What's your opinion of this boat? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-29-2018 Thread Starter
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What's your opinion of this boat?

Does anyone have a Pearson 424? I will be going to look at one in the near future. Can anyone speak to the pluses or minuses of this particular model?

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-29-2018
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Re: What's your opinion of this boat?

I sailed a few of them in the 80's as a bareboat skipper. I must say I liked the boats and thought them to be well built, well thought out below for tropical living and capable sailing boats considering their shallow draft. I thought them better sailing boats than any of the other comparable bareboats I sailed (Morgans, Gulfstars, and Irwins) of that era except a C&C, the size, and model, I don't remember.
I probably would take a well-found one to sea, but I wouldn't expect a speedy trip or a very comfortable one with that shallow draft.

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-30-2018
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Re: What's your opinion of this boat?

It is still a fairly popular cruiser that you still see around. I've got friends who have a 424 and it's sister the 422 and they like them for their uses. I remember there being info about them on the Pearson site back when I was considering them.

I think the biggest minus now days for them is the price given them age compared to other boats.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-30-2018
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Re: What's your opinion of this boat?

There used be an active member on SailNet back in the 1990's who owned a 424 cutter and had taken it everywhere (including a circumnav). He spoke well of that boat, saying he found it equally good in heavy weather as it was as a dockside live aboard. While never intended as a performance boat, they are pretty comparable to other moderate weight cruisers of that era like the Whitby 42's, and certainly better than many of the charter boat oriented designs such as the Out Island 41. They obviously do not a sail as well as boats which were more purposefully designed for long distance voyaging such as a Norseman 447 or Kelly-Peterson 44/46. The ketch version of this boat was especially a poor performer, but offered flexibility in its sail plan when things got dicey.

You have not said how you plan to use the boat. If your plan for the boat is to use it as a live aboard, or to do distance voyaging in places like the US East Coast and Caribbean, then this would be a reasonable choice. If your intention is coastal cruising in venues like the US East Coast, the lack of light air performance and stability relative to drag would make this a poor choice.

On the down side, These boats have an idiosyncratic layout that was actually popular for a brief period in the 1970's in which the companionway leads into an aft cabin and then you walk through that cabin to reach the main salon. I never particularly liked that layout since it was harder to get ventilation in that aft cabin and of course there was no privacy for the person in that cabin. I really don't like that the 424 has the vee-drive which can make maintenance more difficult. But also these boats are getting to be quite long in the tooth and while a step above most Pearsons in quality, these were still boats that were built to a price point and potentially, if not maintained and upgraded by the prior owners could be disproportionately expensive to put into a suitable condition to boats that were inherently better built and/or maintained.


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post #5 of 6 Old 09-01-2018
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Re: What's your opinion of this boat?

My wife and I have been living on one for three years now and we love the interior layout, especially with guests on board. The aft cabin can be closed off from the main salon so is a private space with opening portlight, overhead hatch, and of course the large companionway for ventilation. The main salon has it's own access companionway so if guests are in the aft cabin there is access to the rest of the inside without having to go through the aft cabin. The engine is placed beneath the aft companionway so getting at it requires the removal of the stairs and a large engine cover. Once the cover is off there is good access to most of the engine, a removable bulkhead gives access to the aft portion of the engine. The one complaint I have with the engine being turned around is access to the raw water pump is difficult.
Storage in the interior of the boat is adequate. There are areas of hidden space that Pearson didn't provide access to that can be better utilized. Ours boat has two heads so we have less storage than the typical "A" layout.
The cockpit is huge! Great for sundowners and for storage in the lazerettes. I can fit my roll up dinghy, two extra sails and my cockpit cushions in the stbd lazerette! The port is the same size and there is also an aft lazerette.
We have the cutter version with furling head sails and furling main. All sail controls are let to the cockpit so it can be sailed by one person.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-01-2018
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Re: What's your opinion of this boat?

A friend sailed a ketch rigged 424 from the east coast to the Med and back years ago. She said it didn't sail very well upwind, so they ended up motoring more than they liked.
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