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  #1  
Old 10-04-2011
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Cat 27 vs Pearson 27

Our boat search continues... We are looking at a 1986 Catalina 27 and a 1985 Pearson 27.

The Cat 27 has an older 15hp outboard, tiller steering, rollerfurler, 4 self-tailing wenches, new head, Bimini top, depth and speed instrumentation, stereo, and a few other upgrades. Mainsail is original, but in "good shape". Jib is newish. The owner is installing a new rudder. It has a shallow draft keel.

The Pearson has a 7.5hp Volvo diesel inboard, wheel steering, standard one-speed winches, new head, sails are in "good shape". The boat appears to have been well-maintained, but has few upgrades. It has a full keel with 5.2' draft.

I have done enough research to determine that the 1985 Pearson was a Doug Peterson design that was used interchangeably during that period between US Yachts and Pearson. Some say it is not a "true Pearson", but why not? Because it wasn't an Alberg design? Did it not have the same builders as the earlier Pearsons? The cabin fit and finish teak in the Pearson is superior to the Cat, but I don't know what the sailing characteristics are like, nor the potential weaknesses of this design.

Both boats seem to have been well maintained are about the same price. We are arranging a sail on each of them. What is your opinion on these boats?
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Old 10-04-2011
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Although there were a ton of Catalina's built and I know they have a loyal following, I believe the Pearson is a better built boat. I have not sailed the 27, but our previous boat a P26 was a great sailing boat. We have moved on to bigger but I still miss it. It really comes down to condition and price.
Whatever you decide on, get a survey.
Good Luck.
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Old 10-04-2011
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I'm with dbruce. A lot depends on the condition, and your personal sailing preferences.

DISCLAIMER: I own a Pearson and so am a little biased...I also race on a friend's P27.

I like catalina's - have envy for a newer Cat 38 - but from what I have experienced Pearson build quality is generally better. Fiberglass layup seems to be heavier in the Pearson, giving it a more "solid" feel. Also, a bigger keel will be a big benefit if you want to race; I have a shallow keel, and can't point nearly as high as deeper keel boats.

Wheel vs tiller gets folks all emotional. On a P27 with a tiller, if you have more than 3 people they sometimes need to get out of the way when you tack (not a lot of room in the cockpit). Other than that, IMHO on a smaller boat a tiller gives you a better "feel" for what is going on, the wheel is easier for beginners.

One-speed winches are fine on a smaller boat; self-tailing is nice, though.

Dunno about the Cat27, but the Pearson's tend to have nice big lazarettes!

Good luck in the test sail/inspection...that'll probably decide you there. And remember, it is a buyers market.
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