Does this boat have value, Pearson 35 - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-10-2010
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Does this boat have value, Pearson 35

I am looking at a boat and wanted to get thoughts and opinions of others.

First let me tell you what I am looking for. A boat about 40' that I can spend the next 6-8 months working on and then live aboard for awhile. I would like to make short weekend sails and have friends aboard. I would like to find a boat that I could keep for a long time and would be well suited for off shore sailing but realistically I don’t see myself crossing any oceans.

So the boat I have found is a 1970 Pearson 35. When the owner first told me about the boat and what it had I was impressed. Furling main, electric windlass, autopilot 25 hp diesel. But after seeing the boat I have doubts that any of these items are usable. The first thing I noticed was the missing mast. The owner said that it had broke free and drifted into a marsh and got snagged on a tree 6 years ago. He found a replacement mast but has not fitted it to the boat. The replacement mast has an in mast furler. To me it looks like this mast may or may not work on this boat. Most of the hardware for the original mast is there but may or may not be useable. Also the furler may or may not work and would require a special sail to make it work. he has a furling head sail and a fairly new head sail that may or may not go on the furler. Who knows.

The next thing is that when they pulled the boat out of the marsh they destroyed the bow pulpit and most of the life line stanchions.

The motor he said was rebuilt just before the marsh incident and he motored to where it is now but now the motor is locked up. the motor is a universal 25hp diesel.

The hull felt very solid but rough. what paint was left was very rough to the touch. I don't think the current owner has ever hauled it out so the bottom condition is unknown. Any damage from being dragged out of the marsh is unknown.

The interior was basic and usable after a major cleaning. The floor felt solid. I opened one of the floor boards and the bilge was full of water to just a few inches below the floor.

So what do you think is this a worth while boat or is it better suited for the landfill.

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Old 06-10-2010
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Is he paying you to take it away? I have 1980 P-35 and I (as most boat owners do) love my boat. However, I can't imagine taking on a project boat like this. If you do want to go forward with this boat there is a great P-35 owners website (Pearson35.com) that will give you plenty of guidance on repairs, finding parts, etc.) Also, check to make sure the centerboard is serviceable as that could be another big cash (or time) outlay.

The P-35 has a small interior for a 35' boat. It's LWL is only 25' and the beam is only 10'. It is a very sturdy boat but the cockpit is too large to be a bluewater boat, but an asset for hanging out and coastal cruising.
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Old 06-10-2010
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Don't walk... Run from that boat. You will spend many times more in restoration cost than that boat is worth. It probably sank and caused the motor to freeze due to the saltwater getting in. You can find large numbers of boats in need of moderate restoration at marinas most anywhere. Just go to the harbormaster and ask them for their list of lien sale boats. If you see one that might fit your needs ask him to take a look at it. Depending on how the particular marina handles the lien sale you would either submit a sealed bid, go to an auction, or just pay the amount owed on the slip fees.

If you don't know much about boats; particularly sailboats, you might be better off buying a well kept used boat.
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Old 06-10-2010
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The P 35 is a GREAT boat. They have a cult following, and there are people out there that specifically look for them. In bristol condition, she could be worth ~$35K (although you could easily spend $45K getting her there)

This one IS a project. There are a lot of variables to take into account (engine, transmission, hull, decks, running rigging, winches, all the standing rigging will have to be redone to suit what ever mast you find, sails, etc.)

Here is my FREE advice - and the advice may be worth less than you paid for it:

If the guy is offering it to you for free, and you have the time and some skill - I'd take it. It would be a great learning experience.

If he is planning to charge you over $2K, - I would tell him "enjoy your boat mister."

Anything between $0 and $2K is a roll of the dice.

Last edited by eherlihy; 06-10-2010 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 06-10-2010
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they are good boats, but I would look at what similar Pearsons are going for...

then IF you have the knowledge, time and $$$ to do the work yourself, get her surveyed...now with survey in hand, add up all the work that needs to be done and add another 25-30% - if that is less than what a similar boat is currently being sold for...you have a project.

IF you can not do the work yourself and will be using someone else, then walk...finding/fitting the mast and the labor for the major rigging will be more than the boat is worth..
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Old 06-10-2010
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I'm sure a well kept P-35 is a great boat; but this one may have more wrong with it than what has been disclosed (and that's a huge list already). You could easily put 30k into that boat and still not gotten to any of the problems that were not known or disclosed.

If you are a Pearson collector or love boat restoration it might be a good project. If you are not so particular about the boat you are buying then it is a boat that you should pass on.

I agree on your comment that it should either be free or damn close to free.
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Old 06-10-2010
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Even if he gave it away there would be some pretty hefty up front cost. The owner also owns the marina where the boat is. This is a very small marina with only about 10 slips. he does not have a lift. If someone was going to move this boat it would have to be towed to another marina with a lift or hire a crane to lift it out of the water. Either way I would guess that would be over $1000. Then you are going to put it on a truck and haul it 100+ miles. I would guess that is going to be another grand. When you get it to where your going your going to need stands to set it on. I would guess 3-4k to have a boat hauled out and transported. Does that sound about right.

This is the first boat this size I have looked at so I don't intend on getting the first one. I want to find something by this fall. and have the winter to work on it.

here is another pic from a little further away.

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Old 06-10-2010
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You forgot about a crane to get the boat off of the truck trailer. In addition your estimate for haul out and transport might be low you could be looking at 4-6k for that; double it because you will want to go back in the water. So say 10k just to get it to your work location and back to the water. Add rigging, stepping mast pre-launch, replacing engine, stanchions, pulpit, sails, and a bottom job. You could easily be over 40k in refit expenses. This boat is not worth that much. The seller is trying to rid himself of it so he can earn 10% more in slip fees (which is huge for a small marina).

I think you are better off waiting for a better "fixer" than diving in on this one. If you do you might dive in and never come back up.
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Old 06-10-2010
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While I tend to say run....

from boats like these, this may not be as bad as it seems.
  • You need to go look at the mast. If it looks good (Straight) and is the right dimensions (height and diameter) it should be ok. Even if it is not, your looking at $7K for a new one with rigging. Guessing on that, but it will be in that range.
  • The motor is iffy. If you can get a diesel guy to look at it for a $100 or so, they can tell you if it is salvagable. Does it turn over now or is it totally siezed. A new motor will be $7K for install.
  • Hauling and inspecting it will be around $1100. Maybe another $600 to truck it.

So if you had to replace the mast, motor and get an inspection/move it, your looking at $16 to 18K ish.

Water in the bilge is a concern, but it could be from rain and sitting for a long period of time. If the decks check out fine, a little elbow grease on the insides can make this boat nice.

If the guy is giving it away, ask yourself if it's worth spending $1500 or so for a haul and survey and engine check. If your willing to do that, it could be a great find.

If you really think the boat is for you, hire a surveyor for a looksey at the whole boat, the mast and motor. for $500 or so they'll be able to tell you what the overall condition is. If it appears to be sound after the inspection, it may be worth it to move forward.
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I don't want to sound like I am set on this boat. In fact I have arranged to look at a Tartan 30 this weekend. As I board more boats it will put this boat in perspective.

There are a few more things to say about this one. First the two masts were laying on the ground and weeds had grown up around them, making it hard to really see what was going on. they looked to be about the same size. the new mast is longer then the old one according to the owner but I had know way of knowing as the original mast was cut in half. As most of you know this boat has a deck stepped mast. I really don't know much about this but it appeared that there is kind of a socket on the deck and then mating part on the bottom of the mast. This would have to be fit to the new mast. If it did not directly fit maybe an adaptor would be made. If the roller furl er could not be made to work the mast has a track for standard sails.

The hull was solid and plenty of sand paper and new paint would do a lot. I have painted boats before and would guess the cost to be around $500 for power tools and dust collector, $500 sanding disks and $2500 for primer, paint and brushes.

The underside of the hull is a big question. There is really no way to inspect this before putting quite a large sum of money out for a crane. so what can you expect of a hull that has been in the water for 6-8 years without any service.
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