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OK I am ready to try to take advantage of the economic downturn. Older boats seem to be going for almost nothing now. I am looking for a 30 foot boat to live on and sail on the weekends. Just around the Hudson River and possibly into the LI sound in the summer as a vacation. No off shore yet, and would likely get another boat if I decided to do that.

I used to spend my summers sailing on a 30 foot Catalina on weekends on Lake Erie. I also used to live on a 35 foot house boat year round on the Ohio River. So I think I know what I am getting into. I am now living in the Hudson Valley. I have found a winter slip and am still searching out a summer slip to be closer to work. I live by myself, but have my boys (10 & 13) on many weekends. I am looking to simplify my life and downsize. I know I want sail power as I never really enjoyed being out on power boats. I have found a Pearson I like, and am going to look at a Newport. I have also seen Ericsons and Catalinas in the same price range all boats are mid 1970’s to early 1980’s. (About $15,000) I know anything in my price range is going to need some work, but that is ok as I am very handy. Good with mechanical, electrical, and carpentry.

How do the four compare, my sailing skills are very rusty as I have not been on a sailboat in about 15 years! They seem to be similar construction, but I am not sure. I really like the lines of the Pearson and the Newport but I am really a form follows function guy, so aesthetics are not as important as practicality. I am looking for good light air performance and will have any boat surveyed for sure.
 

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Hello,

My comments are all IMHO.

From what I have seen there isn't all that much difference between ANY commonly available, production type cruiser / racers from the late 70's to mid 80's. This includes O'day, Catalina, Newport, Pearson, C&C, S2, Ericson, etc.

Some boats, like Tartan and Sabre are definitely nicer, but not all that much. And, if not maintained, are worth less than a well maintained Catalina.

There are some boats that *I* don't think are as good. This includes Hunter (mid 80's), Irwin, Siedelman, and Laguna. I know there are many people who love those boats, but the ones that I looked at were all in bad condition and seemed poorly made.

Of the particular boats you mentioned, I would say that the Catalina has the most room and would be the best for living on. The Pearson is going to sail the best. The Newport is in between. The Newport interior will be the nicest (teak and holly sole, real teak cabinets, leaded glass lockers, etc.

A little additional info. I used to own a Newport 28. The Newport 30 is very close. I have sailed on a number of Catalina 30's. This past summer I spent 4 days sailing an older Pearson 30. I was very impressed with how the Pearson 30 sailed. It had a tiller (I don't like tillers) that took up a lot of room in the cockpit, but boy did that boat go. I'm sure it was faster than my O'day 35. The inside was very plain and not very big.

If you plan on spending significant amounts of time on the boat be sure to look for things like a real AC electrical system, pressure hot and cold water, and a decent galley. Some of the older boats had just DC power, cold water with foot pump, alcohol stove, etc. That's great for weekend use, but could get old if you will be on the boat for longer than that. I know that when I'm on my boat for a week I really appreciate hot water, a propane stove, and plenty of power.

Good luck,
Barry
 

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Of the particular boats you mentioned, I would say that the Catalina has the most room and would be the best for living on.
A Pearson 303 is an exceptionally beamy boat with comparable room to the Catalina 30.

Do not confuse the 303 with the Pearson 30, which will sail circles around the 303.

You'll quickly learn that everything is a compromise is sailboat design.

Good luck!!
 

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What's the age of the Pearson? The "Wanderer", 300, "Coaster", 30 and 303 are all 30 ft Pearsons but are five very different sailboats. My Pearson 31-2 is 30'9" . . . and naturally I prefer the Pearson of your group.

I'm not Catalina shy at all - owned a 2000 34MkII for six years and it was a great sailboat.

Catalina 30 is a nice boat, be selective as there are a lot of them out there. As Barry L said: find a well maintained boat regardless of brand. We hunted around (for five months) for a mechanically and structurally sound boat that needed cosmetic and "minor" maintenance type work. I figure if you can sail it and sleep on it without fear of sinking the rest you can work on in your spare time.
 

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Pre '86 (or around there) Catalina 30s have plywood keel stubs. That would play into my decision if all else was equal.
 

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This past summer I spent 4 days sailing an older Pearson 30. I was very impressed with how the Pearson 30 sailed.
They are exceptionally well-behaved boats. Ours, with the rig properly-tuned, pretty much sails herself. Even in 15 kts, with a #1, full main and a crew of only two, was well-mannered once I got things set properly.

It had a tiller (I don't like tillers) that took up a lot of room in the cockpit,
That they do. The helmsman ends-up easily w/in reach of the cabin bulkhead. Works out well for single- and double-handing, but guests are relegated to the back corners of the cockpit or somewhere forward.

but boy did that boat go.
That they can :). Ours allegedly never lost a race at the club where she was before we bought her.

The inside was very plain and not very big.
The cabin interior is sparse. That was a plus, for us. Both my wife and I like neat and clean, and the P30's cabin is very easy in that respect. As to size: For a 30' boat with only 9'6" on the beam, she's got more room down there than you'd think. We've yet to have a visitor that wasn't surprised by the amount of room we have down there.

That being said: I don't know about the P30 as a live-aboard boat. I guess it's a matter of what you need. I suppose I'd be able to do it as a single man. Would have to find someplace to install a refrigerator, water-heater, small oven, I guess, and a microwave. You'd definitely want to convert to propane for the cooking. There's no shower, but I suppose the head could be re-fitted for one. (You'd have to do something about the faux wood in there, tho.) You'd want to pressurize the fresh water system. I'm in the north, so I'd have to add something for heating her.

I guess if you want a boat to live aboard that sails, perhaps the Pearson P30 isn't for you. But if you want a boat that sails that you can live aboard, I imagine it could be done.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They are exceptionally well-behaved boats. Ours, with the rig properly-tuned, pretty much sails herself. Even in 15 kts, with a #1, full main and a crew of only two, was well-mannered once I got things set properly.

That they do. The helmsman ends-up easily w/in reach of the cabin bulkhead. Works out well for single- and double-handing, but guests are relegated to the back corners of the cockpit or somewhere forward.

That they can :). Ours allegedly never lost a race at the club where she was before we bought her.

The cabin interior is sparse. That was a plus, for us. Both my wife and I like neat and clean, and the P30's cabin is very easy in that respect. As to size: For a 30' boat with only 9'6" on the beam, she's got more room down there than you'd think. We've yet to have a visitor that wasn't surprised by the amount of room we have down there.

That being said: I don't know about the P30 as a live-aboard boat. I guess it's a matter of what you need. I suppose I'd be able to do it as a single man. Would have to find someplace to install a refrigerator, water-heater, small oven, I guess, and a microwave. You'd definitely want to convert to propane for the cooking. There's no shower, but I suppose the head could be re-fitted for one. (You'd have to do something about the faux wood in there, tho.) You'd want to pressurize the fresh water system. I'm in the north, so I'd have to add something for heating her.

I guess if you want a boat to live aboard that sails, perhaps the Pearson P30 isn't for you. But if you want a boat that sails that you can live aboard, I imagine it could be done.

Jim
Yea, I want to be able to sail! I don't need much in the way of space, though I am an avid cook and will need propane or CNG for sure. Galley is what I am worried about the most, as I cook a lot, and am having trouble deciding what to let go of. Sure don't think I will have room for my professional stand mixer! But I would hate to get something that needs a lot of wind to go, and never take it out just for more room down below.

Compromises, complicated by a tight budget!

I really like the Pearson 30, but am leaning towards the Newport but finding the right boat will be as important as anything.
 

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This thread is over 4 years old, so the original participants might not be around anymore.

However many of us have been in the same position of comparing Erickson and Pearson boats. What models are you looking at?
 

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Hi everybody. I am new here.. I am looking at a pearson 33 1986 and ericson 32 1985. For sure the ericson is more equipped with more canvas and technology then the pearson and the diesel motor is a little bigger in the ericson, but also the pearson looks to be in a very good shape with 18hp motor and she is about $7000 less expensive in the starting price then the ericson. I used to sail in the Mediterranean sea. No much experience yet in the pacific ocean. I d lie a boat that sails well in light air and with some breeze. I am planning trips to Catalina Island from San Diego and perhaps next year going down to Cabo with Bahia Ha. Please let me know
 

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Since you have some specific questions, it's much better to start a new thread than tack onto the end of an old one that is only slightly related.

Both boats sound like they should be suitable for what your propose. With 30-year old boats, it all comes down to condition. Make sure you get a survey of whatever one you make on offer on.
 
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