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  #1  
Old 02-27-2004
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Pearson 323 input

Pearson 323 Input

I am currently looking for a sailboat in the 30-32 foot range for coastal cruising along the East and West coast of Florida. Mainly the boat will be used for Day Cruises in protected waters with the occasional open water leg to the Keys and possibly even the Bahamas. Most sailing will be done with one couple or two and an occasional overnight.

My experience is fairly limited, I have completed the ASA Basic Sailing, Coastal Cruising, Bareboat courses along with Navigation, most of my sailing has been done on 27’ and 32’ Hunters, the 27’ was a 70’s vintage and the 32 was a 2002 model. I have the training but not a huge amount of experience.

I have looked at a few Catalina 30s and Hunter 30s as well as a Sabre 34, out of my price range, and an Oday 34. I have heard good things and was hoping for some input on the quality of build on the Pearson 323. The specific boat I am looking at is a 1982 with Yanmar Diesel. I will be looking at the boat next week and would move rather quickly with a survey should I decide to move forward.

Any input on the build quality and structural attributes of this boat, or any other input, would help tremendously.

Thanks
Eau Gallie
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Old 02-27-2004
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Pearson 323 input

EauGallie:

Your log-on name makes me wonder if you are indeed located in EauGallie, near Melbourne, FL. If so, having a masthead height that allows you to get under the 48'' RR bridge E of the Port Mayaca Lock, and therefore allows a fascinating cruise across Florida on the Okeechobee Waterway, is a criterion in boat selection I''d recommend to you. It should be no problem given your size preference.

Pearson 323''s were designed along the same lines as her larger sisters, the 365, 424 and 530 (the latter ones mostly being ketches but with some sloops and cutters thrown in). Because she was the last design introduced, the ''European'' design style was adopted and she therefore looks a lot more modern but she still has relatively shallow draft and what at the time was considered comfortable, largish beam for her length. I don''t think the layout suits a visiting 2nd couple, but perhaps you have close friends in mind for whom the layout wouldn''t be a problem.

Personally, I like the boat''s simple lines and functional deck and cockpit. It is certainly capable of going all the places you mentioned and is in fact a good choice for cruising the Bahamas. The boats built by the ''old'' Pearson (I''m excluding the stillborn attempt to reintroduce the company in the late 80''s) were generally considered to be strong boats, well constructed for the price.

Jack
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Old 02-28-2004
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Pearson 323 input

Whoosh,

Great input, thanks. You are partially correct, I am from Eau Gallie…old timer, still can’t admit to being from Melbourne. Living in Orlando I am fortunate enough to enjoy both coasts albeit it a little farther to the West than East. Great point on the 48'' RR bridge E of the Port Mayaca Lock and the cruise across Florida on the Okeechobee Waterway, those are certainly on my list of to-do especially the cross Florida trip.

Couples that would travel with us are basically close friends and family, I don’t believe it would be a problem. Entertaining for business would be high on my list as well as being able to single hand. I have heard good things about this model Pearson. Being a natural analytical (Engineer), I generally tend to look for the adequate and beef it up. If there are any known weak areas or places I should give an extra close look let me know.


EauGallie
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Old 02-28-2004
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Pearson 323 input

EG:

I believe Practical Sailor did a 323 review some years ago; you could look that up.

If you are leaning towards buying on the East Coast, begin using your network to ID a surveyor for the eventual purchase, then call him/her up and see what ''things to look for'' you can get; knowing a job is coming, s/he might be able to offer some helpful content for you when looking at boats.

We know the 365, and 36 Cutter pretty well, and own a 424. I doubt there are many surprises in the 323; it will be strong enough and also simple enough. It won''t offer stirling performance, more of a ''Steady Eddy'' choice...but it''s unlikely to have any decided vices and should offer good value if you shop for the right one.

Jack
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Old 03-02-2004
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Pearson 323 input

Thanks Jack,

Great Advice on the pre-survey questions. Interestingly enough, the only real non-positives I have found seems to be the L/D 275 and that the PHRF 180 gives it that ‘Steady Eddy’ reputation. I will certainly know more as I am looking at this boat next weekend.

Bob
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Old 03-03-2004
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Pearson 323 input

Hi

I''ve owned my Pearson 323 for 13 years now. I think they are well built, simple boats with no surprises. The fact that the boat is equipted with a Yanmar is a plus. The original boats came with a Volvo with a V-Drive . My only compliant is the noise level from the Volvo and the price of parts. I single hand the boat alot and feel very safe in all conditions. Please feel free to email me or I''ll give you my phone number to discuss the boat in more detail. Is the boat you are looking at in Fort Myers? (Gloryus)
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Old 03-03-2004
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Pearson 323 input

Hi

I''ve owned my Pearson 323 for 13 years now. I think they are well built, simple boats with no surprises. The fact that the boat is equipted with a Yanmar is a plus. The original boats came with a Volvo with a V-Drive . My only compliant is the noise level from the Volvo and the price of parts. I single hand the boat alot and feel very safe in all conditions. Please feel free to email me or I''ll give you my phone number to discuss the boat in more detail. Is the boat you are looking at in Fort Myers? (Gloryus)
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Old 03-04-2004
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Pearson 323 input

Speaking of the 323 that is in Ft. Meyers, I was looking into that boat that is for sail. Do you know of that specific boat, what are your thoughts of that one?
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Old 05-10-2006
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I've had a 323 over ten years and am very happy with the boat. I just saw a 323 for sale in Turkey. She got there on her own bottom. The sailing performance is good. My 323 is a 1978 and has an Atomic 4 that is strong and quiet. There is a 323 for charter on the west coast of Fl that I saw online last year. If you find it you could try before you buy. The design is very good for a cruiser with 4.5 draft and a skeg hung rudder. The bridge clearance is 46'. You may like the fact that there are huge lazarettes in the cockpit and no quarter berth (although there are a few rare boats with a quarter berth). It's nice to have the storage and location for systems in the lazarettes... but watch out not to get too heavy in the stern with too much junk stowed there. You will get great value buying a 323. Bill shaw did a nice job with the design. There are bulwarks up front and a bridge deck in the cockpit for off shore. The hull is not flat and that makes a smooth ride. I saw a 323 that had a removable inner forestay for a staysail. Bottom line... Keep her high on her lines and you will suprise others with her performance. On a reach I can keep up with larger boats no problem. With the wind on the nose we are dry but not as close winded as 6 foot keels. There IS exterior teak on the rubrail.
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Old 01-20-2009
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Hi,
I have owned two 323's; the first was while living in Puerto Rico which I sailed throughout the Caribbean in comfort and safety at times in 15 foot seas. That boat went to the Chesapeake on it's own bottom and was not a lively performer in the lighter air of the Bay but it had the Volvo diesel with the original three blade prop which allowed it to motor in excess of seven knots and push through head seas like a train. I installed a Max Prop and that made all the difference; I began outsailing my buddies. I cruised for five years aboard a Bristol 40 and recently purchased another 323 hull #51 which I sail here in eastern North Carolina; it has a two blade prop with the Atomic Four and it won our club's cruising class regatta series last season. I got another Max Prop which I will install this winter and campaign her in the racing class next season; this is the key to making the 323 sail well.
Good luck with your search,
Jim

Last edited by jandkellis; 01-20-2009 at 07:16 AM.
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