Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 57 Old 05-14-2017 Thread Starter
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Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

My wife and I found a 73 P-30, it needs some work. Some of the fiberglass by the tiller is soft, around the stanchions has some cracks in the fiberglass, the "bumper" around the boat is broke and I'm guessing that is from the damage the dock had done to it during a hurricane. One of the stanchions was over tightened and it's pulled through part of the fibergpass.The Atomic 4 won't turn over, the previous owner before the seller took the plugs out and had them sitting beside the engine. I'm going to probably pull the engine next week to see what I can find out about it. Any advice on this? I'm guessing the bulkhead has shifted due to the head lock.

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1973 Pearson 30 #411
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Re: Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

"the bulkhead has shifted due to the head lock." not familiar with that term, head lock.
The engine, is the battery dead, the starter motor shot, the bearings seized, rings frozen to the cylinder walls? Can you rock the engine by hand? I won't pull it out till it was determined that the engine is seized and even then all may not be lost. Some penetrating oil may free the rings. If the bearings are seized then that is another story.

The cockpit floor around the tiller probably has its plywood core soaked so its rotten. No big deal, just hours in a coffin like space with toxic epoxy fumes and she be as stiff as new. And when you are there check the hoses that connect the cockpit drains to the scuppers. Bet you that they are original and will crumble in your hand at the first touch.

What am i looking at in that last picture, daylight at the end of the tunnel or another train coming down the track?

You need metal or G10 backing plates on the thru bolts for fittings that take load, cleats, stanchions, travelers, windlass, ect.

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Last edited by Skipper Jer; 05-14-2017 at 05:42 PM.
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Re: Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

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"the bulkhead has shifted due to the head lock." not familiar with that term, head lock.
The engine, is the battery dead, the starter motor shot, the bearings seized, rings frozen to the cylinder walls? Can you rock the engine by hand? I won't pull it out till it was determined that the engine is seized and even then all may not be lost. Some penetrating oil may free the rings. If the bearings are seized then that is another story.

The cockpit floor around the tiller probably has its plywood core soaked so its rotten. No big deal, just hours in a coffin like space with toxic epoxy fumes and she be as stiff as new. And when you are there check the hoses that connect the cockpit drains to the scuppers. Bet you that they are original and will crumble in your hand at the first touch.

What am i looking at in that last picture, daylight at the end of the tunnel or another train coming down the track?

You need metal or G10 backing plates on the thru bolts for fittings that take load, cleats, stanchions, travelers, windlass, ect.
I had read that if the wooden wedge had rotted the mast compression would cause the bulkhead to not line up. The engine just clicks when you hit the start button, I'm not sure if moisture made it into the piston chambers due to the other owner pulling the spark plugs and leaving them out and had them rusted. So just put some PB Blaster in the cylinders? What do you mean rock it? I don't have the hand crank for it. The last picture is looking from the inside of the boat and corresponds to the outside picture where the bumper is broken. I can see daylight through it. I'm guessing the fiberglass was supposed to come to a lip so the bumper could screw through it but it has no lip there.

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Re: Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

The plugs are out so there is no compression to over come. Can you rotate the pulley by hand? Maybe put a socket or wrench on it to help. Clicking could be a weak battery, a defective stater solenoid, a defective starter (dead spot on the commutator) or a seized engine. Put a volt meter on the battery. If that measures good (12 or more volts) while trying to start then measure at the starter motor. I'd make sure the electrical side of the engine was good before looking at the mechanical. Its between PB blaster and Marvel Mystery oil. PB if you got it. Is the deck depressed around the base of the mast?

Nor'sea 27
Don't re-accommodate me, Bro
And the trees are all keep equal by hatchet, axe and saw...RUSH
I invented a new word today, plagiarism.
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Re: Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

Sounds like...

Spend as little money as you can get away with to keep it afloat and moving until you want to get more serious with longterm sailing.
Then post it on craigslist.
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Re: Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

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The plugs are out so there is no compression to over come. Can you rotate the pulley by hand? Maybe put a socket or wrench on it to help. Clicking could be a weak battery, a defective stater solenoid, a defective starter (dead spot on the commutator) or a seized engine. Put a volt meter on the battery. If that measures good (12 or more volts) while trying to start then measure at the starter motor. I'd make sure the electrical side of the engine was good before looking at the mechanical. Its between PB blaster and Marvel Mystery oil. PB if you got it. Is the deck depressed around the base of the mast?
I honestly didn't have any tools with me to try to rotate the pulley when I was down at the coast Saturday. I thought about purchasing the hand crank from Moyer Marine, but I will at least have my tools and volt meter next weekend. I don't remember seeing the mast compressed around the deck, I was just concerned when I seen the head latch didn't line up. I wish it wasn't a 4 hour trip one way or I'd be there right now.

Is this the good fuel tank? I know they said some tanks were great as they were made from monel I think it was.

Should I be concerned with this cylinder in the second picture? It appears to be something the raw water runs though and has silicon all over the fittings.

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Re: Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

The boat does have a blower to remove gasoline fumes, right? If this was my boat I'd make sure that blower was working before trying to start the engine.
And I don't want to send you away BUT there is a Pearson owner forum here: Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Pearson Yachts

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And the trees are all keep equal by hatchet, axe and saw...RUSH
I invented a new word today, plagiarism.
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Re: Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

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The boat does have a blower to remove gasoline fumes, right? If this was my boat I'd make sure that blower was working before trying to start the engine.
And I don't want to send you away BUT there is a Pearson owner forum here: Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Pearson Yachts
I'm not sure, I will have more time to go over it next week. I'm not sure where the blower is/was at originally but I will ensure it does have it before attempting to start the engine. I will check the Cruiser Forums.

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Re: Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

So many P30s out there, I'm sure you could find a better one for short money.
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Re: Just purchased a 1973 Pearson 30, need advice.

The lock misalignment on the main cabin—to—head door is a sure sign that the post attached to the main bulkhead has rotted at its bottom (inside the 'tabbing' where the post connects to the hull, and where a wooden wedge was driven in under that 'post' over 40 years ago and is now 'missing') and the post/bulkhead 'assembly' has 'settled' down towards the bilge. In a P30, its the main bulkhead that supports the overhead which supports the (deck stepped) mast base. The 'post' supports the bottom of the bulkhead and helps to 'stiffen' the bulkhead.

The P30s came with MONEL fuel tanks ... there's NOTHING better than monel metal for fuel tanks. That monel tank is probably worth more $$$ than the rest of the boat.

Cockpit cracks - plywood core underneath (between the fiberglass layers) is rotted.

Cracks emanating from stanchion bases --- the stanchion bases were 'sealed' with rubber gaskets. The gasket, which always over time allows water into the deck coring - hence rotted core, was used because the top skin of fiberglass on the deck is too thin to support a rigid stanchion base. Now you have to dig out the rot and make the section under the stanchion base 'solid' and thus be able to attach the stanchion base to a solid structural support. That is 'after' you dig out the rotted balsa deck core.

Engine -- The clicking could just be a weak battery not fully energizing the starter, or rusty starter solenoid. However, if the engine has sat for more than a year or two without running, and (with no battery attached) when you take a socket and large breaker bar affixed to the crankshaft nose bolt ... and if the engine doesn't rotate when you apply GENTLE back and forth force on the breaker bar .... run, do not walk, away from this boat that probably has a 'rust frozen' engine where the piston rings are rusted in their piston ring grooves and the rings are firmly rusted TO the cylinder walls, and the exhaust valve stems are firmly rusted and frozen 'in place' etc.
The last pic - that 'black thing' is a water lift muffler ... which means that the original concentric COPPER jacketed steel exhaust system developed leaks, which gives a high probability that those leaks reverse-flooded water back into the engine .... perhaps the very reason that the (probably rust-frozen) engine went 'click' when you attempted to start it.
If this engine doesn't turn 'easily' by hand and without 'any' force with a breaker bar and socket attached to the nose bolt on that crankshaft .... DO NOT FORCE the crankshaft or use the starter .... or you'll wind up breaking the piston rings. If this is the case, you must soak and free-up the piston rings with 'penetrating oil', ctc. etc.etc. and then gently get them moving for their entire piston stroke. If this engine is 'frozen' (can't rotate the crankshaft with a breaker bar and socket) ..... either PM me directly or contact MoyerMarine directly for further advice.
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Last edited by RichH; 05-15-2017 at 12:16 AM.
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