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Thread: Thoughts on Pearson 31 as a first boat? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-03-2006 03:12 PM
brodgers Well, I had the 34-2 surveyed and didn't like what I found out. When the boat was hauled, it appearewd that the keel was separating from the hull. We couldn't tell whether the keel itself was cracked or just pulling away from the hull. With a little body weight, I could get the crack to widen and the keel bolts were tight.

I figured it could be fixed, but if there was any sign of the repair it woudl come up when I tried to sell the boat. It just didn't seem worth it. Plus, at $58k, I felt like I was paying a full price.

So, I'm back in the hunt if anyone knows of a good 34 or 36 footer. How does the quality of the Pearson compare with a Catalina?

07-18-2006 02:32 PM
SailorMitch I'm not aware of any particular problems with that boat, but please PM me and I can give you an email address of a fellow who used to own one. He will be a good resource for what to look out for.

Congrats on the boat. I think you're making a good decision to go with the 34-2.
07-18-2006 01:42 PM
brodgers Well, I have ended up going for the 34-2. It is going to cost me $13k more than the 31-2 would have. Now I just need to find a good surveyor in Gerogia. Is there anything in particular I should watch out for on these boats?
07-09-2006 10:24 PM
SailorMitch The decks of the P-31-2 are built no differently than the decks of any other Pearson of that era. Wet cores in these boats usually comes down to lack of rebedding deck hardware periodically, a maintenance issue. But to repeat the repeat -- get a good surveyor no matter what boat you decide to purchase.
07-09-2006 08:44 AM
RE:Pearson 31

I suggest you have this boat surveyed and have the surveyor pay attention to the decks. We attempted to buy a 1990 P31 and found the balsa coredecks were rotted. I think this problem is common on P31's due to the construction of the decks.
Good Luck
07-08-2006 06:53 PM
seabreeze_97 And I don't particularly disagree with you. It's always nice to have extra elbow room. I also don't particularly feel like one needs to start small. While it can help in extracting the Nth degree of performance out of larger rig, it's not a big issue for pleasure cruising. My angle on the start smaller deal was looking at money. Buy as much as you can afford, but look at what else will need to be spent immediately after the purchase. And it's true you'll have offers for the boat you're on til you try to sell it, then they all disappear, you'll still have that boat to continue sailing and getting it out there for others to see til you do get a buyer....if you feel the need to get something bigger. I'm just looking at, from the way it sounds, having a smaller boat that's pretty much ready to go, or a larger boat that is significantly more expensive, and will require even more $$$ before it can really get out there. That can be quite a lump to swallow with that much cash involved. How many times has the dream turned bitter by a too-optimistic buy that turned into a yard-queen, only to be sold off later by a disgusted owner, usually at a significant loss?
As mentioned, a survey is a very good idea. Don't be intimidated. Get all the info you can. Take time. Don't feel pressured. There's lots of boats out there. For every so-called deal today, there's dozens more tomorrow.
07-08-2006 01:11 PM
SailorMitch Others have made good points about the difference in a 31 footer vs. a 34. Some specific comments about these 2 boats is that they have different interiors, which may affect your decision. The 34 has a separate shower stall and an island berth forward. That is what the extra 3 feet gains for you. It also gives you bigger sails to handle, and about 1,500 lbs more in displacement. Yes, a bigger boat will mean more $$$ for upkeep, docking, etc.

There's also a question in my mind of why the 34 is only $15K more than the 31, which you do say is in better shape of the two. The dollar spread ought to be much greater so if you go with the 34, be sure to have a good surveyor who can spot the problems you'll be spending money on. The 34 will end up costing you more than that initial $15K from the way it sounds. When searching for my current boat (P-33-2) I also considered the 34-2 and would have preferred one of those except for the price. It was more money than I ended up wanting to spend.

But if you can afford it, go with the 34 IMHO. Your family will appreciate the extra space. I also don't put much stock in the old notion of buy smaller at first and work your way up. The boat market does not seem to support that idea any more. People commonly buy much larger boats as their first boats these days and don't seem to suffer at all by not "learning" on a smaller boat. And they spare themselves the agony of having to buy and sell several boats along the way, and all that takes up considerable time and money one can put to better use (like sailing!) My two cents only. Other opinions may vary.
07-07-2006 02:25 PM
seabreeze_97 Seems like, no matter how much room you have, you can almost always want more, so whichever you get, you'll need to make peace with it and limit yourself accordingly. In your comparison, it's not just the length, but the extra beam in the 34. You have to balance the cabin envy against the $15k and other issues. The 31 was designed with a bit more sportiness in mind, and it maneuvers accordingly. Also, you indicated the 34 needed more work up front, so there's more than just $15K to look at. You can always move up later. I'd grab the 31 and upgrade the gear as needed, but you have to sail it and live with it. I have a Bristol 32, and yeah, compared to even the P31 it's tight. I have 6' headroom, but with a 22ft waterline, there are many roomier boats, even below 30 ft. For me, it's trade-off. I'm not ready for something larger, and those long overhangs make for a gorgeous boat. Again, no matter how much room you have, you can always suffer cabin envy, but at the end of a day with your boat, if you're smilin'... you're good. Enjoy.
07-07-2006 01:57 PM
CBinRI A Pearson 31 seems like a great idea for your described needs. My only question is whether you might want to consider starting out on something smaller. Smaller boats are generally more responsive and can do a better job of teaching you to sail. Also, it is a cheaper way of learning whether you will use it enough to justify the expense. My first boat was a Pearson Ensign, which is 22 feet long. Before that I had sailed Sunfish. After that, I moved up to 36 feet and am now at 41. Not sure I would have been as comfortable with the '36 if I hadn't done the '22 first.
07-07-2006 01:49 PM
sailingdog Also remember that the 34 will cost a good deal more to moor/dock/haul/store... etc.
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