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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, long time lurker. Does anyone of the Pearson faithful know *anything* about the Pearson "Custom 32"? I've searched high and low on the Internet, and all I can find is an oblique mention or two.

What I'm wanting to know is:

- what are their sailing characteristics?
- problems to look out for
- how to positively ID one
- things one would improve

I think I've found one for sale, but can't be sure until I get some more information.

Thanks!
 

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There were 113 p32s. Built ,ii never heard of a custom, but that being said my p32 is very well finished on the inside with teak bulkheads,Ihave the origonal work order for her. my boat came with 13 sails in 1979 she is able boat that sails well and with a 40% ballest ratio she stands on her feet and will give larger boats a run for the money.where is the boat and how much are they asking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ah, as it turns out it is not a "custom 32" (this is a one-off boat that was built specifically for racing). Rather, it claims to be a Pearson 32 that was *heavily* customized. It's here:

chicago.craigslist.org/chc/boa/4639547508.html

Quite heavily, it appears. Doesn't look anything at all like a Pearson any more.
 

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Yea, that bow is pretty plumb. Not sure why someone would go to all that trouble. Even with a "modern" Bow extension and a stern extension it is not like it is going to preform like a modern boat. Wonder what they did to the interior, did they strip it out? Looks like they welded on an extension to the keel. Seems it would have been a lot cheaper to buy the boat they were trying to make out of the Pearson.
 

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I think that is a different boat, the other one had a huge sugar scoop put on the stern and a big "plumb bow" on it. Looked like it had a bad nose job and a Kim Kardashian butt put onto it and not in a good way!
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Is it Pearson 32 Screech? It is the prototype boat that later was scaled up and became Pearson 40. It is for sale again: 1975 Pearson Custom 32 sailboat for sale in Wisconsin Interesting boat and reasonably priced IMO
That definitely looks like a Pearson 32 hull. The house and coamings look different than I recall. The Pearson 32 was basically a masthead rig version of the earlier Shaw designed Pearson 31 which was a fractionally rigged IOR racer-cruiser.

Jeff
 

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I contacted the seller and got a bunch of pictures and screen shots of an article from 1985 where Shaw talks about his designs, including this one. The 32 Custom Pearson is a one only prototype. That boat is almost exactly like Pearson 40, only smaller. Same design. Shaw used this 32 as his personal boat for a while but his wife hated it as it was a typical racer with no amenities inside. Definitely a piece of history.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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I contacted the seller and got a bunch of pictures and screen shots of an article from 1985 where Shaw talks about his designs, including this one. The 32 Custom Pearson is a one only prototype. That boat is almost exactly like Pearson 40, only smaller. Same design. Shaw used this 32 as his personal boat for a while but his wife hated it as it was a typical racer with no amenities inside. Definitely a piece of history.
With all due respect, this explanation makes no sense at all. To begin with, the Pearson 40 hull and rig bear no relationship to the Pearson 32. The Pearson 40 predated the Pearson 32 by quite a few years, The Pearson 40 was a 'Whale body' centerboard boat. The Whale body design concept was a short lived IOR I rule beating strategy, that was quickly made obsolete by revisions to the IOR rule.

The Pearson 32 was a modification to the earlier Pearson 31, that was a classic IOR II design. The design changes to alter the 31 to the 32 seemingly were in response to changes to the IOR rule that took away the rating advantages of the fractional rig. If the Pearson 31/32 was a prototype for any other Shaw design my guess is that it was a prototype for the Pearson 37 which was similar to the design concept of the Pearson 32 but updated to better take advantage of the ongoing frequent revisions to the IOR rules of that era.

Looking at the pictures more closely, the hull on the 'Custom 32', the stern of the Custom is closer to the 31 than the 32. My best guess is that the Custom 32 was a 31 hull, with a custom deck and a similar rig to a 32. I raced a 31 and the 31 were not great boats. They were under canvased in light air and very squirrelly in a breeze. Putting a masthead rig in a 31 would have helped in light air, but would have made the boat worse in a stiff breeze. My guess has always been that the changes to the run on the 32 were to address this issue.

Jeff
 

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With all due respect, this explanation makes no sense at all. To begin with, the Pearson 40 hull and rig bare no relationship to the Pearson 32. The Pearson 40 predated the Pearson 32 by quite a few years, The Pearson 40 was a 'Whale body' centerboard boat. The Whale body design concept was a short lived IOR I rule beating strategy, that was quickly made obsolete by revisions to the IOR rule.
Jeff
Jeff, the Custom 32 Pearson is not at all similar to Pearson 32 production boat. It is a much earlier design (1975) and a one-of prototype which served as a basis for P40 several years later. Send me your email address in a private message and I will send you the article and photos. It is a very interesting story.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Kris was kind enough to send me photographs and the article that he referenced. The photos of the Custom 32 out of the water are absolutely amazing. As a vegetarian I find myself in the strange position of eating crow. Kris was absolutely right, the pictures and article clearly show that the Custom 32 was a prototype for the Pearson 40. I was 100% mistaken.

That is not great news for the sailing capabilities of the boat, but extremely interesting as a piece of history; falling heavily into the live and learn category. To me one of the more stunning aspects of the photos are that the topsides (Waterline to sheer) of this boat appear to be precisely those of a Pearson 31. But looking at the photos this is a very different boat below the waterline and has a very different deck. The rig is proportionately very similar to the the Pearson 30 and Pearson 10M. The hull-form also has some relationship to the Pearson 26 and Pearson 30 until you get to the whale body part of the underbody.

I, like most people, come here to share ideas and learn. Today I learned about something that I could never have guessed to have existed. Thank you Kris!

Jeff
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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That boat has the whale underbody of the 40? That would have made my head spin around too!

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That boat absolutely has the whale underbody of the 40. I will post a couple pictures if Kris thinks it's okay. When I looked at the pictures I could not have been more shocked if they had photoshopped a real baleen whale body below the waterline.

Jeff
 
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Of course, please post them, Jeff. I hope someone buys that boat and preserves this interesting piece of nautical history. The boat can't be all that terrible as it was winning a lot of races back in the 70's, racing against her contemporaries.
 
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