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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are considering either an Ericson 26 or a Pearson 27 for our first sailboat to cruise on long weekends off the Maine coast. I''d be interested in any comments pro or con either sailboat.
 

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I''ve owned a Pearson 27 since it was new in 1989. Great starter boat for a couple, and also easy to singlehand (which is what I do mostly.) Nice hull shape, good in light air and a downwind rocket! Draft at 3''4" is nice here on the Chesapeake. It does like to be reefed at about 15-18 knots. As with most boats, she sails better the flatter you can keep her. I''ve been out in 40 knots plus and the boat can take more than I can.

What sold me on the boat years ago is the main cabin design. The head is aft to starboard and the rest of the cabin is open all the way to the bow. Drop the salon table and you have a fantastic berth for 2 people, tons of room.

About the only common problem I can think of for these boats is the coating on the winged keel. It''s a brittle epoxy or some such coating that is prone to cracking and getting blisters. But the fix is easy. Chip/grind out the loose stuff and replace with WEST epoxy, or whatever your favorite is. Same coating is on all the winged keels and is a problem for all Pearsons of that vintage. I''ve also heard of Sabre''s having the same problem.

We do have an informal P-27 email list, and I can put you in touch with that group if you''d like. Just email me directly at [email protected]

In case you haven''t guessed, I know nothing about the Ericson 26. :)
 

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SailorMitch,
Have you joined the Pearson Current?? I''ve looked at their site, but haven''t joined.

We also love our OLD Pearson. 1973 P-33. A Shaw designed, no frills, great sailing boat. When I was a teenager, my family had a mid-60s Pearson Vanguard. Prettier, but I believe the P-33 is a better sailor.
 

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I''m familiar with the Pearson Current, and the National Pearson Yacht Owner''s Association, but have never joined. It gets mixed reviews primarily because the fellow who runs it, Bill Lawrence, keeps it a one man show. It''s more than he can handle, so the usefulness of the organization and the information is limited.

I am Vice Commodore of the Pearson Sailing Association of the Chesapeake Bay, so get my Pearson info fix that way. But our group in no way tries to compete with NPYOA. We have a couple of land events a year and rendezvous every month during sailing season. We also publish a newsletter, which was intermittent last year, but WILL be more frequent this year.

The older P-33''s are nice sailing boats from what I hear. It no doubt sails better than my 27 with it''s winged keel. But the volume below on my boat would probably surprise you, too. Where do you sail? Just wondering is all.
 

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SailorMithch, We''re in Oriental, NC. Planning a trip to Chesapeake the year. Hopefull leave Oriental around Memorial Day and return Oct; throught the Dismal Swamp canal. I''ve not been sailing in Chesapeake in many years, and really looking forward to it. No particular plans yet. Where are you?
 

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Dare -- I sail out of Rock Creek, near the mouth of the Patapsco River down from Baltimore. Pretty good area for sailing. Your trip will be great. Lots of terrific places to see on the bay. If you want some of my favorites, email me directly at [email protected] The Pearson Sailing Assoc. sponsors rendezvous every month, primarily in the mid-northern bay. I''ll forward the schedule to you once we have it just in case you''d like to hook up with some other Pearsonites while you''re up this way.
 

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danapsy,

Wow, lots of Pearson fans here! I''ve sailed extensively in both boats, if you reverse your footages, that is. Ericson 27, Pearson 26. My humble opinions here are assuming that these boats are all fairly similar. Anyone feel free to correct me if I''m wrong. (It has been known to happen!!)

While they are both great boats, my vote is on the the Ericson. It sounds to me like your cruising is going to involve some wind and weather at some point, and the Ericson will take a heck of lot more and handle much better than the Pearson.

I have double handed and single handed both boats. In my opinion, the Pearson is a lot more tender, and requires a reef or dropping the main altogether when the wind pipes up over 20 or so. The Ericson is also better at powering through waves.

Good luck - would like to hear what you end up with!!

KathieO
 

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While both the Pearson and Ericson are good vessels why not consider another boat in the same size range with similar a heritage from a company that is still in business? I once owned a Sabre 28 and it was a very nice cruising boat for two people with the benefit of a manufacturer currently making boats where you can still get information and support. An early 80s boat should have pressure water, diesel, wheel with autopilot, good storage and above all very seaworthy. The 28s were all solid fiberglass hull and very strong boats with tabbed bulkheads and furniture. Owners groups are helpful but they can’t send you new hatch boards or companionway frame from stock?
 

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Just a comment on what Kathie said. While I agree with her bottom line on reefing the Pearson at 20 knots plus, the P-26 she has sailed in is a far different boat from the P-27. The P-26 debuted in 1970, the P-27 in 1987. Bill Shaw learned quite a bit in those 17 years, especially how to get and use interior volume. The 27, while really only a few inches longer than the 26, is an all around bigger boat in all dimensions, especially displacement, LWL and beam.

I haven''t sailed any Ericsons, but the P-27 handles rough water very well. I''ve had mine out in 30-40 knot winds on the Chesapeake and just completed a circumnavigation of the Delmarva Peninsula with 20-30 knot winds on the Delaware Bay. The 27 handled it all beautifully.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the information. A lot will depend on what is available in the Northeast. I am leaning toward a Pearson 27 because of the greater headroom, but there is an Ericson 26 available locally. There are some Pearson 27''s available in Massachusetts. Any ideas about buying in the off season given that a sea trial could not happen here in Maine until mid-April or slightly earlier in Massachusetts or Rhode Island? Would I be taking too big a chance if a portion of the price was held in escrow pending a sea trial, especially of the engine''s performance?
 

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I assume you''ll have the boat surveyed. I also suggest having a good diesel mechanic look at the engine. If you go with the P-27, the last one came out of the factory in late 1990 or early 1991 so the engine has some age on it. Pearson used Universals in about the first 2/3 of the run, and Westerbekes towards the end (from about hull number 188 or so on out of a total of about 235 boats.) Both are good engines, but I''d still recommend having a mechanic check them over. Still leave some money in escrow for the sea trial, or even put language in the contract that the sale is dependent upon a successful sea trial.

Mitch
 
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