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Boat Reviews By Owners

1981 -- 30' 0" PEARSON

Model: Flyer

Cockpit: 8' long x 8+' wide; with flat deck easy visibility forward; roomy for 6 to 9 people due to step down seating allowing some to sit high and other to sit lower in seats; generous room for food and drinks on rail area which also doubles as side deck.

Cabin: Sleeps 4 comfortably; 5'3" headroom; sink and two counters; forward area has portapotti and storage for sails; very room with 11' beam; bunks comfortable for sitting or sleeping; well designed and constructed with mahogomany; some boats have upgraded interiors with a bulkhead stern of ladder to cabin; floor is teak and holly and looks very nautical and sound; some boats as ours has a cloth headliner and teak doors on each side of engine which is under the cockpit.

Construction: Balsa core hull very strong but wave noise is noticed but not outrageous; overall very well built by Pearson-Tillison a division of Gruman Aviation; no problem areas noticed although I replaced the traveler with a heavier unit that works better in heavy air. We have sailed this boat with main only in 55 mph winds with 10 people aboard and had a ball. Rudder is outboard so backing can be a problem if you go too fast and are not sitting down and using both hands. This is a very fast boat in light and heavy air if properly sailed it will beat anything. PHRF handicap in our area NW is 137 so we sail well against J-29s and Fryer 33's not to mention any smaller boats.

Handling: This is a light boat for 30 feet at 6200 lbs so heavy waves do slow it down. This boat has crossed the Atlantic in a singlehanded race 20 years ago with no problems which is impressive. We sail ours on a large lake in Montana and find it handles all conditions very well. We replaced the 7 hp BMW as too small and put a Universal 12 hp in several years ago and are very satisfied with top speed of over 6 knots powering. Sailing we have had the boat up to 15 knots in 45 knot gusts! Upwind max speed is about 5.6 knots; downwind with spinnaker we often hit 10 knots in a breeze. Helm is very responsive and well balanced. Sail must be reduced in winds over 12 knots or whitecaps, then a jib and main are sufficient for top speed and level sailing.

Engine Room: As mentioned above the BMW is inadequite and replaced by a 12 hp Unviversal. I might now recommend a 18 hp Westerbeke for weight and power in extreme situtations. Inboards are nice but hard to work on and need maintenance such as oil changing, filters changing and anti-freeze watching. We had a frost plug rust out and drain the radiator on the Univeral. Only cost .69 cents to fix!

General Comments: This is a great boat for racing, day sailing, cruising or just entertaining. Used ones can be picked up for a song $13-18k which is quite a value considering a new J-22 is $40k and has no room or comfort. We have owned our Flyer for 20 years and wouldn't think of selling it, we are very satisfied owners and have found the boat very economical to operate. We only use 2-4 gal. of diesel every year. Since the boat is a fractional rig it is easy to sail in all winds and a husband and wife team can sail her with no problems.

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Date Submitted: 2003-10-01

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