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Re: calalina 30 or cal 9.2
J/29 and Pearson 28-2 are also quite different boats.
I have a Pearson 28-2 as you can see from my signature. It's a good cruising boat that can be raced. What I like about it are the great cockpit layout that makes the boat easy to single hand or to be raced by a crew of 4. The layout makes it pretty easy to have one on the main sheet, two managing the genoa or spinnaker, and one on the the helm. I'm still learning this boat and do better overall racing on my old Catalina 25 tall than on the Pearson 28-2 (but the Catalina also has sails that are in better condition...something that was obvious when we sailed them side by side in light airs on Sunday and the Catalina could point a little higher while maintaining a hair more speed).
A downside for racing the 28-2 is that it's got a lot of windage (my boat is worse because it also has a large dodger). Tie up a J/29 next to a Pearson 28-2 and you'll immediately see the differences there. The 28-2 has a large and comfortable cabin, but that comes at the cost of a higher freeboard, higher cabin height, and increased weight. The J/29 is going to be a lot faster when sailed well, and that is reflected in the PHRF (115ish for the J/29, 190ish for the 28-2) for each boat. However the Pearson is going to be a lot more comfortable to cruise on.
The only downside that I see for the 28-2 as a cruising boat is that it can be quite tender. It heels a lot, especially if the sails are getting baggy. I've sometimes wondered how a lower CVG (from a keel shoe) would change the boat.
I like my 28-2, but if I were mainly club racing with the occasional overnighter I'd probably be looking at something more performance oriented. I mostly cruise on it and do some racing, and it's well suited to that mix.
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