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post #1 of 21 Old 01-17-2010 Thread Starter
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Question Looking at a Pearson 303

I have my eye on a 1983 Pearson 303. I am soliciting opinions/ideas/thoughts on this particular boat as well as any other brands/sizes that people might suggest. Also, what should one expect to pay for a boat like this (assuming it's in almost turn-key condition)?

I also looked at a 1976 sabre 28 and it was too small inside as well as a 1987 O'day and it was trashed and cheap looking.

Mission:
90-95% day sailing with wife, 3 year-old and friends/family
5% 3-5 day sails around the east coast.
5% 1-4 day sails around the immediate area.

Wants/needs:
28-32 ft
fiberglass hull
late 70's early 80's
diesel inboard engine
shower
hot water heater
autopilot
newer sails..what do those cost anyway?!?
GPS
shore power
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-17-2010
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I'd point out that if you mean a separate shower, rather than a shower that uses the head compartment, you're probably going to be rather disappointed, as most boats in that size range do not offer a separate shower, especially considering the vintage of boats you're looking at.

Part of what boat you should get really depends on what kind of sailing you're going to be doing with it and where you're going to be sailing. Good boats, given what you've posted as your mission would include:

O'Day 302
Tartan 30
Pearson 30
Cherubini Hunter 27, 30, 33

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post #3 of 21 Old 01-17-2010 Thread Starter
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Naw, the shower incorporated into the head is fine with me....really meant for rinsing off the salt.

I thought that Hunter boats were mostly flimsy crap? Where I live, many people seem to speak disparagingly about hunter boats; please tell me your thoughts as to that inclusion in the list.
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-17-2010
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You might want to give us some idea as to your budget.
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-17-2010
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While some Hunters had serious structural issues and were not the best sailing designs, the Cherubini designed Hunters are generally well regarded.

Giving an idea of what your budget is would help, since some boats are far more expensive than others. Also, I highly recommend that you reserve about 15-20% of your purchasing budget for upgrading, repairing, refitting the boat to suit the way you will use the boat.

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Naw, the shower incorporated into the head is fine with me....really meant for rinsing off the salt.

I thought that Hunter boats were mostly flimsy crap? Where I live, many people seem to speak disparagingly about hunter boats; please tell me your thoughts as to that inclusion in the list.

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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #6 of 21 Old 01-17-2010 Thread Starter
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Budget: $15k to $30k...as the asking price. Final price needs to be less than $25k; and in this market/economy, i think it's do-able.

And, thanks for the ideas so far. I looked up the Cherubini-designed hunters and they look nice!
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-17-2010
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I'd look at Catalina 30's. Lots of room and easily doable with your budget.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-17-2010
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Not sure if you're against a slightly larger boat, but at $25k you can find some 34' Tartans vintage 1970's and also some 35' Pearsons same vintage both solid built boats. Both centerboarders with draft around 4' board up... not sure if you care about the draft. But I'm in the same boat as you price range and that's what I'm looking for. Might as well get as much boat as you can for your price range and like you said in this market some people are giving away their boats... depends on their situation, but there are some deals to be had out there. Happy hunting!
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-18-2010
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The Pearson 303 you are looking at is actually a decent choice given your criteria. It replaced the Pearson 30 and is definitely on the cruising (vs racing) end of the spectrum. Pearson built good boats - a cut above the Catalinas and Hunters of the era.
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-18-2010 Thread Starter
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Size-wise, I think I want to stay at 32 feet or less since the costs for storage in the winter seem to rise exponentially with an increase in length. Also, although i have sailed larger boats before, it's been a while since I have sailed anything and 28-32 feet seems manageable to me for a "first" boat.
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