This past summer I spent 4 days sailing an older Pearson 30. I was very impressed with how the Pearson 30 sailed.
They are exceptionally well-behaved boats. Ours, with the rig properly-tuned, pretty much sails herself. Even in 15 kts, with a #1, full main and a crew of only two, was well-mannered once I got things set properly.
It had a tiller (I don't like tillers) that took up a lot of room in the cockpit,
That they do. The helmsman ends-up easily w/in reach of the cabin bulkhead. Works out well for single- and double-handing, but guests are relegated to the back corners of the cockpit or somewhere forward.
but boy did that boat go.
That they can
. Ours allegedly never lost a race at the club where she was before we bought her.
The inside was very plain and not very big.
The cabin interior is sparse. That was a plus, for us. Both my wife and I like neat and clean, and the P30's cabin is very easy in that respect. As to size: For a 30' boat with only 9'6" on the beam, she's got more room down there than you'd think. We've yet to have a visitor that wasn't surprised by the amount of room we have down there.
That being said: I don't know about the P30 as a live-aboard boat. I guess it's a matter of what you need. I suppose I'd be able to do it as a single man. Would have to find someplace to install a refrigerator, water-heater, small oven, I guess, and a microwave. You'd definitely want to convert to propane for the cooking. There's no shower, but I suppose the head could be re-fitted for one. (You'd have to do something about the faux wood in there, tho.) You'd want to pressurize the fresh water system. I'm in the north, so I'd have to add something for heating her.
I guess if you want a boat to live aboard that sails, perhaps the Pearson P30 isn't for you. But if you want a boat that sails that you can live aboard, I imagine it could be done.