SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
s/v Tiger Lily
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What do people think of the Pearson 35 Centerboard (1970) as a singlehanded boat? This would be on the Chesapeake Bay. Would you suggest any modifications?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,001 Posts
The Pearson 35's were an older CCA era design. They sail pretty will for a boat of that era, but would be a mixed bag for cruising the Chesapeake Bay. Their shallow draft with the board up would allow them to get into many of the shallower anchorages, creeks and rivers. They were reasonably well constructed. They are typically pretty cheap to buy. And that is the good news.

On the other hand, they are not very good light air boats, and not very good in a chop, two very common conditions on the Bay. They do not have much ventilation. They have the interior space of a typical 30 or so footer from a later era.

In terms of being a good single-hander, with a few modifications such as running halyards and reef lines back to the cockpit, almost any 35 foot boat can be single-handed. But when you talk about how suitable a boat is to single-handing, ease of handling becomes a lot more critrical. When I think of ideal single-handers, in an ideal worldI would suggest that you would not want a rig that depends heavily on large overlapping headsails as these are hard to tack and require a sail change to safely deal with heavy conditions. What ends up happening is that single-handers try to get by with smaller headsails made with heavier fabric that can be roller-furlered on these boats and so give up light air performance. With a boat like the Pearson 35 that has such poor light air performance on the Chesapeake Bay, you are either carrying a light air genoa, which is hard to tack and requires making sail changes or else giving up a lot of sailing days.

Jeff
 

·
s/v Tiger Lily
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Jeff. Extremely helpful. I've been enamoured with the P-35/CB primarily because of the shoal draft, but I'm certainly not settled on it. Are there any shoal draft, 30-35 ft, light-air, family coastal cruisers, well-built, wheel-convertable, single-hand-able, pretty, reasonably priced, used sailboats that you recommend? Tall order?
 

·
Senior Moment
Joined
·
598 Posts
I won't comment on the well-built part, I have no personal experience. I have met a number of people who single hand Catalina 38 and love them. They have done the west coast to Hawaii races numerous times. Lots of people cruise them with family too. They are reasonably priced and I am pretty sure they made a shoal draft keel version. There is an active C38 bulletin board where a wealth of information on them is shared.

michael

oops, I just got the 30-35 foot part. Anyhow C38 is a pretty popular boat
 

·
s/v Tiger Lily
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I've been looking for a min draft (either fixed keel or swing/centerboard) of 4'. Seems like a magic number for gunkholing around Chesapeake rivers and inlets ... but I'd like to hear others opinions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,855 Posts
Regardless of the boat, singlehanding depends a bit on your experience and a lot on how the gear is set up. By running halyards and reefing lines aft to clutches and then a winch on the cabintop it's a lot easier. For the jib rig a downhaul by leading a light line through a small block at the tack and thread it through the hanks to the head. Sheeted in drop and pull down with the downhaul and it should fall inside of the lifelines. If you have furling it's easier. Lazyjacks to contain the main are helpful too. If the boat is larger the sails are heavier but the winches are bigger as well. Main difference on a larger boat is to think ahead.
Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I'm a bit late for this discussion but I feel I have to weigh-in with my two cents. I've been sailing a 1976 Pearson 35 on the Chesapeake for about 10 years now and, in my humble opinion, there are fewer boats better suited to the Bay. The 3ft 9in draft is perfect for "gunkholing",(That's what we do on the Chesapeake!) her large-ish sail plan allows her to perform pretty darn well in light airs (She is always competative in the "beer can races" at the club) and with her heavier than average displacement, full keel and narrow entry, she plows right through the "Chesapeake Chop" one encounters in a 20+ kt sustained. (Even with her rail in the water she's stable as a rock!) As far as interior design... I'd live on her full time except that I couldn't afford the divorce. For the "Old Bay"... You could do a lot worse than a P35...and a lot of skippers have!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I've been looking for a min draft (either fixed keel or swing/centerboard) of 4'. Seems like a magic number for gunkholing around Chesapeake rivers and inlets ... but I'd like to hear others opinions.

PEARSON 35 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

Pretty sure this model was only available as a keel-centerboarder.
But If you find out otherwise, I'd like to know about it. I like to keep these records as accurate as possible.

rb
sailboatdata.com
 

·
Less Senior Senior Member
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
I've been looking for a min draft (either fixed keel or swing/centerboard) of 4'. Seems like a magic number for gunkholing around Chesapeake rivers and inlets ... but I'd like to hear others opinions.

PEARSON 35 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

Pretty sure this model was only available as a keel-centerboarder.
But If you find out otherwise, I'd like to know about it. I like to keep these records as accurate as possible.

rb
sailboatdata.com
To the best of the knowledge I've researched, there were none that rolled out of the Pearson factory in any config other than K/CB, unless someone was confusing the prior Alberg 35 that the Shaw designed P35 replaced. I'd love to hear otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
We have lots of wing keel models of our boat on the Chesapeake.

Here are some single handing concepts for you to consider:

Single Handing 101 single handing

Single Handing 101.1 Midship Cleats Pictures Midship cleat PHOTOS / Flix

Single Handing 101.2 HOPPING OFF THE BOAT IS UNNECESSARY
single handing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Have single handed my P35 in SF Bay, to Hawaii and around the islands. Made the 2,000 plus mile passage to Hilo in 15 days averaging a little over 140nm per day in atypical light conditions for that typically blustery run. Boat will sail in light air but won't perform as well as light fin keel boat because of the wetted surface. Boat has moderate overhangs and WILL power into a chop though not as well as the plumb bowed, fat assed modern abortions. But then it's got a really easy motion and it's relatively dry in the cockpit. Only time I had an issue with chop was in the 'Potato Patch' outside the Gate in winds barely strong enough to sail. The Potato Patch is an area that is notorious for lumpy, short period waves that everybody has trouble in. Did have to jibe rather than tack but she still sailed to weather against the short near vertical waves, just not enough power to punch through the eye of the very light wind. Got me out of there relatively quickly on a reach once around. Run a 135 foam luff furling genoa on the furler for ocean passages. That has been a good all around sail from light to 40k plus winds. For the Chesapeake would probably go with a 150% foam luff jib for the lighter winds. Should get you through almost anything you'd chance out in there. Use an Asym on a short removable bow sprit for really light air on close reach to DDW points of sail.

Biggest negative is the close quarter maneuvering because of the shallow rudder and full keel. Boat does not turn on a dime, not even a silver dollar. Need a bit of way on to make 90 degree turn into a slip in a narrow fairway. Helps to practice using prop walk to maneuver. In reverse, the boat goes where it wants. I've learned to live with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
My family owned two of these, one a yawl-rigged with a Westerbeke diesel and the other an older sloop with the Atomic 4. I much preferred the sloop. Sailed here in the Ft. Lauderdale area with big winds in the Gulf Stream all the time. I really don't get the much earlier comment about not handling chop very well. As has been pointed out, the overhangs were fairly moderate as was the beam, and it's got a fairly fine entry and significant displacement. I found it had a very smooth motion with just the right dynamics to run through anything that could unsettle the boat and crew. I regularly took out people with no sailing experience and they felt very comfortable and secure all the time. No bucking or pounding. Winter conditions in this area bring a lot of winds out of the NE that oppose the stream and stack up the waves to considerable height and nasty faces.

Given its displacement and sail plan, I can get the criticism more that it's not the ideal light airs boat. I understand the Chesapeake doesn't have much wind in the summers. The OP didn't mention anything about racing, though. For general cruising and daysailing, the P35 is a gem. Solid, imho good looking, smart cabin layout and cavernous cockpit -- truly, maybe the biggest in its class. There's a reason why Pearson kept it in production for something like 14 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,468 Posts
The ability to sail in light air has far more to do with the sailor's skills than a boat's design. Even full keel boats are capable of sailing nicely in light air.

The same is true of singlehanding. As Jeff notes, some boats are more easily singlehanded, but the ability to singlehand depends far more on the skill of the sailor than on the design of the boat.

If I was looking for a boat today, I'd prefer a fractional rig for singlehanding, but I certainly wouldn't reject any well designed, well built, well maintained boat out of a concern for it's ability to be easily singlehanded or sailed in light air. Those are skills that can be learned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I have a 35 and bought it to fix up. The drop keel is broken in half and only have about a foot left. Anyone have drawing of the board so I can make another?
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,228 Posts
In my opinion, any capable sailor can single hand nearly any Marconi rigged boat with roller furling sails, IF he/she has an autopilot or vane gear that will hold the boat on course in any amount of wind and knows how to use spring lines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I'm am glad this older thread was resurrected as I just purchased a Pearson 39 and am in the process of becoming comfortable single handling her--especially when it comes to getting back into the slip. The boat does have AP and and spring lines and I plan on reefing very early during this learning stage if I think the winds may pick up during the sail, but still, coming from 30 footers to this does create somewhat of a steep learning curve punctuated by occasional bursts of adrenaline....
 

·
Chastened
Joined
·
4,862 Posts
I'm am glad this older thread was resurrected as I just purchased a Pearson 39 and am in the process of becoming comfortable single handling her--especially when it comes to getting back into the slip. The boat does have AP and and spring lines and I plan on reefing very early during this learning stage if I think the winds may pick up during the sail, but still, coming from 30 footers to this does create somewhat of a steep learning curve punctuated by occasional bursts of adrenaline....
I've sent you a PM with some possibly useful resources.

Cheers,

Ajax
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,228 Posts
punctuated by occasional bursts of adrenaline....
I've heard sailing referred to as 99% shear boredom and 1% shear terror. Sound about right?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,001 Posts
I'm am glad this older thread was resurrected as I just purchased a Pearson 39 and am in the process of becoming comfortable single handling her--especially when it comes to getting back into the slip. The boat does have AP and and spring lines and I plan on reefing very early during this learning stage if I think the winds may pick up during the sail, but still, coming from 30 footers to this does create somewhat of a steep learning curve punctuated by occasional bursts of adrenaline....
As has been suggested, almost any decent monohull can be single-handed by some mix of a skilled skipper, in great physical condition, and with properly gear. But as a life long singlehander, the Pearson 39 would have to be one of the harder 39 footers to single-hand.

If you outlined the ideal design for an easily singlehander, it would almost be the antithesis of the Pearson 39. There are things that you can do to handle the boat motre easily in terms of figuring out your physical location on deck to be in during sail adjustment and course changes and how to time and sequence tasks.

I think that you have joined CHESSS and that should be a good source of information, and short handing resources.

Jeff
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top