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  #1  
Old 02-05-2002
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When you refer to Benahuntalinas, do you include Pearsons (''85 - present)in the same class as relates to hull construction and hardware?
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Old 02-05-2002
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The term (not coined by me but I like it a lot) refers to mediocre production boats designed and manufactured by Beneteau, Hunter and Catalina. Even if Pearson were in business today they would not be included in this motley group. IMMHO
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Old 02-05-2002
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Denr

We are seriousely considering a late 90''s Pearson 36. I know several Pearson owners and they are very pleased with their boats.
We will be cruising the east coast, Bahamas and eventually into the VI''s. From everything I have heard this boats would be well suited. Do you concur?
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Old 02-05-2002
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I meant to say late 80''s, not 90
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Old 02-05-2002
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In their day, Pearson built boats of a wide range in quality. Some like the Flyer or Lark were not as well built as the First series Beneteaus. Others like the Pearson 26 or 30 (while nice boats for the dollar and boats that I personally like) had a build quality pretty much on a par with present day Hunters or Beneteau Firsts and perhaps a notch above present day Catalinas.

Pearson built a number of 36 footers during the 1980''s. In the early 1980''s the built a nice looking cutter that seemed to be a good cruising boat but a little on the heavy side. In the mid-1980''s Pearson built a IOR based 36 footer which was also sold as the Pearson 37. I have always liked these boats.

In the mid to late 1980''s Pearson designed and built a coastal cruiser that was a smaller version of the Pearson 39. I never thought much of the Pearson 36 of that series. They were a bit tender and really not up to the build quality of earlier Pearsons. A surveyor friend once came back from surveying a brand new Pearson 36 (or its immeadiate replacement the Pearson 37 (not to be mistaken for the earlier 36/37) which was an extended transom version of the 36). His opening comment was "Boy is Pearson going downhill". Near the end, Pearson was trying to jazz its image. It produced boats with lots of glitz but lacking in some of the solid virtues that was the foundation of Pearson in the early 1980''s.

Jeff
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Old 02-05-2002
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Have to agree with JeffH on the P37. Seemed pretty solid & stayed put together well in the spinnaker & full main broach we did in one Chicago-Mackinac race. (Those old IOR designs can do some funky things dead downwind in a 30 knot breeze with a lumpy cross sea. Following the broach we ran into an hour''s dead calm which ended with a full-blown 50knot thundersquall with hail (about a half inch on deck before it all blew off in the first gust)that pushed us easily to eight knots with a triple-reefed main. Comfortable and sensible down below too, with enough storage for gear and food for the crew.
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Old 02-06-2002
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I''ll give a different perspective to late ''80''s Pearson''s from that of Jeff, but first my biases. I have owned since new a 1989 Pearson 27. I currently am the Vice Commodore of the Pearson Sailing Association on the Chesapeake Bay. I also wrote a history of Pearson Yachts for Good Old Boat magazine a couple of years ago. While I have never met him in the flesh, I talk to Bill Shaw, the designer of the boat you''re looking at, on pretty regular basis for input on other articles I write.

Saying that Pearson build quality fell off in the late ''80''s is no doubt true. But it''s also true of just about every other boat manufacturer at that time. I can remember sitting on a Sabre at the Annapolis show the same year I bought my Pearson discussing the "cheapened" construction of Sabres with another fellow. Just an observation. Late ''80''s Pearsons are still fine boats with few inherent problems.

Pearson redesigned its entire line in the mid-80''s, going with a rather distinctive cabin top and sheerline look for all its boats. That''s also when Pearson started using winged keels extensively. It offered the 36, a 37, and towards the very end a 38 that no doubt all shared a common hull design. Certainly the dimensions for all of them are either the same or very close. I do know the 38 is the 36 with a scoop stern.

That 36 is one fine boat and would be a great choice for what you want to do. If you''d like, I can put you in contact with some other 36 owners so that you can talk to them directly about the good and bad points of that boat. It''s roomy for a 36 for one thing. The secretary/treasurer of our organization lives on one.

The 37 Jeff brought up is an interesting boat, very different from the other models in the line. It was the direct result of owner and dealer input for what they wanted in an all out luxury cruiser. The dealers called it "The Condo Boat." It made quite a stir at the Annapolis show the year it came out, setting the standard for a luxury production cruiser at the time.

In short, Pearson made a very honest boat right to the end. They are sound, solid and generally sail well. While not a Morris Yacht in quality, they definitely are several cuts above the Benehuntalinas that seem to captivate so many. It''s a shame Pearson went out of business because it''s very hard to find a boat manufacturer today that fills that niche. The under 35 foot market is dominated by the Big Three, and most anything 35 feet and over comparable to a Pearson costs a small fortune. You have to look at European boats for that mid-price range these days,and that''s a whole different discussion.
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Before all of you "holier than thou" pearson owners get too quick to critisize low cost boats,just remember the most important part of any boat is the nut that holds the wheel.
Those low cost boats have been to all the same harbors you have,without falling apart.
Marc
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Old 02-07-2002
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Marc,

I didn''t mean to offend anyone with my post, and you make a very valid point. I agree with you completely. I also know that lots of folks out there don''t agree with my assessment of the quality of Pearson''s compared to the others. that''s why I stated my biases up front. There''s also one other good point to be made about Hunter, Catalina and Beneteau -- they had to be doing something right to stay in business all these years, something Pearson couldn''t figure out how to do.
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Old 02-07-2002
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Gentlemen,
There are valid arguments on both sides of the equation.But one must understand that like everything else in life you get what you pay for.It does not matter if Pearson is still in the business or not but Pearson owners are still getting good second hand value out of their boats.Whereas Benehuntalinas are flooding the market with ex-charter boats or second hand boats with lower prices with great losses realized by their owners.
Everybody should understand that these boats are run of the mill boats that are produced in thousands all over the world.They are mediocre at their best and not intended to claim superiority over other brands.Their main objective is to sell as much boats as they can, to the common boat buyer.If you look at the Benehuntalina displays at the boat shows you will see a lot of people who are interested with the interior of the boat rather than anything else such as rigging,wiring,engine access,sails,performance or construction details for that matter.These boats are being judge at the dock not heeling with 20 knots of wind.Some of them have cockpits so wide, god forbit if they flood there is no way you can save the boat from sinking.most of them has dangerous and insufficient main traveler arrengemets in order to free the cockpit area...The list can go on .....
But I have to admit they know what the common boat buyer wants and they are confortable at the dock.And please don''t come up with: but they sail all around the world argument because people sailed dingies across the oceans but that is not their intended use...
Fair Winds...
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