Considering a Pearson 323
A couple of add''l thoughts about the 323 you''re considering...
1. Are you able, at this point, to be more specific about ''offshore use''? There''s a world of difference between what most of us do when ''going offshore'' (e.g. a Caribbean cruise) and taking the boat across the Pacific or Atlantic.
2. When the Pearson Owner''s Assn. (NPOYA) held a seminar 2 years ago on Pearson boats'' suitability for offshore sailing, the 3 speakers (one of whom was Ralph Naranjo, extraordinarily qualified to offer comments in this area) all expressed reservations about using Pearsons in general & 424''s (a larger sistership to the 323) for extended offshore sailing. Bill Shaw is quoted as stating he''s reluctant to recommend any of the Pearson line for extended (I think that essentially refers to ''ocean crossing'') offshore use with the possible exception of his Pearson 40.
3. I''m currently cruising a 424 in the Caribbean and have occasionally come across 323''s in ports between the Bahamas & Trinidad. IMO I think both boats are worthy of cruising in this area given the short hops and thorough WX info available here. I''ve also seen 323''s used for cruising between SF Bay & Florida. I think this is a bit more of a stretch in the boat''s suitability, depending on the route taken, but without significant risk, again IMO.
4. I know of 2 424''s that have circumnavigated but, having worked on my boat for some years and having read about other 424 passages truly offshore, I think it is not suitable for extended cruising. Given its membership in the same design family & from the same manufacturer, I doubt the 323 is any more deserving of an offshore reputation.
Hope this helps. Perhaps you can get the back issue of the NPOYA Newsletter (they have a website) where the seminar I mention was printed up. And above all, don''t overlook the fact that most folks never cross an ocean nor wish to; there''s tons of great cruising in the vast U.S. coastal perimeter, the Caribbean & Cent''l America, and always the option to deck-ship the boat to other essentially-coastal areas (Med, Baltic, etc.).