33ft pearson, 1974 soft spot at mast base - SailNet Community
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33ft pearson, 1974 soft spot at mast base

I recently completed sailing lessons and stil very new to sailing. I am looking to purchase a 30ft sailboat. can anyone give me a rough estimate, without seeing the damage, of replacing a 2x3 ft soft spot at the base of the mast and what if the support of the mast is compromised?
the boat is a 33ft Pearson, 1974, 35HP Yanmar and inside is in great shape.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: 33ft pearson, 1974 soft spot at mast base

Check out this post. I would think cost will largely depend on the specific structural defects found.

Compression post sunk at the keel | Jeanneau Owners Network Forum
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Re: 33ft pearson, 1974 soft spot at mast base

Are you going to do this yourself or have a yard do the repairs? If the later, you are looking a big bill.
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Re: 33ft pearson, 1974 soft spot at mast base

thank you for the replies. the work would be done at a boat yard. I am looking to purchase the boat at a greatly reduced price but...not sure I want to take this on. I appreciate the info.
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Re: 33ft pearson, 1974 soft spot at mast base

get an estimate from the yard and have them do a full inspection before making and offer, you don't want to open that dreaded "can of worms"
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Re: 33ft pearson, 1974 soft spot at mast base

I don't think Pearson's have compression posts - I think the masts were generally keel stepped?

Anyway, much depends on where you are, and how much you want to do yourself. I would call a couple of local boatyards and ask them.

It could be a fairly straightforward job; the risk is that when they start on the work, more ugliness appears. However, I have a friend who has recently had this done and it was not too expensive (a couple of thousand as I recall). But bear in mind that the repair is likely to cause cosmetic damage; the top deck will probably have to be painted to conceal the repair.

Typical process:
1) haul the boat.
2) Pull the mast (while you are at it, repair mast/standing rigging, maybe upgrade)
3) Cut the deck a few feet out from the damaged area - remove the "skin"
4) Inspect, remove rotted plywood (likely, Pearson used a lot of ply), make good where neededl.
5) Glue in new ply, fill voids.
6) Glue back "skin".
7) Fix cosmetic damage, restep mast, launch.

One of the biggest issues is the "while it is out" expense. As in "While the boat is out, you may as well repaint the bottom". "While the mast is down, you may as well replace the bulbs with LEDs", etc etc. While many of these points have merit, it often results in the final bill being twice (or more!) as much as you expect.

So call the yards, get a quick estimate of time and cost. Double the cost, triple the time. Honestly. Then if the whole deal makes sense, go for it. Oh, by the way, make sure your great boat purchase price includes the full estimate of repairs, plus a further discount representing the risk (that something else ugly turns up during the work) and inconvenience you are taking on. And be aware that 75% of buyers would walk, so it should be pretty cheap!!

I'm not saying don't do it - I am saying go into it with realistic expectations. Good luck.
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Re: 33ft pearson, 1974 soft spot at mast base

thank you for the steps and insight to hidden repairs. I will call some local yards and get some estimates.
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Re: 33ft pearson, 1974 soft spot at mast base

Pearson's made around that time in fact have compression posts. The mast is stepped on the cabin/coach top, with a compression post underneath running to a fiberglass encapsulated oak block which sits on the keel. It is usually this oak block that is the problem. over the course of 30 plus years it deteriorates. It's hard to get to. On the Pearsons I've looked at the compression post is built into one of the bulkheads. How much money? I read an article posted to a Pearson's 35 owner's group where on owner did it himself. Looked involved! But, the good news is it is a fixable problem. And, one that at this point, can be negotiated into the price.

A way to to an eyeball inspection to see if the boat has this problem is to check how the doors open and close. If the doors are out of plumb there must be a reason. Nxt look at the cabin roof to see if it's deformed.

Last edited by TJC45; 09-01-2013 at 10:09 AM.
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