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Pearson 424, singlehanded?
Is this boat too burdensome to sail shorthanded?
I've logged several years 'daysailing' boats up to 34' and occasionally crewing on larger. Last summer we started shopping for '38 footers' as the logical move up -- 38' Morgan, 38' Sabre, 38' Bristol -- for cruising Eastern L.I. Sound to Maine.
After seeing positive posts, I crawled around a local Pearson 424 and really liked the unconventional layout. It appears ideal for my wife and two daughters. I like the boat's lines and also the comfortable cockpit.
I've sailed for fun, most of my life, but on boats under 12,000lbs disp. As a sailor, I'd classify myself as comfortable and competent; but not expert.
My experience in larger fishing vessels is pretty extensive, something I mention only to note that I'm not intimidated by the general size of the Pearson. Although I'll probably sail off a mooring, docking and undocking doesn't trouble me especially.
But I do wonder if I'd begin to find a boat this size too much of a burden to sail. My 'crew' is capable, but not everpresent. I also like sailing solo and taking out novices, which I'm not sure is realistic with a boat this size.
So, is this boat too big or will it 'shrink' with familiarity?
Was I 'on a better track' thinking incrementally to 38'ish? Or, is 38' too big? Your comments, suggestions or any thoughts on the Pearson 424 would be much appreciated.