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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I saw a Pearson 40 the other day hauled out and that whale keel is very interesting.

I wasn''t able to find much in the way of information on them. Just know that they are k/c sloops that have very nice interiors.

Anyone here own one, or sailed one, or can tell me anything about their offshore, windard, and other performances. Thanks.

George
 

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George, the P40 was designed by Bill Shaw to race in an IOR class but was simply too heavy (aka: well built) to be competitive. It''s a favorite choice of cruising sailors and these have been sailed across oceans numerous times without problem. You have to like a relatively dark cabin without the visibility a trunk cabin provides, accept the K/Centerboard for its virtues and liabilities, and not be troubled by the absence of either an aft head or quarter aft cabin, things you find more commonly on boats these days. For cruising, you''d probably want to modify the interior and gain accessible storage at the expense of some of those berths.

When the New Pearson Owner''s Assoc. sponsored a seminar on a few years ago on cruising aboard Pearson boats, one of Bill Shaw''s statements that was part of the presentation was his personal view that a P40 was probably the Pearson model he would have the most confidence in sailing across an ocean.

Jack (currently cruising a Pearson 424 Ketch)
 

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PHRF ratings between 108 and 120 (depending upon where you are/local conditions) indicate a reasonable turn of speed for a cruiser, especially from that period. The dimensions give her a heft and spaciousness that can be very comfortable. Despite being roomy inside, the seamanlike design keeps the spaces from being cavernous hangars that you would get tossed across if the boat launched off a wave. Nice boats.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the great input. Sounds like a boat that would be worth my while getting a ride on, and perhaps owning later.

It seems it would be a great boat for the sounds pacific or other areas that require a boat to have a relatively shallow draft, but also be able to travel open oceans in safety and comfort.

George
 

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Do you mean a whale body hull or a whale keel? The Pearson 40 (late 1970''s early 1980''s era keel/CB race boat) that I know was actually a whale body hull design, made popular under the IOR rule of the era. I have spent a little time at sea on these boats. They are miserable boats in a seaway, rolling wildly downwind snap rolling off of the topsides on a beam reach in a chop. While they have very large ballast ratios the ballast was carried very high in the hull (there was no keel stub as I recall) and so resulted in a boat that was heavy but tender. Because of the high ballast ratio these boats were extremely heavy and yet were not all that sturdy, rugged or well suited to carrying a lot of payload. The ends are quite pinched in making cockpit is quite narrow and uncomfortable and giving the boat a tendancy to broach. The whale body design makes the rudder quite vulnerable to damage. The flush deck is quite difficult to move around in a seaway and ventilation was quite poor as I recall (a couple deck hatches but no portlights). The pinched ends and lack of portlights make the interior seem quite small and claustiphobic.

These boats were pretty good upwind in moderate conditions but were not so great at either end of the spectrum. They were a bear to sail downwind and really took a higher level of skill to sail in a stiff breeze. These would not be good boats to short-hand.

These have never been a favorits of mine and would really make very little sense in the rolling swells of the Pacific.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don''t know if whale body hull is the more common term perhaps, but the general shape is almost that of a v-hull power boat. From looking at it one of my first thought''s was that it would be rather rolly sense it lacks a real appendage.

But Jeff, your view differs quite drastically from the others on this BB, though you are also the only one that has sailed one from what I can tell so this makes sense. I also agree with your general view of flush decks, I personally veiw them as a hazard for open ocean sailing. I also agree that the rudder could be a real hazard area and very prone to damage in a grounding or intentional beaching.

George
 

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Anyone interested in the P-40 should contact current owners at the pearson40.org site. Also, read some of the posted articles about people who have done some blue water sailing in the boat. I''m familiar with one of the boats (Fortuna) for which there''s an article about a sail to Bermuda in a variety of wind conditions. Check that out. Fortuna''s owner formerly kept the boat in the northern Chesapeake and came to a few rendezvous for the Pearson Sailing Association of the Chesapeake. I was on the boat several times and admire it for what it is. While I agree that the P-40 would not be my first choice of a boat, owners usually rave about the sailing abilities of the boat in a wide range of conditions. It always pays to seek a variety of input for any boat.

I once asked Bill Shaw about the inspiration for the hull shape of the P-40. His joking response was "a quahog." He then admitted it was an old design used by others that intrigued him. He was pleased with the result, and also pleased that the P-40 association was always bugging him to speak.

Disclaimer: I have owned two Pearson''s (currently a P-33-2) and am closing out my third year as commodore of the PSACB.
 

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Hello Jeff. Say for clarification is there any way you could post a picture of the keel design you are suggesting is not a good option for the pacific? I have read and re-read this thread and still cannot come to a conclusion.


Jeff_H said:
Do you mean a whale body hull or a whale keel? The Pearson 40 (late 1970''s early 1980''s era keel/CB race boat) that I know was actually a whale body hull design, made popular under the IOR rule of the era. I have spent a little time at sea on these boats. They are miserable boats in a seaway, rolling wildly downwind snap rolling off of the topsides on a beam reach in a chop. While they have very large ballast ratios the ballast was carried very high in the hull (there was no keel stub as I recall) and so resulted in a boat that was heavy but tender. Because of the high ballast ratio these boats were extremely heavy and yet were not all that sturdy, rugged or well suited to carrying a lot of payload. The ends are quite pinched in making cockpit is quite narrow and uncomfortable and giving the boat a tendancy to broach. The whale body design makes the rudder quite vulnerable to damage. The flush deck is quite difficult to move around in a seaway and ventilation was quite poor as I recall (a couple deck hatches but no portlights). The pinched ends and lack of portlights make the interior seem quite small and claustiphobic.

These boats were pretty good upwind in moderate conditions but were not so great at either end of the spectrum. They were a bear to sail downwind and really took a higher level of skill to sail in a stiff breeze. These would not be good boats to short-hand.

These have never been a favorits of mine and would really make very little sense in the rolling swells of the Pacific.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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OK, I know this is an old thread, but I can't help being bugged some by Jeff's comments. I guess he never really owned one. I remember reading his comments back in 2009 when I wanted to buy mine, and I am glad I listened to other people too, as SailorMitch suggested. I have today an awesome P40, that sails better than I could ever wish for. It is a boat that needs attention when you want to get the last bit of speed out of it, on broad reach with quartering seas, but an easy sailing cruiser, when that is your flavor. It is all about trimming sails and CB. When you reach hull speed in a displacement boat, then any excess sail can be taken down/reefed. I trim easily to a no-input on the helm, from beating - to close reach from 3-15mph wind without reefing, then goes the main with a reef till 20mph., and then maybe the other reef in the main. Our 135% Head sail we do not reef til 20-25, depending on gusts. I love the way it handles. It is alive, and very rewarding.

The inside is traditional, with the pros and cons that brings. There is always something to hold on to when in the seas. There is no L or U shaped setee/salon or aft cabin (still sleeps 7 though), but we do not find the boat is not dark and claustrophobic - and I am 6' 7". Plenty of light, and try to find a sailboat with a larger forward Hatch. Ventilation is not bad, but not the best, unless you are a anchor or a mooring. (that forward hatch needs no wind scoop). The flush deck makes my life a breeze. It is great space to work on while on the way. We have several P40 owners who singlehand their boats and they are happy! The only downside I see to this boat when "singlehanding" is: Getting it in and out of the slip in a side wind. It has no BUMPERS!
If you are a sailor and can sail, or have a true desire to learn, then I think you will enjoy this vessel as much as we do. It is said to look for them with a MKII rudder, but it is a fairly easy job, to change it yourself. The build quality and dimensioning of this boat makes me feel safer when going Off-shore, than I think I would in any of today's fast production boats. No, ours is not for sale! We got Love for it! :)
For more info. on the P40 you can go to pearson40. net.

Fair Winds,
 

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OK, I know this is an old thread, but I can't help being bugged some by Jeff's comments. I guess he never really owned one. I remember reading his comments back in 2009 when I wanted to buy mine, and I am glad I listened to other people too, as SailorMitch suggested. I have today an awesome P40, that sails better than I could ever wish for. It is a boat that needs attention when you want to get the last bit of speed out of it, on broad reach with quartering seas, but an easy sailing cruiser, when that is your flavor. It is all about trimming sails and CB. When you reach hull speed in a displacement boat, then any excess sail can be taken down/reefed. I trim easily to a no-input on the helm, from beating - to close reach from 3-15mph wind without reefing, then goes the main with a reef till 20mph., and then maybe the other reef in the main. Our 135% Head sail we do not reef til 20-25, depending on gusts. I love the way it handles. It is alive, and very rewarding.

The inside is traditional, with the pros and cons that brings. There is always something to hold on to when in the seas. There is no L or U shaped setee/salon or aft cabin (still sleeps 7 though), but we do not find the boat is not dark and claustrophobic - and I am 6' 7". Plenty of light, and try to find a sailboat with a larger forward Hatch. Ventilation is not bad, but not the best, unless you are a anchor or a mooring. (that forward hatch needs no wind scoop). The flush deck makes my life a breeze. It is great space to work on while on the way. We have several P40 owners who singlehand their boats and they are happy! The only downside I see to this boat when "singlehanding" is: Getting it in and out of the slip in a side wind. It has no BUMPERS!
If you are a sailor and can sail, or have a true desire to learn, then I think you will enjoy this vessel as much as we do. It is said to look for them with a MKII rudder, but it is a fairly easy job, to change it yourself. The build quality and dimensioning of this boat makes me feel safer when going Off-shore, than I think I would in any of today's fast production boats. No, ours is not for sale! We got Love for it! :)
For more info. on the P40 you can go to pearson40. net.

Fair Winds,
Keep in mind Jeff is a trained naval architect and has been on more boats than most of us would ever dream of being on. He has very specific ideas about what makes the ideal boat. I agree with some, and not with others. But his ideas of motion comfort are normally spot on. He tends to be more speed oriented than me, but speed is rarely a bad thing. I think it is great you are happy with your boat, and you have either accepted or adopted to the comprises of your boat. All boats are a compromise and it is great yours suit your needs. Most folks love there boats, even with what might make them unsuitable for others. In fact if you look at user groups of a specific model it is rare for you to see bad reviews even of generally panned designs. So what that means is that most folks can adapt to a boat. People who have been on more boats start to get more critical in there evaluation due to the broader range of experience.
 

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No question Jeff knows his stuff - but he is also extremely hard to please. :D

I can rarely recall him praising a boat - it's happened but I sure wouldn't have to take my socks off to count the times.
 
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No question Jeff knows his stuff - but he is also extremely hard to please. :D

I can rarely recall him praising a boat - it's happened but I sure wouldn't have to take my socks off to count the times.

I think he has praised several Farr boats(he sails one), and the Kelly Peterson 44 as I recall. But yes he is very hard to please, but the other side of that is that he perhaps will help prevent a poor decision.
 

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Been reading this old thread and trying to understand if this fix is still available. The P40 is a unique and I found one that looks interesting but some of the rudder "tales" have me concerned. How can you tell if the rudder has been upgraded? If not, any suggestions on where to get one made? Sounds like a potentially expensive project relative to the value of the boat. Interested in any thoughts, observations, etc.
 

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In reply to rbicksler; This is my second read-through of this thread as I am still considering a P40 that has caught my eye. Here is an article from 2003 that gives the backstory on how the “Mark II” rudder came about and the key players in the process. The article also lists pearson40.org as the go to place to locate the people and enterprises that can help with the job. ⚓
(the link below was still valid at the time of this posting)


EDIT: Unfortunately, Pearson40.org went offline sometime after April 2010. Fortunately, the WayBackMachine captured several snapshots of the website for the internet archive at: Home of the Pearson 40
 
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