Pearson 36 vs C&C 37
PHRF ratings make comparing sailing qualities between two or more boats much simpler. If the ratings weren''t somewhat valid, owners would scream about their results until the ratings were corrected. Comparing all the different stats (beam/draft/waterline lengths/ballast/ etc.) can make you crazy because there are so many variables beyond those that you''re actually looking at. In my (admittedly not new) PHRF rating book, the C&C 37 CB model rates from 114 to 108, depending upon the area you race in. This is not a big spread - indicating that the boat performs at about the same level, regardless of average condidtions. The Pearson 36-2 w/CB ranges from 123 to 132. Though again, not a huge spread, this does indicate that the Pearson should be slower than the C&C around a triangular course by at least 10 seconds a mile. If you enjoy getting the most out of your boat, the C&C will reward you by being a bit more responsive, but if you''re cruising, the numbers don''t reflect a huge difference in arrival time.
For color commentary, I sail a J/36 with a rating of 84, and might be able to pass the Pearson to leeward on a beat. (It makes the Sabre 38 owners (PHRF 117) nuts when I do that.)