Join Date: Jul 2002
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Pearson vs Whitby
The 7 years newer age of the 422 will gain you something (if use is similar between the boats; hours on the engine & V-drive, perhaps some of the original systems that are still alive & well) but the Whitby''s age is a good thing given the direction quality went in Hansen''s operation in the 80''s. Both these boats strike me a bit as ''Whales'' in appearance, with large ''hull sails'' offshore, shallow drafts (relatively speaking), and not much maneuverability around docks & slips in the case of the Whitby. I''m assuming the 422 is a cutter (you didn''t say) vs. Whitby''s ketch rig, so you may have some preferences there you should honor. Personally, I find the cutter rig too often praised by those who haven''t lived with one long-term, while ketches are so passe'' these days, most folks have never experienced them and thoughtful comment is therefore hard to come by. The cutter rig will be easier to live with and handle for coastal cruising IMO but I very much like being able to add or subtract sail area relatively easily on my Pearson 424 ketch. I have not worked on a Whitby extensively; my superficial impression is that construction of these boats is pretty basic, adequate and similar in nature. An exception worth noting is that the Whitby comes by its larger tankage as a result of just capping the keel cavity; these boats later would pop the ''covers'' on these integral tanks as the hull worked hard and resealing them was a chore. Pearson by contrast built in heavy glass tanks with conventional plumbing systems.
You may be in that intermediate zone where a given boat''s equipment, level of care & maintenance, convenience of location for moving her home, and/or your personal tastes vs. how the boat is fitted out should be weighed more heavily than when the choices are much more distinct. Either way, good luck!