Join Date: Jan 2005
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Re: Pearson Vanguard 33 reviews?
I have the original, inefficient mainsheet setup. The boat benefits from a real traveller to help control twist and many have installed them. I have not because the aft deck is soft and needs to be repaired first. I don't think that represents shoddy construction, just construction typical of a 1960's era boat. None of the thru deck fittings were likely properly sealed off from the core and some have allowed water intrusion with the subsequent problems that entails.
I've upgraded the portlights with bigger New Found Metal ports as the original opening ports were aluminum and in poor condition. The hull deck joint leaked, but removing the half round rail and reefing out the old filler and pumping full of 5200 pretty much eliminated that problem. A one day job and not a big job as boat jobs go. The deck is thoroughly bolted onto the hull flange with 5/16" bronze bolts-its not going anywhere. I think the biggest headache would be the decks as they almost certainly have some rotten core. It's not likely to be enough to stop you from doing anything with the boat-just something to consider if you want to have it perfect "someday".
I will say this, I've cruised mine extensively along the New England coast-its easy to singlehand and I did it with toddlers aboard. A dodger adds a world of living space and keeps you a lot drier going to windward, though I never found mine to be a submarine by any stretch. When the wind picks up beyond 20, one reef keeps her on her feet and handling very easily. You will fight the helm in 15 mph winds until you put in a reef and then you will love the ride. A traveller would help with the initial weather helm.
As for pointing, I cruise and figure 50 degrees for a tacking angle. Bear in mind I'm a cruiser, don't have a traveller to speak of and I'm flying a 130 on a profurl. Other vanguardians may do much better-I can't say.
I personally know of three young guys who circumnavigated, know of several that crossed the pond multiple times and one was just sold after eleven years cruising in asia after departing Maine. Spoke or corresponded with all of them and they expressed complete confidence in the ship. Two of them are active captains.
For the price, its a lot of boat with a lot of upgrade potential. They have all the usual problems of boats of that era, soft decks, wide tacking angles, large mains and less room below. The hulls are very stout and not prone to blisters. In exchange, they offer security, simplicity, a sweet sheer and an easy entry price to cruising.