Ah, that asking price and what you're thinking of offering seem more realistic. I was looking at the price on Yachtworld. If you can get her for the low end of what you're thinking, then I think I would go for it.
I wouldn't necessarily write her off as underpowered with that engine. It depends on your planned use. If you're using the engine to get in and out of your slip and to avoid occasional danger, then you would probably be fine with the Beta. Beta's are solid engines and most all parts can be had relatively cheap from Kubota tractor parts dealers. James Baldwin powered an A35 with a 10hp outboard and reported that it performed adequately: Atom Voyages - Saga - Alberg 35 Refit Projects
Interesting read. I like the extra power of the "26 hp" because I keep my boat on the Hudson River near NYC. I frequently have to motor again some nasty currents while dodging ferries, barges, tankers, jetskis etc etc.
Backing? With the far foward rudder these boats just don't like to back but with some practice, actually a lot of practice, it is doable. Especially if you can use prop walk to your advantage. I stay on a mooring and rarely dock so it's never been a big issue for me.
I have some pictures of the interior somewhere. I'll try to find them and post soon. Painting the cabin was one of the easier projects. Prep well and use a quality durable paint and you won't have to worry about scratching or marring. I personally just couldn't live with that wood grained formica another season. The liner is not an issue. It ends just below the dog house where the side deck turn out. It doesn't extend under the side decks. The only place the liner gets in the way is when installing hardware on the coach roof. The fasteners for my grab rails went through the liner and were secured with barrel bolts.
I have no idea what the PO of Auriga was thinking with the helm chair. Had to scratch my head for awhile on that one. The mainsheet was right in front of it too so not much utility as a helmsman's chair. Maybe he used it to fish off the stern
. That hatch does look a little odd being that it opens to the side. I would prefer that it opened forward to catch some wind. Should be easy enough to sort out though.
The original Merriman and Southcoast hardware on these early Pearsons was/is very robust. All solid bronze. Those geared Merriman winches aren't the easiest to use but they are solid bronze and a heck of a lot less maintenance than modern self-tailers. They should serve you well for a long time. The PO of Auriga had added a pair Barient ST winches and left the original Merrimans for secondaries.
As far as deck delamination is concerned, if it's localized around fittings or chainplates, I wouldn't worry much about it. You can recore those spots as you go (or not). If the deck is totally saturated, it's gonna be a big job and reason enough to walk...at least knowing what I know now. The skins are extremely thick on these boats as mentioned above. You could practically walk around on the bottom skin alone with little deflection.
For the right price and assuming no major structural issues (deck, rudder etc), it still sounds like a viable deal to me. They are solid beautiful boats. As the previous poster said, you will smile every time you walk up and turn back as you walk away. I get lots of compliments and questions. She certainly stands out in a yard full of bleach bottles. People always ask if she's built of wood.