Re: Tartan(s), Sabre, Pearson(s), C&C(s), Catalina(s) - "Chesapeake Draft"
The toe rail holds mud directly under the rail. That teak toe rail has a 1/4" deep concave cut under it that holds dirt/mud. The plastic cover that wraps around the hull deck joint under the toe rail is about 1.5" to 2" wide and can also hold dirt, but not as much of it. It won't cause high moisture readings 8-10" in from the toe rail, that would be cause for concern. I don't know how accurate these moisture meters are though, how fine of a line do they really find?
I don't see how the Pearson stanchion installation would be more or less likely to cause deck dampness than any other boat in this price range though. As far as I know no manufacturers in this price range were glassing around the core in all deck holes.
I have no specific knowledge of the 31-2, I've just taken apart my 28-2 and inferred from photos online than the 31-2 and 33-2 and most other mid-80s Pearsons were assembled the same way (outward facing flange, lower trim that you remove with phillips screws, larger #14 screws holding teak toe rain, then 5/16" machine screws on roughly 6" centers holding the deck to the hull). If you search my recent posts I made one with photos in it showing how it is assembled.
What's the right price takes research and introspection. Don't just look at the same boat, look at what you'd get for similar prices on similar boats in a similar market. If you have preferences towards one boats layout or other features then consider that in your offer.
As an example of a personal preference: I had a strong preference for the <30' overall length of the Pearson 28-2 because moorage rates at my marina jump by 20% when going from a 30' slip to a 34' slip, and my marina includes bow pulpit and anchor in overall length. The slightly shorter length (29.5 including bow pulpit) of the 28-2 made it $1000/year less in moorage fees compared to 30' boats (C&C 30, Islander 30, CS 30) that I was interested in while the boat had similar PHRF and an interior layout that I preferred. Someone keeping a boat on a mooring ball wouldn't have this concern. As a result I was okay spending a little more on this boat than the others (through it was only slightly more expensive than the C&C 30, and less than the CS 30). I didn't like the lack of a quarterberth in the C&C 30, and my wife didn't like some recent interior upgrades on it, so we would have made a much lower offer on that boat.
How I came up with a price: I felt like that by looking at enough 30' boats and talking to other friends who had recently been in the market that I had a pretty good understanding of what I should offer. I couldn't make many direct purchase comparisons, my boat is not at all common on the west coast, and prices on the east coast appear to have little in common with prices over here. I thought my seller's asking price was pretty good if the boat had an autopilot and a newer plotter. It had neither and a few small things came up in the survey. I bought it for about 10% under his asking price, which covered the survey issues and missing autopilot and most of a new GPS.
Direct comparisons are hard to make anyway, even for the same model. We're talking about boats that are almost 30 years old, and it's unlikely that any 2 of them have been maintained and upgraded exactly the same way. I personally don't find NADA estimates to be very useful, especially on the smaller size boats that I've owned.
1986 Pearson 28-2 "Elena"