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genki 05-16-2011 11:10 AM

Pearson 26 thoughts ?
Hi All,

We are pretty much newbies with a couple of seasons of sailing rentals on Barnegat Bay New Jersey. We have completed Basic Keelboat with US Sailing a few years back and we want to move up to basic cruising.

We've seen a 1977 Pearson 26 for sale that looks to be in good shape and wondered how suitable that would be for long weekend cruising and the occasional week long cruise around the Long Island Sound. Would be great to make trips out to Montauk, is that possible?

We live in Queens and have never owned a boat so are also looking for a place to either moor or slip.

What do you think guys, are we crazy or would this work out ?

Originally I wanted a Sabre 28, the lady has convinced me that we should try to spend less, around 5k for our first boat and move up later to the Sabre or similar.

I guess I'm wondering how the Pearson holds up against the Catalina, O'Day and others that seem plentiful on Yacht world. It seems to have a better reputation than the others...

Thanks !

JimsCAL 05-16-2011 11:40 AM

Owned a Pearson 26 from 1979 to 1989. Wife and I cruised her every summer from Western Long Island Sound to points east including Block Island, Newport, Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod. So what you propose is definitely doable in a P26. There are lots of them around so don't get hung up on a particular one. The P26 has some well documented issues but in general is a well built boat for its vintage. For more comfortable cruising, something a little bigger would be nice. The outboard has its pluses and minuses. Less expensive to repair and replace, but not as good at pushing the boat in any kind of waves. An extra long shaft engine makes a big difference in keeping the prop in the water when pitching in rough seas.

Here's a good site for P26 info.

Pyxis - Pearson 26

Tim R. 05-16-2011 12:01 PM

The P26 is a great starter boat. They are well made and sail very well. I would rate them a point higher than the comparable Catalina or O'day for build quality and fit/finish. The website provided by Jim is a great place to find more info.

CalebD 05-16-2011 12:47 PM

Depending on where you live in Queens you could keep your boat at one of the south shore marinas (Sheepshead Bay area) or up on the north shore (Great Neck/Manhasset). I'd recommend you keep a boat as close as feasible. If you are at all near Steppingstone/Kings Point I would consider using it. Summer traffic on LI on the weekends can really ruin the relaxation achieved from a nice sail.

genki 05-16-2011 01:53 PM

Hi, Thanks for all the replies. We are in Sunnyside Queens, I drove out to City Island this weekend. Did not realise that it would be such a hike and I don't think it's a feasable place to moor for us. I've never heard of Sreppingstone/Kings Point but I just looked on the google map - looks good. Is there a particular marina there you would recommend ?

Thanks again

paul323 05-16-2011 03:33 PM

Dunno about Marina's - but regularly sail on a friend's P26 of a similar age. Solid, well-built, forgiving, and surprisingly nimble - won the local beer can race a number of times! I am told it feels cramped for more than a 2-day cruise (having been below, I can well imagine!) - so you need to think carefully about how important the cruising element is for you - otherwise it is a great value starter boat. Oh yeah, one warning - once you get used to a Pearson design and build quality, it is hard to go back....

JimsCAL 05-16-2011 04:42 PM

Steppingstone is a park that is run by the town of Great Neck. Generally limited to residents, but I saw something recently that they are accepting outsiders to moor their boats. Pretty sure they have launch service but that's about it.

Edit. Here's a link. They do have accept non-residents.

Great Neck Parks -

JimsCAL 05-16-2011 04:44 PM


Originally Posted by paul323 (Post 730991)
I am told it feels cramped for more than a 2-day cruise (having been below, I can well imagine!) - so you need to think carefully about how important the cruising element is for you - otherwise it is a great value starter boat.

I once spent 3 1/2 weeks cruising on mine!!

tempest 05-16-2011 05:08 PM

The P26 is a solid, nice sailing vessel. I've taught on them for several years now. So, If the boat has been taken care of, I don't think you'd go wrong.

However, if long weekends and week long cruises is going to be the plan, I might consider spending the money for a little more comfort!

Have the two of you sailed the P26? spent a weekend on one? You can probably rent one on Barnaget bay and spend a weekend to make sure the Comfort level is satisfactory.

KindOfBlue 05-16-2011 06:12 PM

I used to own a P26. I sailed her all the time and alway did overnights. It's a bit of a challenge to hang out below for extended periods of time. Sleeping is fine, but if you are anchored for the weekend and it starts raining at noon, you are going to want to find another place to be. A 30 foot catalina is an example of a boat that has enough room and the comforts below to relax with a friend or two while it's raining outside.

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