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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I am finally buying a boat. It has been 10 years since the last one. The price is right. I have found a decend 1981 Hunter 30 with lots of equipment. However I also ran accross a 1983 Pearson 34 (centerboard). Both are going for the same price and will require T.L.C. and some updating.
I am leaning towards the bigger boat since I had a Columbia 30 and think that bigger is better (in this case). I need opinions on which way to go.
Personally, I think the Pearson will have a better resale than the Hunter.

I realize that we all have our preferences. I will be sailing mostly solo or with one helper in coastal S.C. Some overnight trips.

Thank you for your imput.

Guidera48
 

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Hunter is a great lake, bay, coastal cruising and comfortable in the slip boat . The Pearson is better if you plan to venture off shore to any extent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mostly day sails out of Little River Inlet in S.C. Also Winyaw bay in georgetown, S.C.. Overnights to Charleston, Hilton Head, Southport, N.C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The hunter has 1 plow, 1 Delta and 1 danforth anchor with SS chain and 250 rode each. Cruiseair portable air. ST60 detph, speed and wind. Dodger,bimini and side curtains for a fully enclosed cockpit. 8ft Apex inflatable (no motor). Rear foldable Mahogany swim platform 6ft wide. Custom S.S. davits with 150w Kyocera panels, Garmin 440 GPS, VHF and AM/FM radio, Frigibar cold plate, H & C water heater, S.S. grill and gas stove. The only thing I would add is a jib furler and a 5hp motor for the tender.
 

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Second the recommendations so far. Assuming no major structural problems the Pearson will be a stronger boat if you plan going offshore, the Hunter built for coastal cruising.

Definitely get a survey. Older boats can have serious structural problems that may cost more than the value of the boat to repair. Check especially deck moisture/delamination, hull blisters, etc. These could be real deal killers. Rigging, motor, etc can be fixable if the price is right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Pearson has been to Australia, South america and the Islands. However it is bare and only has a dodger and Bimini along with a furler. Electronics are old. Both boats will need cushion covers and brightwork. Sails are under 10years old on both.
 

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As others have stated, condition is the most important thing. I'd always put the Pearson 34 ahead of the Hunter 30, but then I must tell you I almost bought a Pearson 33-2 (very similar to the P34) and have sailed Pearsons a good bit. I think they're a step above the quality of the Hunters of the same era.

That said, if the Hunter is in better condition and has more gear and needs less work, that's something to consider. Personally, I'd buy the Pearson, or if it's not as nice as the Hunter, I'd wait for another boat. Just not a Hunter fan (no offense to the Hunter owners out there who are sailing and love their boats, just not for me).

As others said to me, in the end, it's about which boat speaks to you. And condition I'd still put way ahead of builder.
 

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Having had both a Pearson and a Hunter, I would ask anyone who thinks P is better built why - be very interested in their response. My prediction is that it is often based solely on perception.
Frankly, neither is designed or built as an offshore boat but both can be taken offshore by a good crew under reasonable weather conditions.
As others have said, ignore the name plate and choose the one which is in better condition.
 

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Pearson , but I am biased

as I own a Pearson 10M. However, until I found the 10M, I really wanted a Pearson 34/Fin Keel.

Pearson (Bill Shaw) built a solid late 70's/mid 80's boat. Some say B. Shaw's designs are a little overbuilt for coastal cruising/day sailing. That being said, a Hunter/Churbini 30 is a decent boat.

Some bonuses with the Pearson 34 for your needs:
  1. Bigger boat, more volume room
  2. HUGE Cockpit - 9' feet long (Ideal for guest and group daysails)
  3. Probably a little better initial build
  4. Soild glass hull
  5. Proven in mild off-shore conditions
  6. WAY Faster than the Hunter 30 - Means more distance covered in equivalent time
  7. Centerboard, allows boat to go into more gunkhole spots

The negatives of the Pearson 34 for your needs:
  1. May be seem too big for a quick day sail for two people
  2. Bigger Boat means more $ for upkeep, storage, taxes, fees. Remember everything is related to boat length.
  3. Centerboard, one more thing to break

I wouldn't let the "old" electronics dissuade you, all other things being the same. These are relatively cheap (aside from radar) and can be upgraded easily. I have radar, GPS, autopilot, chartplotter, depth, windspeed/direction. In the two years that I have owned our boat, I have yet to use the radar and used the autopilot twice. I rarely use our chartplotter for the "Chart" portion. The depth meter is used a lot as is the apparent wind module.

As others have said, whatever boat is best for your needs and "sings" to you, is the one for you. As other's have also said, look at the condition of each boat and get a good survey on which every you choose.

DrB
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for the imput. I spoke today at length with the Pearson broker and she advised me that the engine would be hard pressed to make it through 2 weeks of ICW from Fl to S.C. Futhermore, the sole is gone and the boat has not been used in a while, therefore the bottom would have to be cleaned before even thinking to move it. Frankly it is a good buy but I dont know if I want to spend the next 6 months working on the boat. It sounds like a complete gut job.
Oh well. However, I did find a 1994 IRWIN 33 that looks promissing. I still think there is so much more volume in a 33/34footer vs a 30 footer. Thanks All
 

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STOP......

Buy the Pearson. No question about it. I have a 1983 pearson CB 34 foot and love it. It is a tank that is very forgiving and will make you a proud papa. I will admit that finding parts may be tough and the engine may need constant upgrade, but i pruchased a beauty and love to sail it. The hunter has no real redemimg features
 
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