Opinion - 79 Person 26 - SailNet Community

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Old 04-13-2013
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Opinion - 79 Person 26

I'm looking for my first Sailboat and have found a 1979 Person 26 for sale. Original Sailes, 3yr old 8hp Tohatsu motor.

Good first sailboat? Pros - Cons

Thank You
John

Last edited by Adirondackman; 04-13-2013 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 04-13-2013
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Re: Opinion - 79 Person 26

Assuming the condition is OK, this would be a good first boat I think.
__________________
Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.
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Old 04-13-2013
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Re: Opinion - 79 Person 26

I think 26 feet is a good first boat size. Big enough to camp out on and small enough to learn on. Let the adventure begin.
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Old 04-13-2013
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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.
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Last edited by jameswilson29; 04-13-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 04-13-2013
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Re: Opinion - 79 Person 26

jameswilson29 summed it up perfectly. I have a 26 One Design..low cabin top and longer cockpit. Nice boat, well made, heavy, stable. A boom vang is an absolute must for downwind stability. When everything is just right they feel like a thoroughbred.
Here is mine...


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Re: Opinion - 79 Person 26

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
-check keelbolts and presence of Catalina smile.
How do you check the Keelbolts and what do you mean " Catalina Smile" ?
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Old 04-13-2013
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Re: Opinion - 79 Person 26

The keel is bolted to the hull. Usually the keelbolts are fine. The bilge should be dry as it has a deck-stepped mast and there should be only 2 - 4 through hulls, 2 for the cockpit, one for the sink and you may have one for the head with a Y-valve and holding tank. Pearson was a good builder and used good materials so the bolts should not be corroded or loose, but you should always check their condition.

It is normal for some separation to develop over time between the keel and the hull with an older boat. At the front of the keel this is referred to as the Catalina smile. I have never worried about it that much. You can fair the gap and/or tighten the keelbolts. In some cases, if it really bothers you, the keel may be dropped and the joint cleaned, rebedded, and tightened up again. I suppose some are concerned about further movement in the joint and its effects on the holes and bolts.

Dan Pfeiffer's Pearson 26 site is still one of the best resources for Pearson 26 owners, even though he sold his and bought a Pearson 10M:
http://dan.pfeiffer.net/p26/boat.htm

Last edited by jameswilson29; 04-13-2013 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 04-13-2013
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Re: Opinion - 79 Person 26

While Pearson 26s are solid little creatures, how can anyone possibly comment on its suitability for your first boat with an inkling of where it will be sailed, how you intend to use it and how many $$$ you are looking at. Original sails means new sails, that's about $3,500. What else? It has an engine, but does it run, is it long shaft version.
Yea, Pearson 26s are solid little creatures. I just watched one being hacked up for the dump.
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Re: Opinion - 79 Person 26

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
While Pearson 26s are solid little creatures, how can anyone possibly comment on its suitability for your first boat with an inkling of where it will be sailed, how you intend to use it and how many $$$ you are looking at. Original sails means new sails, that's about $3,500. What else? It has an engine, but does it run, is it long shaft version.
Yea, Pearson 26s are solid little creatures. I just watched one being hacked up for the dump.
DUDE - Relax, You will live longer
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Old 04-13-2013
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Re: Opinion - 79 Person 26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adirondackman View Post
DUDE - Relax, You will live longer
Dude????
In my book, aka the dictionary, a dude is a dandy, a fop. I really hope that after all the time I've spent trying to develop some level of knowlede and ability with sailing I don't fall into the category of dandy or fop, or someone overly concerned with his appearance.
Just a little peak around will reveal an absolutely astounding array (how do you like that, an alliteration) of sailboat designs and most of the variety can be boiled down to the "where" and "how" questions.
Communicatons get difficult when words are not used correctly, so please don't "dude" me.
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