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Just out of curiosity, I too happen to be looking at moving into a Pearson Vanguard and am curious as to the bunk/ berth lengths? Would you happen to know Jim? How tall are you? I'm 6'2" and one of the reasons I'm getting rid of my 1961 Columbia 29 is that I need just a few more inches in the vberth.
 

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Thanks for all the great info and reviews. Both good and bad :) . Actually getting a mid 1965 boat for me would be a move up in years. I wont directly disagree about the fiberglass as i know there have been many advances in the last 50 years. However, I'll say the glass in the early 60's is a far cry better than the 70's osmosis bs.

I actually have what may be one of the first or second (I seem to recall finding and earlier boat) fiberglass production boats. It's a 1961 Columbia 29 Hull#64, they were a S&S design but... guess where Phil Rhodes was working before he went out on his own... So he drew the lines for the Columbia 29 while working at S&S. I know the design was commissioned in 1958/59, and production started in 1960.

I also agree no naval architect or engineer would design and build with something they didn't have good data on.

I've raced on a Farr 37 for years. I've gone fast and wet. Pounded through the waves and done 12knts on the downwind almost planning the thing! That was a scary day! I've also sailed my old modified full keel C-29 for 1000 cruising miles here on the great lakes in 10-13' seas that are always close packed here and in 30-60knts of wind. I'd rather be in the C-29 for ride comfort than the Farr 37. I know the Vanguard won't point as high or go as fast but from where I'm standing on my C-29 it'll go faster and be roomier, for the wife currently and the kids in the near future.

As to the A4 I have one currently, but the prospective boat has a Universal diesel. It's a great little engine as you say smooth quiet and reliable. The model I have actually has a production date of 1959, and was rebuilt in 2004. I haven't found anything that has been beyond my abilities. The best improvement was putting on a PCV kit from Indigo electronics made a world of difference. I've been able to achive some really gph with it but the diesel will be nice. Apparently the boat was repowered sometime in the 90's. Currently no info on engine model or cylinders. The broker yard guy just wants it gone doesn't want to do any extra work filling in details ect.
He said I'm more than welcome to come crawl through it to my hearts delight. He said if I want or need to stay on it to feel free as most of the hotels in the area close for the winter... Otherwise it's a 2 hour drive to the next bigger town.

Thanks so much for confirming the bunk length, that has been a burning question as right now I'm a good 2" longer than my bunk... :mad: . You'd be surprised how hard it is to find that info. I didn't want to drive the 9hrs to take a look only to find the same problem. The boat I'm looking at has been stored indoors in winter for the last 30years, and has been inside unlaunched for the last 11yrs. The wood looks great, it has a traverler already installed along with many upgrades. It's a dinnette version but the port quarterberth has been turned into storage/ chart table. The boat is owned by the yard and has been for sale for over 8 years so it sounds like they are ready to deal on price! Wish me luck, I'm planning on a visit in a few weeks. Anything particular other than soft decks/ mast step to watch out for that hasn't already been mentioned?
 

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I just realized I made it sound like the boat was abandoned. The former owner was elderly and eventually fell ill and then later died. While he was ill the family made the decision to sign over the boat in leu of yard/ storage fees ect. It definetly isn't a boatyard queen that's left to rot.
 

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Thanks for the info I've been there and yes they make a good read. I've heard from many about the pluses and minuses of the boats. I appreciate the article on the rudder mod I'll dig into it. I've been googling for a couple of weeks and surprised I missed that one.
 

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Actually that's the 2nd Vanguard I've seen with a spade rudder. I seem to remember reading an article about how towards the end of production they weren't very competitive so they redesigned the rudder to a spade and several came from Pearson this way... It would be interesting to compare the sailing qualities side by side. I bet the spade is quicker/ points better but, somehow though I like the keel hung rudder better. It's better supported and less for things to get tangled on ect.
 

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Phil Rhodes worked for Cox & Stevens, which changed its name to Philip Rhodes Naval Architects and Marine Engineers in 1947.

I had a Vanguard for a number of years, and I agree with what Jeff H said.
We'll it looks like I've been grossly misinformed. I apologize I read an article and forum contents on the C-29 and thought it was true. I guess what they say about everything about everything on the internet being true doesn't hold up! :confused:

Thanks for your input. So you agree they are somewhat poorly built layup wise and obviously won't point as high as modern fin keel boats? Or was there some other aspect you are wanting to share. Thanks again for all the input.
 

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:DSeabreeze, I'll agree that comment doesn't make alot of sense to me either. I wouldn't be looking at one of these boats if I wasn't interested in the warts and all as you put it. One persons experience that goes contrary to a long list of others experiences isn't a determent to me. I'm the type of person that gets bored if I don't have a project or something to fix. I guess that's why I like old boats, and sailing in general, there's always something!
 

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Jeff and Jim,
Thanks again for all the great info. Jeff it your explination of the fiber length sounds knowledgable makes perfect sense to me. I'm under no illusions that Vanguards are any stronger than later boats or in some way the pinnacle of yacht design. Owning an even older fiberglass boat currently moving up to a 1964/65 Vanguard sounds like a move up for me. Besides I've done all the fiberglass, epoxy, woodwork, engine work ect I can on my current boat :D So I'm in need of something else to tinker with! That and an extra few feet of space witll be more than welcome when compared to my Columbia 29, especially in the bunk/berth department. Wonder where the OP went?
 

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Also for my purposes of cruising and occasional cross lake race I think it will suit us well. Also for the wife when sailing on the Farr 37 she would get seasick quite readily, however with C-29 she seems to do better, that and the large windows below so she can keep an eye on the horizon whilst grabbing beers and sandwhichs! :p

All of that and the boat I'm considering is in my price range is a big plus.
 
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