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The Pearson is nicely laid out and has useful stowage (drawers/lockers!) in the forward cabin. I also recall there being more than 6' of headroom in the forward cabin. (It surprised me because the cabin looks like it gets quite low up forward.) The quarterberth and pilot berth are good sea-berths, and the galley and nav station are big enough to be useful and comfortable to work in. The salon table being offset to port makes moving forward & aft simple, without disrupting what may be out on the table (If you're living aboard, stuff will be out on the table.) There seems to be a good amount of freeboard forward, which should help keep her dry. The skeg on the rudder makes threading through lobsterpots or crab buoys less nerve-wracking. Having the helm forward in the cockpit means the dodger protects the helmsman as well as the crew, and makes handing up drinks and communicating with belowdecks easier. It also means a solo helmsman can handle the jibsheets if need be, and the main sheet is right there as well. The Cal is supposed to be a nice boat too, but the Pearson 36 I saw - about 20 years ago- stuck in my mind. You can always paint over the formica or glue real veneer onto the beautifully flat surfaces.