If you're looking at it as a long term project and an opportunity to learn with no expectation of ever getting what you put in it out, an abandoned boat can be an option. My first boat was a charity case Clipper Marine 26 I paid for. Unfortunately, I overestimated the amount of work, time and distance to travel to the boatyard to do work. I ultimately paid someone to haul it away after years of fees and lack of progress.
I did apply those lessons to my C-27 and even then it was a lot of work and she wasn't even a project boat. Still required a lot of work.
The only way I would do again is with no set schedule and with the boat accessible. I recommend picking up a copy of "This Old Boat" by Don Casey to get a sense of what you're getting into.
Patience is the hardest part of such work. After the excitement and novelty wears off it can become a grind. If you do go down this path, set realistic goals and break it down into small projects so you can see progress, have a sense of accomplishment and encourage you to continue.
Don't limit yourself to Pearsons unless you love them. Lots of boats out there with potential.
SV South Paw
2000 Hunter 340
South River, MD