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post #1 of 13 Old 07-13-2012 Thread Starter
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modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

am thinking of buying a first sailboat - a pearson ariel from the 1960s. it's in relatively good shape in most ways and a lot of what i'm looking for as a sturdy, inexpensive, good-looking, and not-intimidating boat (small sail area) but doesn't really have a space where two grown people could sleep next to each other.

i'm thinking of buying it and ripping out one of the long settees and replacing it with a dinette that converts to a double berth.

what would be the best way to go about that?

other options would be to buy the 27' pearson renegade or 28' pearson triton (or 100 other boats) that already have a space for 2 people to sleep together.

thanks for any help and suggestions - particularly if you've done some relatively big mods to your old cabins.
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-13-2012
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Re: modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

Why not just extend one of the current berths with a removable board and cushion? On an Ariel it might even make sense to just span the entire space between the settees, giving you a nice-sized bed for the night that rolls up (or get stowed in some other way) for the day.

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post #3 of 13 Old 07-13-2012
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Re: modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

get a boat 5' bigger than you think you want!
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-13-2012
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Re: modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

Pearson made a good boat, but does it have to be this particular boat? Lots of boats in the 27-30 range that have roomy berths and you won't have to rip the boat apart to make one.

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Re: modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

On my Sabre, the starboard settee has a slide out section, underneath the seat cushion, that converts it to a double berth. There's a folding leg that drops down and locks to provide support in the middle of the span. The ends rest on a small ledger attached to the bulkheads at each end. Sabre utilizes two back cushions from other berths to provide fill-in pieces for the slide out. You might be able to fabricate a similar set-up, without ripping things apart.

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post #6 of 13 Old 07-14-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

thanks for the suggestions, excellent.

somehow using the space between the settees just never came to mind. but that could work (and a good reason to keep that floor dry and clean) and a slide out with folding legs and extra cushion would work too.

chuck - i am looking at other boats but for some reason this one feels easy. it might be because i met and liked the original owners and they sent a picture of their now-grown sons as little kids on the boat 40 years ago. but like my friend who is advising me points out, if we were really rational we wouldn't really be in sailboats.
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Re: modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

Hey, I understand where you are coming from. Everything about a boat is a compromise as well as the emotional vs. rational thought processes that make the decision to buy or not buy a particular boat.

What other boats have you looked at that may have caught your eye?

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Re: modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

for "little" side the ariel and the folkboat and for "medium" the cape dory 27 and similar and for "big" the tartan 30. it would be hard to make a rational argument for those choices, i think it's mostly aesthetics along with some (from reading sailnet not so unusual) delusional reasoning.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-14-2012
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Re: modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

I think I know the boat you looked at. Was in the Glen Cove?
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-14-2012
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Re: modifying berths in 1960s pearson ariel

I happen to like the looks of the Pearson Ariel. It looks a lot like my Tartan 27'.
The T27 uses the dinette table as an insert to make a 'double' berth which is kind of clever as the berth insert has a job to do when not used as an insert.
T27s are from the same era as the Ariel and should be in a similar price range. The T27 also has a center board which helps when pointing into the wind.
Pearson Ariel: ARIEL 26 (PEARSON) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
Tartan 27': TARTAN 27 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

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