.

Great first keel boat, forgiving, strong construction.
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Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri January 16, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

A good sturdy little boat
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Review Date: Sat August 8, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Hull #663. Asymetrical spinnaker, 155 Genoa, 9.9 Yamaha 4-stroke (over-powered, too heavy; electric start, charging system). I bought the boat in '94, in basic factory configuration. I've added spinnaker gear, new winches, vang, back stay tension, cunningham, spare halyard, all new sails from Gleason. She races against 6-8 other p-26s, main difference is our asymiterical verses their conventional 'cutes, and their 165-170 genoas. This is our 1st year bouy racing, we are solidly in 4th place(in fleet of 10, including Saber28s, and a San Juan 24), and climbing. Added a pole for the asym. as of last week, this really helps downwind, but is complicated by the need for double sheets/guys. The basic hull shape of this boat is very good, it's a true racer/cruiser, verses newer racing-lightweights. Speeds of 8 knots not uncommon downwind. Over past 4 years we've been very successful in offshore races. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else racing this boat under PHRF, especially using an asymetrical 'chute.
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Review Date: Mon September 14, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Pearson made two versions of this boat... a family type cruiser and a "one design" (the OD model had a larger cockpit and a very small cabin). The cruiser was a very popular model, and known for its very good overall sailing abilities. My wife and I purchased ours new in 1979, and have been weekending and racing it for almost twenty years.

Well designed older boats have much going for them. We've been very competitive PHRF racing on our lake in upstate New York, usually with just my wife and me as crew. It sails very easily to its 210 PHRF rating, especially in medium to heavy air. It is also surprisingly competitive in no-air racing, where its 5400 pound displacement has an inertial advantage to ghost through holes.

They do not have the accomodations of more modern boats, lacking quarter berths and forward headroom. The interiors compare with newer 24 footers. This probably accounts for their relatively low resale value. I believe they are a much better buy than used O'Days and Catalinas, for example, because of their superior construction and good sailing qualities.
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Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Wed May 17, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

1971 weekend model hull #281.This is my first sailboat...has made sailing fun and have had Partner Ship to 6.7 knots. Dan's Pieffer's web page was really the selling point. My boat has many of his upgrades like dual batteries, new wiring, 9.9 Yamaha 4-stroke, boom-vang,155 genoa, working jib, storm jib, spinnacker and pole. I'm a new sailor and sail the upper Hudson river in NY, with a 4 knot current. The P-26 is easy to single-hand which is most of my sailing. Dan Pieffer's web page has all the real facts on the P-26. It made research on this boat very comfortable by looking for tiller bearing wear, lights, and check deck crackes for soft spots...this is a great boat, price is great and it's fun to sail and not intimidating to work on and make up-grades...love my pearson.
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Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Tue July 18, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

annapolis sailing school boat, wing keel, also under traidwinds manufactured in 1974 any information would be great phrf if there is one, thanks
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Review Date: Fri January 12, 2001 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Great boat for the money. Solid, low maintenance (not many moving parts) and loads of storage. The other reviews on this site are right on target. I'm in the process of repairing the rudder bearings and adding a roller furling for the jib. Dan Pfeiffer's page is a must-visit for Pearson owners and is an exemplary use of the internet.
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VaughtDH
Junior Member

Registered: February 2002
Posts: 3
Review Date: Mon March 18, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

We just bought our Pearson, We have been out for three short sails, and already we love her, she is a very stable and forgiving craft.
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bywayj
Junior Member

Registered: August 2000
Review Date: Wed March 27, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I have a 1974 model that I bought in a generally poor condition. It had been neglected for over 8 years and was equipped with only a minimal number of upgrades. because the design is so rugged I have found that it has held up well. I basically gutted the interior of my boat and rebuilt it from scratch since it was in very poor condition and was very dated to begin with. It's simple layout made it easy to customize, which I did. I redesigned and enlarged the galley and added some shelf and drawer storage. (you can see all the pictures on my web site, url below) I completely replaced the electrical system and all the fake-wood veneer plywood that makes up the bulkheads.

The boat sails well, even with my very minimal sail handling gear. It does not have a lot of features that would be "standard" today, like a boom vang, traveler, and lines lead aft from the mast. I was very surprised with the boat's performance and pointing ability. I can consistently hold my own against even the newer, fancier sailboats.

If you can overlook its spartan features and somewhat dated appearance this is definitely a great boat for the money!

If you'd like more info please check out my website:

http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/...Pearson26.html
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