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Robcooper0767 08-12-2013 11:53 AM

Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
I'm looking at mid-80's P33-2 or P34 and, because we're on the Chesapeake, want to stay away from 5'11 Fin keels. But want a fast, response boat too.
Don't see PHRF for winged 33-2.
I have a P30 with 5' draft and sometimes that depth can get a bit dicey. Would love to have a Pearson 10M because I like the look and inside layout (head, with toilet and sink vs P30 and P32 layout.
1. P34 with Centerboard? Pros and cons? Can't do the 5'11 full keel. Is this just a P30 on steriods (especially wrt the interior?) (I like the aft head in the 33-2 for room and placement)
2. P33-2 with winged keel or Centerboard.....who's faster? Is hull cored or solid? I thought I read that some were solid, some cored....anyone have details, like year or hull numbers if they switched? Any concerns or problems with cored hulls on Pearsons.
That said, I'm looking at C&C (yes, cored) with C/B, shoal, wing. Like the C&C 38LF (big boat!, no one says it's fast but PHRF is in the high 130's......Hmmm).
Looking at Tartan (only Masthead sloops, don't want fractional. 34's are nice, 37's are wow!, but......
Want to stay below 40k, would like 30's, would love 20's!
Even looking at C34 and C36 wings, Centerboarders (I'm looking at so many boats, I think Catalina has centerboarders, maybe it's shoal)
Also, looking at Sabres, but price points are high, and, yes, very well built, but kind of old style interior (nicer P30 on steriods) the Sabre 34's, but the MkII's with the aft head are Way over my dollar value.
King for a day would be the Pearson 10M......if it only had a different keel!!!!

Bottom line: Like the Sparkman and Stephens "look". Sleek, fast looking, nice angles. Not so much on the square boats. But, with the Admiral and a 4 year old, need a good size cockpit, good creature comforts below, want some speed and other words, where is that PERFECT Boat???!!!:laugher

Thanks for any/all help.

davester 08-12-2013 12:50 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
I own a P33-2 fin keel (hull #27 iirc), and race on a centerboard version (doing it backwards, I know). I haven't been on the wing keel version so I can't compare.

My hull appears to be partially cored, but solid around through-hulls and along the bottom of the hull (to about 1.5 feet on either side of the keel). I am getting this from looking at the inside of the hull in the bilge (there is a rise where I believe the core starts), and some work the marina did on a through-hull (the area was solid) - but I haven't made a thorough examination.

The pads Pearson used to seal deck penetrations had a limited useful life, so if stanchions haven't been rebedded you might need to do that. Most of mine were fine after 25 years with no attention, but there was one leaking when I bought the boat, and I had to replace some deck core because of that.


Robcooper0767 08-12-2013 01:07 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
Can you give me some thoughts on the Fin vs Centerboarder.....performance, pointing....How does the C/B do in races......against what boats? Would love to get straight skinny on "versus fin".
You will be a great asset since you are have personal experience with exactly what I'm looking at and wondering about. How does she compare to C&C, Tartans, Sabres, if you race them?

The Chesapeake is unforgiving and would love a 5'11 fin, but it's almost not practical.

The pads Pearson used have been problematic I know....
33-2 looks family friendly, and how is she when sailing singlehandedly?

Any/all thoughts on 33-2 to other Pearson's would be appreciated. It's a boat that is definitely on the "short list"....I seem to keep coming back to it.

Thanks much,

Robcooper0767 08-12-2013 01:11 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
Any comments on "deck/overall styling" to the P34? Do you race any P34's??? who wins :)

jsaronson 08-12-2013 01:31 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
33-2 rates 147 in New England. PHRF New England - Handicapping - Base Handicaps
I have a C&C 35 that draws 6.5. I don't do a lot of cruising, but Knapps Narrows and Kent Island are out of the question. Swan Creek is out at low tide.
C&C, Pearson and Tartan are all great boats (I have nothing against Catalina), but the most important thing is the condition of the individual boat. Find a model or 2 you like, then look for a good one. In general the C&C will outperform the Pearsons (except for the Landfall which is a cruising model with a 35 footer's rig in a 38 foot boat).

mr_f 08-12-2013 01:40 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
I have a P33-2 with the fin on the Chesapeake. Except for being stuck in my slip in the unusual low tide on Memorial weekend this year, I have honestly never regretted getting the deeper draft, but I understand I am in the minority on this. Can't think of very many places I have felt excluded from, and I certainly haven't run out of places to explore yet. There are at least 2 centerboard P33-2s in our marina, one of which I have sailed, but I have never had the chance to directly compare speed or pointing. PM me if you are interested in sailing mine. And I will pass your contact info to the owner of one of the centerboarders if you like. Real nice helpful guy, so he might be willing to do some direct comparison with us.

Robcooper0767 08-12-2013 01:42 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
I have the NE PHRF as a's my PHRF "Bible" for now.
That's exactly where I'm at.....and these are the "models" on the semi-short list. Love the C&C, but probably limited to the 38LF due to draft. Don't think any other C&C is applicable, but if you know of a 5' or less draft C&C model at 30' or above, please pass that info on.
What do you think of the 38LF? It's PHRF numbers are very attractive, beats all the Pearson models/PHRF that I'm looking at, but no one seems to say it's "fast"....looks like it would beat the 33-2 and 34 handily, but what am I missing?
Still, since I have a Pearson now, I know the boat and the quality there.
C/B's sound attractive, but the maintenance/clunking stuff is giving me things to think're take? No one says shoal drafts are fast either...;...
Appreciate your help.

Robcooper0767 08-12-2013 01:51 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
@Mr f:
Thanks very much and I will take you up on that, but not right away if that's ok. In the process of finding out whether this "new buy" is going to happen (new boat purchase), so I will take you up on your offer to, at least see them, when I know more. I'm in the process of an Insurance issue (not my fault, someone else), so I don't waste anyone's time until it gets resolved (maybe a month, who knows).
I'm up in Upper Ches and the Marina has a channel that even my P30 5' draft gives my wife the willies at low tide.......a very short grounding (got it off in about 10 minutes) didn't help. At low tide, can't come in or out comfortably, and since we mostly daysail (4 year old), we're inevitably coming or going at low tide. Anything over 5' is a concern (looking at 5'9, but still it's getting that come and go freely).

davester 08-12-2013 03:20 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
My sense is that there is a somewhat significant difference in pointing (at least in racing terms) but I haven't raced my boat (the fin keel) much, so it is hard for me to compare.

On the boat I race on (the centerboard) - we match up pretty well with a Hunter 35 (they have a faster rating, but we can beat them boat for boat sometimes) but it can be frustrating to start with them and watch them climb towards the mark faster... There is a Tartan 342 that we can beat on corrected time sometimes, and a Contessa 33 that is running away with it this year. Other boats are smaller (C&C 25, Morgan 27, and I forget what else) and behind us in the standings. I never know how much to attribute to crew and skipper vs boat performance though.

The skipper of the Hunter says we can't match him in tacking because the long keel/centerboard trunk slows down our tacks, but I don't know if that is true. With the long shallow keel you can actually sail to windward without the centerboard down.

I single hand my boat a lot, and it works fine, but the boat really isn't ideal for that. The winches are not accessible from behind the wheel, and the cabin top traveler is out of reach. It is not a great arrangement compared to a tiller steered boat with everything in reach of the helmsman- but, that said - I single-hand all the time and love it. The single best addition I have made was a Dutchman boom brake with the control line led to the helm - makes gybing, and sailing wing-and-wing easy.

Personally, I am not crazy about centerboards... the raising and lowering... it seems necessary, and yet you don't get the immediately noticeable feedback you do from improving sail trim (or maybe I am not observant enough). But I guess they are a great compromise to a lot of people, and I envy the shallow draft at times. I am kind of curious about wing keels, but I think if you ground them, they are harder to get free.

I would say the boat is family friendly... pretty stiff I think, and nice big interior. I usually reef quite early when solo or with non-sailors - I put a reef in the main around 12 knots, and roll the 135% genoa part way in around 15 knots or so... then she settles down up into the 20's. My main is kind of old -- I think with a new flatter main I could postpone reefing longer. I have sailed the boat in about 25-30 knots and 8 foot (or so) seas off the Jersey coast on the delivery, and she handled it well.

I'll try to help with whatever info I can, and see what else I can think of that might be relevant. For what it's worth, I bought my boat on the northern end of the Chesapeake, but I don't know your particular sailing area.

dvuyxx 08-12-2013 03:53 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
I've only sailed on two boats really, but I feel that the skeg-centerboard on our P-35 does it's job pointing. 7' 9" down, 3' 9" up. I sometimes to forget the board down at first and the skeg alone does a surprisingly good job on a beat.

Robcooper0767 08-12-2013 04:11 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
@Dave: great, thanks. I'm leery too of CBs, but @David, I've heard many do sail and really never put the board down.
I'm going to have to get used to: 1.Wheel (but easier for the Admiral),2.Everything basically out of reach, and I'm a "constant tinkerer" with main and jib/genoa.....I love to actively see improvement, so I don't passively sail. Not a racer yet, but want to start when the 4 year old is a bit older, and I: 1. have more time (yeah, sure!), and 2. Can have her old enough to be on the boat with me - with me mostly singlehanding........but her enjoying and learning.
I've gotten some feedback on Wings and the grounding, according to many is "overrated"......but, bottom line is, if you do really plow in, call Sea Tow!.....So, don't plow in! :)
Read that Bill Shaw himself noted that he liked CBs more than Wings and went to them towards the end to try to keep Pearson competitive because so many people wanted both Shallower and "modern".....and not the perceived trouble that CBs bring (maintenance, bumping noises......again, perception).
Since you have a P35 with CB, and I'm considering a P34 with CB as an option too, please share your thoughts on the maintenance and "noise" of the CB......Since Pearsons are so well built for a Production boat, seems that they would have a solid CB that the case?
Thanks, this is really helping

Robcooper0767 08-12-2013 04:18 PM

Re: Pearson 33-2 Wing Keel or Pearson 34 Centerboard
Anyone have the PHRF for the Pearson 33-2 with the Wing Keel. NE PHRF lists as follows, and in my Google searches, don't find any 33-2 WK PHRF numbers.
PEARSON 33-2 147
PEARSON 33-2 CB 156
PEARSON 34 144

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