Rich... good article but how does this pertain to this 1999 Pearson? I'm sure Pearson would have resolved these issues a long time ago... or maybe they haven't and all these Pearson boats are suspect for this poor gel coat application? I really don't believe this but I'm no expert here. It is up to the OP to determine if this particular Pearson is worth the investment of his time or the resources to completely remove the gel coat (not really required) or simply sand, primer, paint the deck and get 'use' out of this vessel.
The Pearsons were indeed 'masters' of FRG construction. The gelcoat on most Pearsons was quite thin.
Nevertheless, if gelcoat (porosity) isn't constantly 'sealed' with wax, the wax 'stripped' off occasionally, the boat is kept in high UV areas (FL, Gulf Coast, etc.) .... such alligatoring and lifting is the probable endpoint of most un-cared for
gelcoat, .... and most LPU and '2 part' catalyzed paints too.
The secret for longevity of gelcoat seems to be regular waxing and polishing to remove the surface oxidation, and occasional flat sanding and power buffing .... but not so aggressively so as to 'hog down' into that 20-30 mill gelcoat thickness. Oxidation of such coatings is most probably an exponential process, unless the oxidation is retarded or removed when its still minor.
To me, 'alligatoring' is a severe example of an oxidation process - with both gelcoat and with 'paint'.
FWIW - I had a 1970s Pearson, the gel regularly 'maintained', and the boat still looked show-room new
when I sold it 25 years later.