Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Southern California
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I think I can truly understand your situation and what kind of a boat you are looking for. I have a 9 yr. old daughter and safety is a BIG concern for me and my family. AND, I own a 1977 Pearson 30. I sail off of LA and Long Beach Harbor in California where the Westerly winds in the summer are routinely 15-20kts. I've also experience a 45 kt. Santa Ana "Wind Event" that came out of nowhere. I've sailed to Catalina twice (about 25 miles of open water) in 20-25kts of wind with 5-7 foot swells. The Pearson 30 is a VERY good boat. It will handle a lot more than we would ever care to. It's more than a 1/4" of hand laid glass on the hull. It's got a fairly deep keel and good amount of ballast for her size that will keep you tracking just fine, even in a breeze. She is a VERY nimble boat and will do exactly what you want it to do. She points better than ANY boat I have been on (Catalina, Columbia, Hunter, Oday) and will beat the pants off of a lot of other boats her size. Just last Saturday in 15 kts apparent I was going to weather with 7 kts of true boat speed WITH A 95% JIB!!
She IS tippy and will heel on you, but this boat also has the LEAST amount of weather helm than any boat I've ever experienced. If the heel is too much for your family, you can always reef or even dump the main (is happy on just headsail alone) and you'll be more than comfortable. I replaced all through hulls on mine with ball valve sea cocks and backing plates. I did this just because they had never been replaced. Depending on what year you look at (the later P30's didn't have this problem) but there was a problem with their aluminum rudder bearings on the earlier models. Otherwise, whatever the surveyor says (which I STRONGLY recommend doing). Don't let one badly kept up P30, turn you off from this WONDERFUL boat.
If you do decide on the P30 (the interior room of which will be FINE for your family) you will love the way she sails and will be very proud to own her. Even when I sail on these sllek, modern boats, as nice as they are, I still love my Pearson 30. I've put a LOT into mine, just because I don't feel like having any other boat.