I own a PY26, and would at least put my hand up and say it's a great boat. Very Solid, sails well in all conditions, and if it is one of the original PaceSHip's (Gold Anodized Mast) it is a very solidly constructed boat. I can't speak for the AMF (Black ANodized Mast) I know the AMF boats don't have the impeccable reputation the older boats have. It is one of the biggest, roomiest 26ft boats around, was one of the fastest boats at our club, under the former captain (I'm not much of a racer), rather comfortable for 4 people and hasn't really cost me much of anything the first year (It was very well maintained over the past few years, and I have a log of all the paperwork thru the years!) Stays fairly dry, with the weak spot around the Mast thru deck, (The Mast is Keel Stepped- rare for a 26ft) I'll vouch for this boat, and wouldn't think twice about spending some $$$$ to prepare for Island Hopping!
Thanks drdkdover. It looks like the Tartan is not going to work out (seller won't split repair of the deck cost) so I may be looking at the Paceship again. I am going to go look at a Pearson Ariel as well. Do you have to do any special maintenance for the iron keel? This paceship has the black anodized mast.