Pearson 323 as a Bluewater cruiser???? - SailNet Community

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Old 07-25-2008
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Pearson 323 as a Bluewater cruiser????

My wife and I plan to retire next May and go cruising on our Pearson 323. Bill Shaw the designer describes the 323 as a rugged coastal cruiser. But I have talked with a sailer who took their's to Bermuda from North Carolina. Looking at the numbers the P323 compares well to many "bluewater boats".
Anyone cruising with a P323??? right now we are only planning the east coast and bahamas. But who knows??
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While not that familiar with the P323, I don't see why it wouldn't be usable as a limited bluewater cruiser. You might want to check out this p323 website.
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here is a nice website for you

Libations Too - Home

It's a blog about a singlehander in a P323 - sailing off the coast of Ca. He has some excellent post about preparing her for blue water.
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rossir-

good site with lots of good info for anyone looking at buying a used boat.
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I've go really mixed feelings on this one. I think it is a borderline boat for blue water cruising. Kind of a STURDY coastal cruiser. Certainly tankage and storage are issues and the boat would need a lot of upgrades for a crossing but would be fine in blue water within a predictable weather window and moderately heavy conditions. Maybe it is just my bias, but one I get down to this size range in an offshore boat I like a full keel, blue-water design rather than an upgraded coastal cruiser. Note...my own boat has a fin and a skeg so I am open to this design in a larger boat. Close call.
BTW...Bermuda to NC can be hairy or a duck pond. Has your friend been out in a full gale more than 24 hours from land? How does he report the boat does? What tactics are required?
For the EAST COAST and Bahamas a 323 should be absolutely just fine!
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Old 07-28-2008
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I concur with Cam. It's fine for coastal, but then so are Catalinas. Throw eight hours of cross-seas/wind versus Gulf Stream, 45 knots gusting 55, and I wouldn't give odds on keeping mast or rudder, unless you really know how to drive the boat in those conditions.

A more appropriate bluewater 32 footer?

Contessa 32 - Used Sailboat Market in Canada

And while not strictly bluewater in the opinion of some, these have logged a lot of safe sea hours in heavy weather:

Ontario 32 - Used Sailboat Market in Canada

It doesn't have to be a Wetsnail, is my point.
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The SC31 is also a decent small bluewater capable boat.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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Bill Shaw, the designer of the 323 and just about every other pearson out there today, once told My sailing club that no pearson was ready for blue water as it left the factory. Every one of them would require modifications to one degree or another to bring it up to what he would call blue water ready.

Having said that, the 323 is a very solid coastal cruiser that people have taken all over. For example, the bulwarks going forward are really and add safety. the other links also have good info on prepping the boat. Good luck.
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"no pearson was ready for blue water as it left the factory."
That's certainly true. There's never been a Pearson made that had floorboards locked and secured over the bilge--as it left the factory.

How much else one might need and how one defines "blue water" safety, have been hashed to death in older threads.
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There are a lot of boats that were never designed as bluewater cruisers that can be used as such. Most will need some modification to make them seaworthy enough for such a prospect...but some are better choices for modification than others.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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