Why We Sail a Pearson 367


About once a month I see, on one of the sailing discussion groups, the question, "I am thinking about buying a sailboat, what is the right boat for me?" This is then followed by pages of point, counter point on why this boat or that boat is the prefect boat for that person. More often than not the writer is talking about his or her boat. I am now convinced that what ever boat you own is the right boat for you. However, I could not let it be... So I decided to let everyone know why we sail the boat we do.

When it came time to buy a larger boat, I put together a list of 24 "Desirable Characteristics of our next sailboat" and began the search. This page is dedicated to that list and how Sea Dragon is a "HIT" or "MISS" on each point.

The characteristics are in no particular order. However one of the most important characteristics I wanted in our next boat was for it to have "Classic Lines". Only I understood what this meant but I knew it, when I saw it. I found the look I wanted mostly in boats built/designed before the mid 1980's. I quickly came to the conclusion that I would be upgrading many of the systems on board any boat I bought and removed all accessories from my list.

Below is the list that lead us to Sea Dragon our 1981 Pearson 36 Cutter.

Desirable Characteristics for the Next Sailboat

1.   34 42 LOA --        This was some what subjective, but it seamed that boats in this range could
   HIT                         accommodate our family of four (4) comfortably for several days or  another
                                  family for a day sail. Yet small enough to single hand on the weekends and
                                  evenings when I needed have sometime on the water.

2.   Classic Lines --     This was purely a personal preference and hard to define. It was important for
  Big HIT                  me to have a smile on my face as I saw her swinging on an anchor in a crowded
                                  anchorage. The features included a nice overhang, not too straight of a bow, the
                                  the right beam to length ratio, NO integrated swim platform, and just enough teak trim to give
                                  her a "Classic Boat" look.

3.   Full or Modified Full Keel -- We were looking for a cruising boat and stability was more important
   MISS                                       than speed. While the ketch & sloop have modified full keel the cutter has
                                                    has deep fin keel.

4.   Sea kindly boat -- Once again a little subjective but I did not wanted a boat "bobbed" like a cork in choppy waters. The
   HIT                         only measure I had for this was the Motion Comfort Ratio (MCR) and I looked for boats with an MCR in
                                  the mid 30's.

5.   Sturdy hull, rig, and construction -- It was important to have boat that could take licking and keep on ticking.
HIT                                                         Pearson has a nice reputation for building sturdy, no-frills boats and the 365's
                                                                   reputation as an well built, bullet proof boat was unquestioned.

6.    Medium to heavy Displacement -- This is defined by most as a boat with a Displacement / Waterline (D/L)
   HIT                                                        greater than 250. At 293 the Pearson 365/367 was a nice choice.

7.    Wheel Steering -- Once again just a personal preference

8.    Cutter Rigged --  While I love the classic look of a ketch or yawl, my sailing preference is for the cutter rig.
   HIT                       Once again a personal preference.

9.    Keel Stepped Mast -- While there is some argument over this point, I think most will agree that a keel stepped mast makes for
    HIT                               for sturdier rig configuration.

10.  Diesel 30+ horsepower -- I wanted a boat with enough power to maneuver in strong current and
    HIT                                       high winds. The 40HP Westerbeke with a three (3) bladed prop makes
                                                 provides more than enough power and control in when fighting strong head
                                                 winds and/or currents. Yet the big red beast cruises at 5.5 knots and only burns
                                                 1/2 gallon of diesel per hour.

11.  Separate Shower -- This was very important feature to the Admiral, as she does not like the idea of the traditional
    HIT                             head/shower combo. This proved to be one of the hardest features to find in boats in our
                                       size range. Once again the Pearson 365/367 interior was a perfect match for our needs.

12.  Single head -- Once again we saw several boats with multi-heads and I just do not get it. Storage and living space is
     HIT                  more important to us than another head to maintain.

13.  Saloon suitable for sea berths -- This meant a folding table in the saloon and long straight settees at least 6' 4" long.
     HIT                                                    While I have dreams of sailing around the world, this most likely will not happen in
                                                                this boat. Each year we make, maybe, 2-4 over night trips in which sea berths are
                                                               required. However, it is not uncommon for us to rig the sea berth(s) for day sailing to allow   
                                                               crew and guests to nap, read, or play electronic games more comfortably.

14.  Bulwarks with scuppers -- Bulwarks to provide solid footing while working on deck during a variety of conditions
     HIT                                         and the scuppers to move water off the deck in heavy rain or when taking green water
                                                    over the deck.

15.  U-shaped Galley -- Locate aft provides a stable area for preparing food while allowing the chef to be part of activities
    HIT                           either in the main saloon or in the cockpit.

16.   Large Ice box (12 cubic feet) -- A box large enough to hold food and drink for four for several days.

17.   Full Navigation Station -- A large navstation is must for reviewing and housing the necessary electronics. While the
    MISS                                    365/367 has a nice size Navstation, the angle (facing starboard) combined with the
                                                 high bar stool style seat make the station uncomfortable to use while under sail in large
                                                 seas. The forward facing NavStation option solved this problem but very few boats
                                                 were configured with this option.

18.  Dual bow anchor storage -- A sturdy dual anchor platform makes it possible to carry the necessary ground tackle.
     HIT/MISS                               While Sea Dragon does have the a nice looking anchor platform it could/should be beefer.
                                                      The addition of a sturdy bobstay maybe all that is needed to make the P365/367 bowsprit
                                                      fully functional anchor storage platform.

19.  Ample storage in the main cabin -- There never seems to be enough storage on any boat but Sea Dragon has massive
     HIT                                                        compartments behind the settees, above them, under/around the NavStation and
                                                                   in the galley. Plus hanging lockers and more storage compartments in the forward
                                                                   cabin as well as under the V-berth.

20.  Ample storage for gear and sails -- Once again Sea Dragon has massive lockers in the cockpit that allow for the storage
      HIT                                                        ladders, batteries, fishing tackle, lines, tools, sails, life raft, extra rodes, fenders, and
                                                                    and even stowing the inflatable dinghy.

21.   Fresh water storage of 100 gallons or more -- With 150 gallons of fresh water storage in three (3) tanks, long hot showers
     HIT                                                                             are part of all of our trips.

22.   Fuel storage of 50 gallons or more -- Here we wanted enough fuel on board to motor for extended periods with concern.
     HIT                                                             The Chesapeake Bay is famous for it windless days and we wanted to be able to
                                                                        move about the bay without worrying about fuel. We rarely use more than 30 gallons
                                                                        of fuel in a season.

23.   6 2 or more of headroom -- I am just tired of banging my head.

24.   Small cockpit -- Actually I was looking for a small volume cockpit. Sea Dragon's cockpit is large enough for four adults and
    HIT                      and a child or two while the volume is reasonable. However, the addition of two more scupper in the rear
                                corners of the cockpit would be a nice addition and improve the boats ability to drain water more rapidly
                                from the cockpit should she be pooped or rolled.

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Copyright 2006 Garner Bennett. All Rights Reserved