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  #11  
Old 02-02-2011
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Pearson 323 opinion

I own a Pearson 323 and can give you some of my own opinions with the caveat that most owners love their boats! My boat was purchased almost 4 years ago, trading from a Catalina 30. Also bear in mind that many of my comparisons are to the C-30. Finally, I am a fair weather cruiser and not a racer so you have to keep that in mind as well.

*I like the extra weight (12,800 displacement). It doesn't bob around like a cork.
*The cockpit is fairly large compared to most other boats of its size and age.
*I like the skeg rudder and shoal draft.
*The bulwarks in the bow keep things a bit drier and add some security to my family and guests
*The main sail/boom is on the small side. This is a great benefit to a novice. It is a lot less cumbersome, and easier to handle.
*The walk through head is large compared to most boats of this size. Some folks may not like the walk through feature though.
*The V-berth is fairly large and comfortable. Head room is high.
*The Bridge deck provides for extra deck seating. Yes, some like it for other reasons but I am a fair weather cruiser. -- The down side to the bridge deck is that the companionway steps are deep - Not that easy for little kids.
*Most of the hardware on this boat is fairly stout.
*Large anchor locker
*Offset companionway -guests don't have to get out of the way for someone to get through.
I could go on and on with the pros. Here are a few cons:

*Sleeping five is tight.
*Bilge is so deep that I can't reach the bottom to clean it.
*Engine is so deep that I need to be a contortionist to change the impeller
*If you have a dodger, it is a bit difficult to duck under the dodger and over the bridge deck to get down the companionway.
*Some say that the boat is slow and doesn't point well - It meets my needs and seems to be much faster than my C-30.

My first reaction to the price of the boat that you are looking at: It must need a lot of work? The boat that I see listed at $17,000 on Yachtworld looks nicer than some of the others listed for more, but there are no details at all on the listing. Follow Dog's advice!!

You mention that you don't want a lot of brightwork. The P-323s have teak toe rails and most have the optional teak combing caps. I spent 25 hours this past summer refinishing mine!

One of the reasons that I chose my boat over a few others is that it had $32,000 in prior invoices dating only a few years back (engine repower, deck recore, mast/boom repaint, water heater, furler, dodger to name a few). It surveyed great by a Bozo of a surveyor from Cape Cod. It turns out that he missed a ton of problems (most of which were due to poor workmanship by the Marina that had done the previous work). I take partial blame for the bad survey. Did I say follow Dog's advice??? Now that the money has been spent, I wouldn't go back.

If you get closer, feel free to PM with questions.

By the way, I forgot the most important Pro of the P-323 -
The Admiral loves it!!!!!

Mike
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2011
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There is a CD33 not too far away that I am interested in seeing. Those boats definitely have their appeal. The CD33 has a PHRF of 186, the 383, 180, and the T33, 156. I forget the area these figures are from, but they'll give an okay idea of relative speed. A broker is trying to get me to look at an Island Packet 31 - just "reduced" to 49K! - and that's a 195. Out of my league, I'm afraid. He says it'll "move fast" at that price. I've learned late in life that no one likes a smart aleck, so I didn't say, "With a PHRF of 195, that'd be the first time!"

John
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2011
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As a fellow Pearson owner, I would pick the Tartan over the Pearson 323. You could also look at a Pearson 34, Sabre 34, Pearson 10M. The Pearson is a decent boat and well put together, but IMHO, Pearson tried to do too much in this boat. The cockpit is huge (8') for a boat this size, but it makes below deck tight. I don't get the permanent table, which takes up a ton of room, for aboat this size, I'd prefer a fold up table. There is an anchor locker and full sized v-berth. Lot's of nook and cranny storage in this boat, but nook and cranny storage takes up space, as does a large cockpit, full galley, etc. I never did like a walk-through head, but to each his own. The walk-through head is a results of all the other things that take space.

In my opinion, Pearson tried to cram the insides of a Pearsn 34 in to a 32 foot boat.

I don't mean to sound harsh, and if I come across that way, my apologies. I think either boat would be good, but the Tartan is faster and probably more roomy than the P323. Rest assured both are built like tanks and can take you most places in comfort.

In the end though, it's your boat, you've got to be happy with it. Every time I step onto mine, that big grin comes to my face. Yours has to do that too. Also make sure you get a boat that is structurally sound and passes a marine survey. Every boat has issues, but if they're major, it can more costly to fix than the actual boat price or for one that is in much better shape.

DrB
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2011
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I want to reply to what Mike has posted, point by point. I hope this makes sense. I'll try to bold face his original text.

*I like the extra weight (12,800 displacement). It doesn't bob around like a cork.

I suspect I'd prefer heavier over lighter, too. The wife as well.

*The cockpit is fairly large compared to most other boats of its size and age.

Can you nap in it, stretched out? I'm 5' 10", or at least was until recently.

*I like the skeg rudder and shoal draft.

Good for the Chesapeake in particular, I'd think.

*The bulwarks in the bow keep things a bit drier and add some security to my family and guests

Dry and secure is good. They'll be a nervous bunch with me at the helm!

*The main sail/boom is on the small side. This is a great benefit to a novice. It is a lot less cumbersome, and easier to handle.

I hope to gain enough experience to be a "novice" someday!

*The walk through head is large compared to most boats of this size. Some folks may not like the walk through feature though.

If I've been using it, it'll be a "sprint through" feature.

*The V-berth is fairly large and comfortable. Head room is high.


We're fairly large and comfortable people, so another plus.

*The Bridge deck provides for extra deck seating. Yes, some like it for other reasons but I am a fair weather cruiser. -- The down side to the bridge deck is that the companionway steps are deep - Not that easy for little kids.

I don't think the T33 has what you could reasonably call much of a bridge deck, and that has me concerned a bit. I guess folks just leave one or more of the companionway pieces in place if they're worried about getting pooped.

*Most of the hardware on this boat is fairly stout.

stout is what I want - grounding-proof would be even better!

*Large anchor locker

I noted there was no anchor locker on the Tartan.

Your cons are not major ones for me, other than engine access. One of the things that drew me to the Tartan 34C was the unbelievable engine access. I do like to tinker and do maintenance work, but I'm only liable to do that if it's not miserable work. A recent MRI showed me that I am somewhat claustrophobic and that, combined with the general stiffness of a 60 year old, trifocals, etc., mean that access to things that need routine servicing should be pretty good. The T33 has good access, although you have to climb into the enormous lazarette to take advantage of it.

My first reaction to the price of the boat that you are looking at: It must need a lot of work? The boat that I see listed at $17,000 on Yachtworld looks nicer than some of the others listed for more, but there are no details at all on the listing. Follow Dog's advice!!


It probably is too cheap to be any good, but hope springs eternal! I'm not too keen on the gas generator strapped to the deck. I wonder how things look under it.

I'll get lots of pictures and post them on the web after this weekend, to see if you have any particular comments.

I think we'd really like a 323, if we found a nice one. Or the T33. Or the CD33!

You mention that you don't want a lot of brightwork. The P-323s have teak toe rails and most have the optional teak combing caps. I spent 25 hours this past summer refinishing mine!

The toe rails on the T33 are aluminum, so I think about the only teak is the hand rails and the area around the companionway. I should've shown the wife the Cheoy Lee. That would've softened her up to just about anything else!

John
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2011
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Bugbitten—

Just remember—YOU WANT A GOOD BOAT AT A GOOD PRICE. Getting a cheap boat is often far more expensive than getting a good boat at a good price, even if they are the exact same make/model. Refitting/refurbishing a boat generally is far more expensive than the price difference of buying the same exact model in better condition to begin with. When you're refitting a 35' boat, you are usually paying NEW 35' BOAT PRICES for the gear you're getting. If the previous owner did the refitting, you're getting the same gear at pennies on the dollar.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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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  #16  
Old 02-04-2011
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Thanks, Sailing Dog, and all, for the great advice. I do intend to get the moisture meter, but won't have it in time for this weekend's trip to see the second T33 and the first 323. There do seem to have been some changes in prices and in the meter lineup (mostly shifting to LCD readouts, instead of the analog meter). Here's the current pricing (note that the Canadians are now selling the digital GRP meter). I think there might be some variations in which meters come with cases and the like, but you still definitely save money going Canadian.

Model CT33 (Pinless analog, 0% - 30%). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .199
Model CT100 (Pinless digital, 0% - 30%, electronic species). . . .225
Model CT808 (Pinless microprocessor, 0% - 99%, species +). . . . .277
Model CT828 (CT808 plus Remote Sensor, 1.5 inch depth sensing) . .366
Model CT858 (CT828 with Mini Sensor, LCD light, audible alarm) . .425

Model GRP200 (Pinless marine digital, fiberglass, 1.5 inch) . . 295
Model GRP200S (Optional plug-in remote sensor for GRP200) . . . 88

Calibration Plate (for pinless models) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Small Soft Padded Case For MT90/110/270, CT33, CT100 . . . . INQUIRE
Medium Soft Padded Case For MT700/808, CT808, CMT-908, GRP200 . . 36
Large Soft Padded Case For CT828, CT858, GRP200+GRP200S . . . . . 48
Hard-Shell Carrying Case (for CT828, CT858, & GRP200+200S) . . . . 66

Shipping via Canada Post Expedited parcel (typical 10 days) . . . 15
Shipping via Canada Post Expresspost (typical 5 days). . . . . . . 25

JR Overseas is selling the GRP 33 now for $325, and the GRP 200 for $359.

I didn't look at their shipping.

Thanks again.

Bugbitten

Last edited by bugbitten; 02-04-2011 at 02:56 AM.
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2011
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Bug--

Get the CT33 with the calibration plate. Buying one of the others is just spending money you don't need to spend.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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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  #18  
Old 02-04-2011
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Note they have an ebay store with lower prices. Selection they have up varies, but send them an inquiry if you don't see what you want.
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Old 02-04-2011
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Info

Hey,

Just some random thoughts for you to consider (or not):
  • I'm pretty confident that the 323 for $17k is going to be junk. All the red flags are there - low price, owner moved away, entertaining all offers, etc. Take a look if you are going to be in the area, but don't seriously expect to buy that boat. As you have heard before, you want to buy something that you can sail now, not a project.
  • Unless you really know what you are doing, I would forget about buying a moisture meter. Do read all the information on this site about inspecting a boat. If you do find a boat that you like and appears to be in decent shape, then do the full inspection. If things appear in order then hire a surveyor and pay him for his knowledge. Just because a moisture meter may find water in a few spots in one boat and less in another boat doesn't really mean anything.
  • Do consider the boat and gear as a package, but also be sure to only include items that are valuable to you. New sails are a major plus, but a boat that was raced (many T33's have been) and comes with 3 spinnakers won't be of value to you. If you will aboard for a week or so, refrigeration is valuable, and installing a new one is big $$.
  • Try and find a good broker. Speak to lots of them and you'll see what I mean. Then listen to the broker. He will know a lot about boats. If he listens to you and knows what is important to you, he can find lots of boats that will meet your needs. There probably are a few other models out there besides Tartan and Pearson that would work for you.
  • Your goal should be to get a great boat at a good price. Not a questionable boat at a great price.
Good luck,
Barry
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  #20  
Old 02-06-2011
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Folks,

I'm back from the trip to see the T33 and the P323. I may post a separate note about this in a new thread, but thought I should put an update here, first.

The T33 appears to be in beautiful shape, inside and out. It was out of the water, so I was able to look over the hull. No signs of blistering or hard groundings, etc., as least to these inexperienced eyes. None of the moisture damage around the base of the salon ports that the other T33 I looked at had. The ice box has been converted to a fridge; unfortunately, the stove and oven were removed to put in a hot plate and microwave. (One of the marina guys said he had the alcohol stove and oven from his Bristol 35 he'd let me have, for what that's worth.)

The P323 was something of a cosmetic mess. In the water, lots of growth on the hull, the above decks teak, especially the rub/toe rail, was rough, with some of it needing to be replaced. Oddly, I liked the interior layout, but all the cushions would have to be replaced.

I've got pictures I'll try to upload to a separate web page, along with additional details, but I need some advice as I feel I may need to make a quick offer on the T33.

It was originally offered at 29K, was dropped to 22, and is now owned by the bank after bankruptcy proceedings. I don't have to feel too guilty if I make a very low offer to the bank, do I? Any thoughts on where you'd start, contingent on a survey?

Bugbitten

Last edited by bugbitten; 02-06-2011 at 06:10 PM.
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