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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a contract on a 1983 Pearson 303, and are expecting our survey to be done at the beginning of next week. The current owner has obviously taken care of the boat during his tenure.

The only potential issue I could find after a lot of looking was some signs of corrosion at the bottom of the mast (slight white powder on one side right at the foot) -- it didn't seem bad to me - of course that's why I am paying a marine surveyor next week.

I understand that a lot of keel stepped boats will get corrosion at the step and the fix is usually to pull the mast, cut off the corrosion, and re-step with a new step built up to account for the part cut off. From reading it looks like this can run in the range of 1-2k.

Question is, given we would be paying $10.5k (reduced from 12k already), if this is the only defect is this still a good deal ?
 

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There is a big difference between surface corrosion and structural corrosion that affects the integrity of the rig. Clean off that area with a bronze wire brush followed by alcohol wipe and take a very close look at the pitted area. No need to cut the mast if pitting is rather superficial and shallow. You can assume that pitting on the outside of the mast is matched by the pitting on the inside of the mast. I would apply a coat of cosmoline to the bottom part of the mast, including the inside part when you get a chance to unstep the mast. Bottom part of the mast is subject primarily to compression loads so slight corrosion is not a big deal.
 

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I agree with krisscross. A bit of surface corrosion is no big deal. Make sure the surveyor looks at it carefully. Price sounds very good for a Pearson of that size and age. But the survey is key. A major issue or two can turn a bargain into a money pit.
 

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We had the same problem with our Pearson 31-2 1987 (new to us).

We dropped the mast to deal with ours because we had to re-do all the original rigging (!), replace a broken piece of the furling foil, re-route a couple of wires, replace broken and worn sheaves and the whole wind instrument. We cut a few inches off the bottom of the mast and will adjust the new rigging accordingly.

We also took the opportunity to pull the chainplates to inspect them and clean them. Luckily those beefy items were in excellent shape. We were hauling out for the summer in Florida anyway so the only other cost was $150 to step the mast. Sometimes it is just simpler to do everything at once.

This boat was otherwise in good shape and the price was right even considering the costs for the above, but out of sight is out of mind and the last thing anyone wants is a rig failure.

BOAT: bust out another thousand!

"The difference between ordeal and adventure is attitude".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We passed our survey, the surveyor took a good look at the mast and step.

Only real concern is that he suggested we re-bed all the stanchions - so that will keep me busy for a while!
 

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Good news! Enjoy the "new" boat. A suggestion to rebed the stanchions is pretty standard.
 

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I'm looking at making the jump into sailboat ownership. I'd pretty much narrowed my search to Catalina, 27-30 ft range. However, a 1985 Pearson 303 has come on the market in my area.

I know nothing about Pearson boats, and how they compare to Catalina. Naturally, with a 1985 boat, age is a concern. Any thoughts/opinions will be appreciated.

Randy
 

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Welcome to sailnet. Pearson was a very popular sailboat builder that went out of business about 1990 along with lots of others like ODay, Cal, Ranger, Ericson, etc. The 303 compares pretty well with the similar sized Catalinas of the same vintage. Worth considering if its been well maintained. Make sure you get a survey.
 

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Thanks for the info.

It does worry me a bit that Pearson is no longer in business. One nice thing about Catalina is the ease of parts availability and the support network.

For sure I'll get a survey if I decide to seriously consider buying this boat. But the whole survey process is also something I need to get educated on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
We had a Catalina 30 about 10 years ago and have our Pearson 303 now. Of the two, I have to say I like the Pearson better.

Prior to looking at the P303, we looked at a LOT of C25's and C27's -- they all seemed really tired and small. Looking at all of those pushed us back toward a 30' boat.

The 303 seems like it is just roomier to me (I'm 6' tall) than our C30 was. I haven't hit my head yet on the 303.

I also like that we have almost 2' shallower draft than our C30 (we had a fin keel C30). Speaking of keels, I also like that it's not bolted on like it is with the Catalina's -- no chance for that Catalina "smile" surprise at haul out.

Sure Pearson is no longer in business, but I don't see that as a huge issue -- Yanmar engine, Bomar or Beckson ports, etc. on the P303.

Hope this helps.
 

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Oh yes, big help, thanks for the info!

A sailing buddy of mine said pretty much the same as you did regarding parts, so that's good to know. Also, I'm 6 ft, my boys taller, so the roominess is a plus.

I've read about that "Catalina Smile", also good to know that that's not an issue here.

What about rigging, specifically chainplates, on this boat? Any concerns here?
 

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Thanks for all the info, folks. I appreciate it!

I've also found a 1987 Pears on 28 in my local area that looks to be in pretty good shape. The current owner has pretty much kept on top of things. It has a composting head, though, and I know nothing about those.

While the 28 is smaller, for the type of sailing I do - bays and coastal - it should be good in that regard.
 
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