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DHusk 09-17-2013 03:39 PM

Posted in New Members forum, it was suggested I repost it here.

Hello all! Been lurking for several months, thought it was time to join. Been around power boats of different types most of my life, runabouts, pontoon, houseboats. Spent a little time on a Sunfish many years ago. Have been sailing on a couple of friends boats, 30 and 33 footers. Learned to swim in Lake Huron as a tot, not sure how old, but under five. Love the water and can't imagine not living near a lake or ocean. Not a sailor, but I hope to be.

I've been reading blogs, books and forums about sailing for about a year. Visited some marinas on Lake Michigan and talked to a number of boat owners. Will continue the research when my wife and I return to Florida in about two weeks.

Our intention is to learn to sail and hopefully in a couple years start cruising through the Bahamas and Caribbean.

We think a boat in the 32' range would be about right for us. One I've been impressed with is the Pearson 323. Any general opinions on that boat would be appreciated. I've read a number of reviews including those in the review section of this forum. Understand corrosion at the mast and step can be an issue, as well as with the chain plates. One boat we've been looking into has been repowered with a Yanmar 3GM30F engine. I know they are reliable and common, but any thoughts about that engine in the Pearson?

Not sure if we will sign up for the ASA sailing classes or recruit an unsuspecting captain to mentor us. Any thoughts on sailing schools in the Tampa Bay area would be appreciated, too.

That's a lot for the first post. Nice to meet you all. :D


emcentar 09-17-2013 03:56 PM

Re: Newbie
Welcome to Sailnet, Darryl.

I like the Pearson, but admittedly, I am biased.

TJC45 09-17-2013 04:49 PM

Re: Newbie
Welcome!!! I don't own a 323. Generally speaking they've got a good rep. Pearson built good boats. And the 323 was one of them. The 323 was less racy and more comfort oriented than many of their previous offerings.

Like all boats of that age learn as much as you can about them and when you find a contender make sure to have it checked out by a surveyor.

Lastly, look at some other boats in the same price range. Though I'm a Pearson fan myself, no reason to put blinders on. There are many quality boats to consider.

DHusk 09-17-2013 05:10 PM

Re: Newbie
Thanks, TJC45. When I find a boat I'm interested in buying I will have it surveyed. I'm a fair mechanic, was a licensed auto mechanic for years, built a kit airplane, 30+ years as a computer hardware jock, but don't know much about sailboats. I'll hire that expertise.

In the mean time I will continue to do research. I have looked at other similar sized boats, O'Day, Hunter, Catalina for instance. We intend to visit more marinas when we return to Florida and strike up conversations with folks on their boats. So far everyone we've talked to have been more than happy to show off their pride and joy.

capta 09-17-2013 05:26 PM

Re: Newbie
I have sailed a few Pearsons in the 40' range and because of those experiences and the Pearson reputation, I purchased the one I have now. I love the boat and her sailing performance has far exceeded my expectations.
I would just like to suggest that a 32' boat is a bit small for your intended long term voyaging. Not necessarily for safety reasons, but for comfort. You have to consider that as a cruiser you will be living aboard and need space enough to stretch out comfortably in your "living room", a realistic galley and also storage space for your personal items, food and spare parts.
Not to put a damper on your plans but as a suggestion from someone who hasn't lived ashore since 1969.

DHusk 09-17-2013 05:41 PM

Re: Newbie
Thanks for the advice, Capta. You may be correct about the boat being a little small. Being new to sailing, I wanted to keep the first boat smaller. We would learn to sail it, spend some time on short cruises near home. That should give us a better feel for the size issue. If we think it is too small, we can upgrade.

We are somewhat used to living in confined spaces. We spend summers in a medium sized RV and have no problem managing the space. We've been downsizing and simplifying our lives for the past few years, as we near retirement. Like having less stuff and fewer expenses.

blutoyz 09-18-2013 10:53 AM

Re: Newbie
Welcome to the forum. I have nothing to offer regarding the Pearson but with your time on the pond I would bet a basic sailing course will put you to sleep. I think your idea of shanghia'ing a friend to learn from is better. You could easily read/youtube it be quite successful.

I would bet you are not as much of a newbie as you think

Just my $.02

DHusk 09-18-2013 01:00 PM

Re: Newbie
Thanks, Blutoyz. I'm definitely going to look to look for a new friend who coincidently is a sailor. Doesn't seem like it will be too difficult. Everyone we've met at marinas so far have been very helpful.

I'm a private pilot and have had the same experience with that community. People invest money and time in their toys and are happy to show them off.

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