Daysailer question. Looking at Pearson Ensign! - SailNet Community

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Old 11-12-2009
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Daysailer question. Looking at Pearson Ensign!

Well i havent' posted here in over a year i think. i was originally planning on buyign a cruising boat, but ended up moving to NYC where I got a job in a marina that I adore. So my needs have changed and I've settled on wanting to buy a nice classic daysailer. I have been looking at pearson ensigns, they are in my range, but I am looking for alternatives.

Now i think most people know the Ensigns look and lines, thats what I'm really after. I want a functional, yet beautiful daysailer. i would like a large cockpit, but a small cabin with perhaps enough room to overnight. I've been looking at ensigns and they are essentially perfect.

I am just wonderign what other options are out there. I love the look of alerions, who doesn't, but I am looking for a working boat that I can sail nearly immediately for 10k or under. I then intend to spend a winter workign on it and refubrishing it. Where i am now i'm blessed with havign a family country home where it can be stored inside only an hour from where I live and be worked on over the winter properly.

So send me in some directions, links boat names etc.

Oh, i'm also fairly fond of the Bristol 19's, but I haven't seen any in person. .
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Old 11-12-2009
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The problem with the Ensigns is that most of them did not have a self bailing cockpit. While I am not a big fan of the sailing characteristics of these older CCA designs from the period of the Ensign, I would think that if you are looking for CCA type design you might be better off with the 22 ft Sea Sprite.

Other CCA era daysailers that might better suit your needs would be one of the C&C designed C&C 22's such as the Grampian Classic 22. (I owned a Grampian Classic 22 when I first moved to Annapolis and she was a wonderful boat across a wide range of conditions. Mine did not have a self bailing cockpit but later versions did.)

My other quick thought would be to find a no longer raced early J-22 or a 23 foot Sonar. Both are far superior sailing boats in all conditions to the CCA era boats and both offer similar room on board for a price under $10k.

Jeff
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Old 11-12-2009
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Old 11-12-2009
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There is an active racing fleet of Ensign sailors up at Nyack, NY as well as a few other nearby locations. Ensign Class - Ensign Fleets
There are always a few for sale: Ensign Class - Used Boats
I also like the look of the Ensign even if the newer designs sail faster. You will also be paying more for a newer boat. Jeff is correct about the non-self bailing cockpit. The moored Ensigns all sport a canvas cockpit cover. You might have to buy a new trailer for an Ensign but you would recover the cost after a few winters of not paying winter storage fees.
Good luck.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
There is an active racing fleet of Ensign sailors up at Nyack, NY as well as a few other nearby locations. Ensign Class - Ensign Fleets
There are always a few for sale: Ensign Class - Used Boats
I also like the look of the Ensign even if the newer designs sail faster. You will also be paying more for a newer boat. Jeff is correct about the non-self bailing cockpit. The moored Ensigns all sport a canvas cockpit cover. You might have to buy a new trailer for an Ensign but you would recover the cost after a few winters of not paying winter storage fees.
Good luck.
i'm not going to lie, i'm well aware there are better boats out there, however, i'm buying this more as a project and something to take care of. Thankfully through my sailing club membership and my job I have access to j/24's anytime I want as well as a number other sailboats. I guess i'm looking at this more as a classic car - ya there are better handling newer cars with all the bells and whistles but they miss the charm of the simple old boat, and I love wood and find it a pleasure ot care for so the large amounts of wood i've seen in cockpits I see as a plus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmeriCdn View Post
i'm not going to lie, i'm well aware there are better boats out there, however, i'm buying this more as a project and something to take care of. Thankfully through my sailing club membership and my job I have access to j/24's anytime I want as well as a number other sailboats. I guess i'm looking at this more as a classic car - ya there are better handling newer cars with all the bells and whistles but they miss the charm of the simple old boat, and I love wood and find it a pleasure ot care for so the large amounts of wood i've seen in cockpits I see as a plus
I totally understand your position. I own a 1967 Tartan 27' which looks very much like an Ensign below and above the water line but is just a few feet bigger. An Ensign should be easier to put on a trailer though.
The woodwork can be a labor of love but also looks great when maintained.
I spent a couple of nights on our boat and it was wonderful to illuminate the cabin with warm but subdued light of a kerosene lantern.
Is our boat a competitive racer? Not usually, but it is still a lot of fun to sail.
Enjoy your Ensign. They are pretty boats.
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I think Good Old Boat magazine had a nice article about the Ensign in an issue sometime in the last twelve months. You may want to research that article.
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I loved my Ensign. Mine was a mid 60s boat and they are still making them today, from what I understand, in Florida. They must be doing something right. Not fast by today's standards but very nice looking, stable and forgiving and would seem to meet all of your requirements.

IMHO, it is always a better idea to buy in a popular class so when you decide to sell there's a market for it. I have also sailed the Typhoon and thought it felt like a toy in comparison. (Don't flame me Typhoon lovers, just an opinion.)
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Lightings and Ensigns are boats that tug at my heart.
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Please sail on this boat from both as a helmsman and crew. They are without question one of the most uncomfortable boats to sail on. You cannot sit on the rail without the circulation being cut off or a winch jammed up your butt. I will never set foot on these boats again. There also was a thread on just this topic of uncomfortable boats to be on. Along with the J-24, the Ensign was one of the worst. I would think long and hard before buying one of these boats. A Sonar is a MUCH better choice all around!
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