Considering a Purchase, Opinions/Things to Consider?

Aug 12, 2020
Columbia 26 MA
Hi all,

My wife and I are continuing our search for our first sailboat, and are lining up a second viewing / test sail of a 1974 Pearson 35. She's listed here: 1974 Pearson 35 Cruising Sailboat - 2nd PRICE DROP - boats - by...

We noticed some issues with the brightwork, much of which looks rotted, as if it will need to be completely replaced:







The rigging, lifelines, and sails are all a bit long in the tooth, and she doesn't have a dodger, only a bimini. Otherwise, she appears to be in comparatively good shape.

Otherwise, I see no major issues as of our first review. That said: I'm new to this. :)

Is there anything specific we should be considering/looking at here? The current owner is an EE, and the wiring looks to be very well done; we'd be looking at some systems upgrades over time, but hope to negotiate the price down to around $10k. There is a survey from 2018, albeit one the seller provided, with no issues listed.
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Sep 25, 2008
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Sounds like you are focusing on cosmetics - DON'T! The stuff which costs a lot isn't cosmetic but rather keel/hull integrity, delamination issues, hull integrity, rudder and rudder shaft integrity, mast step, rigging replacement. engine and transmission wear, hull/deck joint, etc....too many bigger issues to list here.

We all bought our first boat once and at that time, we all 'didn't know what we didn't know' - get a pre-purchase survey done by someone you hire. A 2 year old survey (likely done only for insurance purposes rather than condition) by the owner is meaningless.
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May 27, 2004
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
And, while some of the teak looks bad, most of the toe rail might just need a good sanding
and a few coats of varnish. It appears the current owner opted for paint stain in hopes of avoiding the joy of outside teak maintenance. :yikes: :banghead:


Jan 1, 2012
Pearson 10M Fall River, MA
Ok. I'll put in my pitch. , :) im selling my pearson 10M on this site. In very good condition. Has brand new headsail. Brand new dodger. Also has bimini. And lots of other upgrades. Check the posting on this site. Located in fall river MA


Jun 1, 2004
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
The teak brightwork just looks like it needs to be refinished... that old stuff peeling off looks like Cetol. Good weekend project. No biggie. Teak is very resistant to rotting... a lot of people do NOT finish their exterior teak, preferring the grey, patina look. What ever you decide refinishing it is a somewhat satisfying project because it makes the boat look so much better. FWIW, I quit using Cetol 15 years ago, now use Min-Was Spar Urethane. Runs about $17/quart which enough to do entire boat multiple seasons.
Jul 27, 2011
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Looks like a good boat but as Don said, problems to look out for are more basic and subtle. I owned a 1979 Pearson. It had been well maintained when we purchased it in1992. By the time we traded it in 2004 the raw-water-cooled Universal diesel was rusting out internally. The SS fuel tank was rusted to point of springing a leak and emptying diesel into the bilge. The rusted portion was along the forward rim at the bottom. Also, look for signs of leakage along the salon windows, which I had to rebed. A survey may discover structural issues, if any, related to the hull and its attachments, such as thru-hulls and chain plates, along with a few others. Ours discovered that the compression post had bowed due to some softening of the house at the mast step combined with over tightening of the shrouds. So, our first repair was to replace that compression post.
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Aug 12, 2020
Columbia 26 MA
As an update, we DID purchase this sailboat! We had a full marine survey conducted, and while there were some issues discovered, nothing came up that scared us off.

We took delivery just under 2 weeks ago, and spent this past weekend cleaning out every locker and storage space on the boat, tracing the various water lines, and beginning to build out our long-term to-do list with copious help from Casey's This Old Boat. We also pumped out the holding tank (who sells a boat with that still full!?), and had some trouble with it -- thankfully easily opened via the inspection port for a proper cleanout, but we plan to replace with a Type I and an electric macerating head in the spring.

I've replaced the binnacle compass already, and in doing so removed the wire-nut connected lighting for the old compass with properly crimped wires.

Here's her current state, complete with terrible upholstery and cushions that will go away soon. :)


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