club owns a Pearson Hull-need advice

Thread starter #1
The sailing club I belong to was the recipient of a 1990-Pearson built Sunfish. Members in the club (myself included) own a couple of both older and newer Sunfish hulls and are familiar with the Pearson issues and reputation. My question to all of you is since this is a barebones boat, what would you add/modify to make it most useful?

We are a small club on a midwestern lake. Light winds, very little waves, rec sailing mostly with a series of "fun" races, but nothing I would call overly serious. Members have Lasers, Capris, etc.... The club has a Zuma, Laser and Capri 14 available to members as well as this Sunfish.

The boat is in excellent shape....was owned by a former member who passed away and his wife donated it to us. So we are going to keep it for awhile. It is barebones......no mast cleat, cheap boom blocks, no sail adjustment lines, no mainsheet hardware...just the hook. Non-racing sail....but it is in excellent shape. The hull has no cracks, leaks or softspots.

What would you do with this boat modification wise? Most club members (who sail larger boats) have expressed a desire to either put a cam/bullseye or ratchet block for the mainsheet. What about a mast cleat, adjustable gooseneck, etc... What would be worth adding to this boat, and what would it need to have added if we ever wanted to sell it outright? We don't have any money in it, and I don't want to spend money if we don't need to, but I want to make it a usable "fun" boat and, if we don't end up using it much, possibly sell it. In the process I don't want to devalue it either.

Thanks for your suggestions.
 
#2
My own opinion is that the Pearson bad rap is way overdone. I had one for a decade and it was a really solid boat. It was always my go-to really heavy air boat. It was a bit heavy and not as nicely finished vs the SLI's and Vanguards, which I would prefer for racing, and there was some sloppiness in the build, but mine anyway was just fine.

Things like mast cleats are definite luxuries and not necessary, especially for a club boat, and even gooseneck adjusters are not that big a deal one way or the other for club use. I wouldn't bother. Same with outhauls and such. again I wouldn't bother. You said it had a decent recreational sail, so no real point in doing the race mods for it.

If it were at our club I would suggest putting on an old bullseye swivel cam. These are cheap or free (that's the first thing I remove, if a boat has them installed, and I give them away for the asking). For club boats though they are solid and don't disappear or get abused way expensive ratchets sometimes do. Personally I would prefer a cheap used, but durable, oldervHarken hexaratchet.

If the 'cheap' boom blocks are not original and suspect I might replace those. Just make sure in any event that the plastic turns freely and isn't frozen up. If I were doing anything I might spring for a nice new halyard and mainsheet from Intensity, and clean up the spars and such. If it has a hiking strap and if that looks ragged I might replace it. If the sail ties and/or clips look too worn I might replace those too. Maybe attend to the blades. Those little touches will make it look and feel 'new'.

For club use and resale, other than the mainsheet block or bullseye, I would keep it fairly stock.
 

sailcraftri

Well-Known Member
#3
The cleat on the mast for the halyard could be a mistake in another way. If someone else using the boat sees it and uses it they may forget to also tie the mast to the deck and in a capsize lose the mast if the boat turtles. So don't give them that option.
 
#4
A mast cleat is always a good upgrade as is reduces the down thrust on the mast when sailing and makes is somewhat less likely that the mast will wear out the base of the mast step as it rotates. But yes, you still have to run the slack end of the halyard through the deck eye and back to the deck cleat to avoid loss of the rig in a full 180 degree capsize.

I too think the Pearson hull problems are somewhat overblown. Yes, for many of the boats, the decks cracked, the mast holes separated at deck level and they leaked, but some were well built, fast and held up well. The did have some quality control problems - some were good, some not so good.

Alan Glos
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#5
The cleat on the mast for the halyard could be a mistake in another way. If someone else using the boat sees it and uses it they may forget to also tie the mast to the deck and in a capsize lose the mast if the boat turtles. So don't give them that option.
Recently, I read of someone who was looking to replace a mast lost into the lake. Replacement cost was over $150, and it was possible that he'd lost the entire rig. The cost of the entire rig could exceed the value of a used Sunfish. :confused:
 
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