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Sailski3 07-29-2011 11:18 AM

First Boat - Pearson 26 vs Seafarer 26
I am purchasing my first boat and have been looking at used boats for a few months now. I have limited experience at sailing. I have over the years taken out daysailors like sunfish, sailfish, hobie cats and lightenings on inland lakes and bays. I have crewed a few times on larger boats as well. I recently attended an ASA class in sailing in preparation for ownership. I have found two boats that seem to be in very good condition for their age - a 1979 Pearson 26 and a 1980 Seafarer 26. They seem to be somewhat different in nature with the Pearson having a a larger displacement and a larger sail plan to drive her. I intend to sail the boat I purchase on the Chesapeake and Delaware bays initially, with an eye to coastal cruising after gaining appropriate experience. My question, like most newbie's on here is for some opinions from those of you familiar with or having sailed or owned these boats. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

paul323 07-29-2011 12:13 PM

I sail occasionally on a friend's P26 in the San Francisco bay. Like all Pearsons, she is a well-built, well-designed boat - as you probably know, Pearsons have an excellent reputation as a boatbuilder. Still very competitive in our Beer-Can racing. As you would expect from a 26' boat, the accommodations are a bit cramped for a cruise of more than a few days, but are better than many boats that size. They have upgraded her to an asymetric spinnaker, which works very well.

The boat I sail in has a tiller, and is fine for 3 people in the cockpit, but can be a bit cramped with 5 - again, what you would expect with a 26 footer.

My only concern - purely personal - is that the rudder looks exposed - I prefer a skeg.

Tim R. 07-29-2011 12:38 PM

The P26 is a wonderful boat and a great first boat. Fun to cruise and race.

No experience with the Seafarer.

cb32863 07-29-2011 01:42 PM


Originally Posted by treilley (Post 756173)
The P26 is a wonderful boat and a great first boat. Fun to cruise and race.

No experience with the Seafarer.

Same here. I have sailed a P26 for over a year through my boat club and they are fun. A little cramped as others have said as well. Guess I just agree with others opinions of the P26. :D

Sailski3 07-29-2011 01:49 PM

Thanks to both of you for the input. I read many reviews of the P26 and most all were favorable. They are a well documented boat. Paul, I have read about similar reservations on spade rudders from others and understand there are pros and cons to each. Incidentally, the Seafarer has a skeg hung rudder. Please keep the feedback coming. I appreciate any and all comments regarding these boats or even suggestions on other models to consider.

jameswilson29 07-29-2011 01:59 PM

I owned a P26 for two years in the early 90s and it was a great boat - sturdy and well-designed with a good turn of speed. Great for your intended uses, although I would be careful about coastal cruising with it given its age. I sailed round Delmarva in it in 1993 over the course of 9 days, with overnights in Gibson's Island, Chesapeake City, Cape May, Ocean City, MD, Cape Charles, and Reedville.

Sailski3 07-29-2011 09:01 PM

Thank you to all who have responded. So far it is Pearson all the way. Any takers on the Seafarer? Anybody have knowledga about this model?

sloanfiske 07-30-2011 07:54 PM

seafarer has a skeg mount rudder and a lead encapsulated keel. should have wheel steering and an inboard diesel (likely a yanmar 1gm). also, has 6'2 headroom and generally has a real head instead of a porta. also has a lead encapsulated keel.

P26 has an exposed rudder, tiller, and an outboard. there are known rudder shaft issues along with keel bolt issues.

fwiw, i looked at both the P26 and Seafarer, and bought a seafarer. for coastal cruising seems like a Seafarer would fit the bill better maybe.

the seafarer is pretty great little boat. all the trappings of a bigger boat in a smaller package.

ccriders 07-30-2011 08:20 PM

Have you been reading the thread started by BubbleheadMD about buying a Pearson 30?
While you did not specify your budget, you might look at a few larger boats, say up to 30feet before deciding on the 26. There was a time when I thought a 25' boat would hang the moon, but now feel that a 30 footer is almost ideal. The cost of maintenance will be only one step more expensive (size of rigging being the most obvious item) and since most marinas basically charge for 30 feet as a minimum, you might as well fill up the slip with boat. The handling of a 30 is no more difficult or complex than a 26 once you get over the psychological barrier and you will have a much more comfortable boat for weekending and that week long summer cruise. And finally, now is a really good time to be buying a boat, you might get a deal you will never see again.
Good luck,

CalebD 07-30-2011 10:40 PM

I know of a Tartan 27' available for $3.5K in Annapolis if you care.

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