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Sabre v. Pearson
First my biases. I currently own two Pearsons, a 1988 P-33-2 (bought late last fall) and a 1989 P-27. Hopefully within another week I will only own the P-33. I also am the commodore of the Pearson Sailing Association of the Chesapeake Bay. I wrote an article on the history of Pearson Yachts that appeared in Good Old Boat magazine several years ago (check there website for it.)
Thus, perhaps you understand why I totally disagree with Jeff''s comments about the P-31-2 and why Pearson went out of business. Sabre went out of business at about the same time but was saved by sugar daddy owners. Unfortunately, Pearson had no such savior in 1991 when it closed its doors. But this isn''t about the sailboat market 15 years ago.
The P-31-2 is a fine boat. I probably know half a dozen owners and all of them love the boat. If you want to check out their opionions for yourself, please sign up for the Pearson email list here on Sailnet and ask your questions there. (Click on the Join E-mail List button to the left as you read this.) The P-31 would be a terrific boat for Great Lakes Sailing.
Having said that, the Sabre 30 is a venerable boat. I considered them while searching for a larger boat. As always, it comes down to which boat grabs you.
As for Sabre''s being faster than Pearson''s, the S-30-2 has a PHRF rating of 174. The P-31-2 has a PHRF rating of 156. Go figure.