My 1970 Pearson 26 - Hull #180

Have you ever had one of those deals fall into your lap that you just can't refuse? Well my whole boating experience has been that way. For example, my first boat was a home built catamaran from a PS magazine given to me by a friend. (Later I learned that it was a Stevenson's design, the designer of the Weekender and Vacationer and many other boats.)

My last boat was give to me as well. It was a Glen-L 10 sailboat. The boat had sit in the loft of my friends barn for a number of years. There was also some damage to the to the deck. I seized the chance and took the boat. Learned a lot of things about repairing a wood boat. The boat itself is fun to sail, but much too small for my needs.

At this point my wife and I decided we were going to build the Stevenson's Vacationer. A 21' on deck Gaff Rigged sloop. And once the big remodeling and building projects were done we planned to start.

Then it happened again. Another friend of mine bought a 40+ foot house boat in a deal with another friend of his. This left him with a Pearson 26, propped up in his back yard with a mostly finished trailer under it. He knew that I liked sailing and decided he would rather give me the boat, sails and trailer and it get used than try to sell it or worse yet, let it decay and rot away in his back yard. Well I took a look at the boat and took him up on the deal.

My wife and I decided we would finish the trailer and move the boat to a new home, clean up the two and a half years of built up grime and cover it with a huge hay tarp until we finished our other big projects. The plans changed. Our daughter was griping about how we never do anything as a family anymore. Vacations, outings and that stuff, because Melissa and I have been focusing on getting out of debt. Melissa and I thought she had a point, the kids are growing up and we need to make a few memories. We decided that we would do what we had to, to get the boat on the water, then this fall, fix any remaining problems and give her new paint.

Getting the boat into the water.

I started looking over the boat trying to figure out what I needed to do to get it in the water as soon as I can this season, and make sure it is safe enough to sail. Well, never having owned a boat this size, and fiberglass to boot, I felt a little intimated by it. But what follows are a list of things that need to happen overall. Some obviously to get it into the water and others because they just need to be done.

  • The boat could use new paint on the deck, cockpit and hull.
  • The interior needs a thorough cleaning and some paint.
  • The keel bolts look pretty rough. I know that the keel leaks a bit so will probably need rebedding and new keel boats.
  • The keel could use a sand blasting, epoxy sealed and faired out a bit.
  • The lip where the deck and hull meet is broken in some places. Probably where it came down on a dock or something. It does not leak water where this lip is broken, but this is where the rub rail attaches and without it looks bad.Also, I think that it affects the structural integrity of the boat a small amount. I will need to repair this before putting it in the water.
  • The rudder bushings are bad and need replaced as well as some repairs to the tube at the lower end.
  • I am sure that there are other issues, but for now these will keep me busy enough.

The big question is, was the free boat a deal, a labor of love or just a curse. I suppose only Time will tell.

Links are provided under the Pearson 26 menu link that I will discuss each section.