SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Boat Review and Purchase Forum (
-   -   Islander 34 or Pearson 303 (

bassviking 03-31-2010 12:49 AM

Islander 34 or Pearson 303
Alright, after my trip to Southern California I've found two boats that I really like. I'd like to hear some opinions.

1976 Islander 34, Isuzu Pisces 27hp, Super Nice Interior, generally great condition from what I can tell, doesn't have an oven which is a bummer, Nice sized cockpit with lots of canvas to keep the sun at bay, electric windlass, going to need a better anchor and some more chain, tiller, needs mast paint, dry decks form what the meter showed, tiller pilot, radar, vhf, electric head, private sale. Asking 20K

1985 Pearson 303, Yanmar 13hp, Nice room for 30', also doesn't have an oven but doesn't have the space for one either, condition is ok, has an apparent issue with a leaky fuel filter that has left some diesel in the bilge, also a few small wet spots on the deck around a couple of fittings, asking $21,500, its on yachtworld here: 1985 Pearson 303 Sail Boat For Sale -

The plan is to live on the boat for 6 months of the year (from March to August) and be out of the country working for the other 6. I definitely want to be out and about at least a third of the time. A week or two every month. I definitely don't want to just sit and rot in a marina.

So please lets hear form the masses. Let me know what you think. If you have any advice on Surveyors or boat yards in the Ventura or Oxnard area I'd love to hear that as well.

Thanks in advance.

blt2ski 03-31-2010 01:06 AM

initial gut reaction is.....

You're considering the Pearson because why? more money, smaller, some rot in the decks, no room for an oven, leaking diesel lines..................

Just gut reaction.


bassviking 03-31-2010 01:07 PM

I guess the issue is basically that you have an unknown vs a known. The Islander 34 is something of an unknown. I haven't been able to find much of any information about them. I don't think there were many made and googling just doesn't come up with much. Same thing for the Isuzu Pisces engine. The Pearson 303 and Yanmar on the other hand have tons of information available. There is an easily researched track record. The small areas of moist deck around fitting is a well documented issue with Pearsons from that time frame. To me its something that enters into the negotiation and should bring that price down to an equtiable level. Same thing with the leaky Racor. Both are fixable issues.

I'm curious what the general opinion is on the "unknown" vs the "known".

krustyluv 03-31-2010 01:19 PM

I just bought a 1966 Islander 29 and love it--it has a replacement Yanmar 3gm30f, she sails sweet and is basically a tank--but hardly any info online--beware of leaking stanchions--they need to be re-bedded---also the rigging has been strapped to the sides eliminating chainplate leakage-I LOVE THIS BOAT!

COOL 03-31-2010 01:38 PM

If this is the Islander 34 with the short bow sprit,
then that is a very old design which was just a
reworking of the Islander 32 hull from 1963, with
a different deck and a longer 'J' to try to balance
the weather helm. The same hull was also built
as an I 33 with a different deck. They did a lot
of recycling of models in the early fiberglass boat
building era.
I would expect the Pearson to be the better sailing
boat of the two , especially upwind. But there are
many boats in this size and price range on the market
so you may want to search further.

NCountry 03-31-2010 01:52 PM

I can tell you that my 1981 Islander 30 has been an awesome boat. I to was a little skeptical of the Islander brand and was considering a Catalina 30. In retrospect after 6 years I'm glad I bought the Islander.

COOL 03-31-2010 03:19 PM


Originally Posted by NCountry (Post 587701)
I can tell you that my 1981 Islander 30 has been an awesome boat.

You will get no argument from me there,
the Finch designed Islander 30 is one the
most functional production sailboats to come out
of the '70s.

olson34 03-31-2010 07:01 PM

If you are in love with the "classic" look of the old Islander, go for it. Pending survey and appropriate pricing, of course. Pisces diesels were common on lots of 70's boats -- being marinized Isusu diesels, and very long-lived if maintained. Note that any search on this brand on the 'net will turn up sailors seeking parts... which is often a problem with really old engines.

The Pearson is a much more "modern" design and will have better resale value some day, and should be a better sailing boat, as well.

It is all about "Choices and options".



puddinlegs 03-31-2010 09:34 PM

With due respect to all the fans of Islanders, they aren't the model the OP is talking about. Your boats, no matter how good they are and how much you love them, aren't Islander 34s. Be careful not to let enthusiasm confuse the issue. Boat buying is a dish best served cold! :)

blt2ski 03-31-2010 09:57 PM

ISLANDER 34 Sailboat details on

That is a link I found with info for the islander 34. has a good history of the company, designs etc. There was an actual website at one time with mucho info, but that person no longer runs the site, altho many have tried to get the info from that person and restart the site.

With that in mind, being as this I34 is a full keel, it will be slower than the pearson, assuming the pearson is a fin keel. Islander generally speaking, folks like the boats. A good friend of mine has a peterson 40, quite quick for a 40' boat from the 70's.

BUT, with this all in mind, of the two, the few issues you described, I would still go for the Islander hands down. If the Pearson was the one with out the issues, the Islander had the wetdecks etc, then the Pearson would be the one to go after IMHO!

If you want quick, then there are some other boats from the 80's that will not be in as bad a shape assuming your description of the Pearson is correct, for about the same $$$ or maybe a bit more.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:28 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome