Senior Smart Aleck
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Thanked 70 Times in 65 Posts
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Re: Opinion - 79 Person 26
Great first boat! Was my first boat.
Pros: Great bargain and typical William Shaw design: simple, stable, forgiving, sturdy, heavily ballasted, well-built, oversized mast and rigging, decent accommodations for its size, nice outboard motor well, sails well, surprisingly fast - particularly in moderate to high winds, powerful masthead rig and large foretriangle allows for large spinnaker and headsails - will punch through chop, dry boat, fin keel and spade rudder makes for very maneurable boat when docking. If you lift the tiller, you can rotate the spade rudder 360 degrees. I personally like the dinette arrangement, although not all sailors appreciate it. The stepped-up cabintop is a classic, pretty look. The underbody is the same as the P30, with a swept back fin keel.
Cons: lower SA/D than more modern designs - needs some wind to sail well, outboard jib sheeting does not allow for higher pointing angles, IOR-influenced narrow stern and round bottom- squirrelly downwind, rudder bushing/bearing typically needs replacement, usually has a dry bilge -check keelbolts and presence of Catalina smile. Need to fly a 150% decksweeper genoa in light to moderate air to make speed underway.
I loved sailing mine, particularly in the 15-20 knot range, when a lot of boats would head home. In light winds, boats like the J/24 will sail circles around you, but the boat comes into its own as the windspeed increases. Upwind at hull speed in high winds, the boat would almost jump out of the waves, causing the fin keel to vibrate - was great fun. Maximum speeds with boat over about 30 degrees heel. You could sail under main only in very high winds - 25 knots - in relative comfort.
My most memorable sail was punching through lower Delaware Bay chop on the way to Cape May in about 20 knots with a reefed main and working jib - was so cool to haul arse in adverse conditions with the boat cranked over, spray flying. You need to pay attention downwind and steer actively because the stern will go everywhere when running or broad reaching in heavier wind. I did a Delmarva circumnavigation in mine and I was always confident about the ultimate seaworthiness of the design. It sold me on the benefits of the William Shaw-designed Pearsons.
Last edited by jameswilson29; 04-13-2013 at 09:59 AM.