Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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The Pearson 35's were an older CCA era design. They sail pretty will for a boat of that era, but would be a mixed bag for cruising the Chesapeake Bay. Their shallow draft with the board up would allow them to get into many of the shallower anchorages, creeks and rivers. They were reasonably well constructed. They are typically pretty cheap to buy. And that is the good news.
On the other hand, they are not very good light air boats, and not very good in a chop, two very common conditions on the Bay. They do not have much ventilation. They have the interior space of a typical 30 or so footer from a later era.
In terms of being a good single-hander, with a few modifications such as running halyards and reef lines back to the cockpit, almost any 35 foot boat can be single-handed. But when you talk about how suitable a boat is to single-handing, ease of handling becomes a lot more critrical. When I think of ideal single-handers, in an ideal worldI would suggest that you would not want a rig that depends heavily on large overlapping headsails as these are hard to tack and require a sail change to safely deal with heavy conditions. What ends up happening is that single-handers try to get by with smaller headsails made with heavier fabric that can be roller-furlered on these boats and so give up light air performance. With a boat like the Pearson 35 that has such poor light air performance on the Chesapeake Bay, you are either carrying a light air genoa, which is hard to tack and requires making sail changes or else giving up a lot of sailing days.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay