paul, I don't think Pearson ever was known as a light air boat, any of them. Well made, solidly made, but not so much "light air". On the Hudson, between ducking traffic, and the tidal flows, and all the twisty parts, I'm not sure that would matter since you may wind up lighting the engine more often than not.
I haven't sailed north of the TZB, but I've seen the river and the river traffic many times in many places. A real light air boat...something like a retired J/boat would fill that role better.
And for a liveaboard, the P36 might be too much cockpit, too little cabin for you. Or coming up from a smaller boat, that might not matter. Nice that they put the wheel up by the traveler to make shorthanding easier though.
Yea, I am willing to have cramped living quarters to have better sailing. I don't plan on being at the dock only, and I have pretty limited needs. I had been looking at 30-33 footers mostly. Just north of the Tappan Zee it gets really wide at the Haverstaraw bay (about 3.5 miles wide by 8 miles long) and then wider again up in the Newburgh just north of West Point, Newburgh is where I likely will be living during the summer. There is a lot of fun weekend cruising destinations between Kingston and NYC.
Not sure I would want to live on any J Boat I could afford! The more cruising versions are pretty nice (yet pricy) but the more racing oriented ones can be pretty bare bones. By the time they make it to my price range they are pretty beat up, at least the ones I have seen.