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L.O.A. 29' 9 1/2" 9.08m
D.W.L. 25' 0" 7.62m
BEAM 9' 6" 2.90m
DRAFT 5' 0" 1.52m
DISPLACEMENT 8,320 lbs. 3,773.89 kg.
BALLAST 3,560 lbs. 1,614.79 kg.


main   197 sq. ft.
100% foretriangle   247 sq. ft.
total sail area   444 sq. ft.

39 ft.   0 in.
12 ft.   8 in.
 33 ft.   6 in.
  11 ft. 10 in.



MAST HEIGHT ABOVE D.W.L. 42' 3" 2.88m
HEADROOM 6' 1" 1.85m
COCKPIT LENGTH 7' 6" 2.28m

BALLAST RATIO 2.3:1 (43%)

PHRF 180

Explanation of terms and formulae:

L.O.A. (Length Over All): Total length of vessel from bow to stern.

D.W.L. (Distance at Waterline): Hull length at the waterline. This number is somewhat dynamic, changing with respect to the heeling moment. Typically, a longer D.W.L. is one of the factors which translates to increased hull speed.

BEAM: The widest dimension atwartships at the waterline.

DRAFT: The depth of water that the vessel draws, or displaces, especially when loaded

DISPLACEMENT: The volume or weight of water, in long tons (1 long ton = 2240 lbs.), displaced by the vessel.

BALLAST: Anything heavy in a ship (e.g., lead, in the keel of a sailing vessel) to give stability.

SAIL AREA: Sail area is the total of the main sail and, for example, in the case of a sloop, the area of the front triangle (based on a 100% jib).

I: Distance from highest sheave for jib halyard measured vertically to the shear at deck abreast the mast (NOT cabin top, or deck at mast).

J: Horizontal distance from front of mast to forestay fitting or Jib Tack at bow or bowsprint.

P: Vertical distance from top of boom or tack to head; luff length of mainsail.

E: Distance along boom from aft side of mast at Tack, to Clew of mainsail; footlength of sail.


HEADROOM: Standing room inside cabin (typically measured. by the manufacturer, between the cabin sole and the hatch cover. Perhaps a more meaningful dimension would be from the cabin sole to the overhead liner which is typically a few inches lower than the hatch cover on boats constructed with a liner and comprises, by far, the greatest percentage of the cabin's work space.

COCKPIT LENGTH: Inside dimensions of distance between stern and companionway bulkheads

THEORETICAL HULL SPEED: The theoretical maximum speed a deep-keeled vessel (e.g., sailboat) can travel through water. It should be noted that boats surfing down waves, or lightish-displacment boats that can plane over the surface of waves can generate higher speeds than the theoretical maximum. Hull speed is calculated as follows: 1.34 * square root of waterline length (D.W.L.) in feet.

D/L RATIO (Displacement/Length Ratio): D/L = displacement in long tons (divide displacement by a long ton (2240 lbs.) to find displacement value) / (.01 * D.W.L.)3. A value of 100 or so would indicate an ultralight-displacement boat (ULDB) such as a racer. A medium-displacement value (typical of cruiser/racers) is about 200-300, and heavy-displacement cruisers at around 300 or more.

SA/D RATIO (Sail Area/Displacement Ratio): SA/D = sail area / (displacement in cubic feet) 2/3 -- where 2/3 means square the displacement in cubic feet (for salt water, divide displacement by 64 to get displacement in cubic feet) and then take the cubic root of that number. A high-performance racer (typically large sail area and light displacement) may have an SA/D value of 18 or higher. A heavier-displacement cruiser may show a value of around 14 or lower. Moderate-dispacement cruiser/racers typically show a SA/D value of around 16.

CAPSIZE SCREENING FORMULA (CSF): To calculate the CSF, first divide the displacement by 64 (volume in cubic feet for salt water). Then, find the cubic root of that number (i.e., the cubic root of the displacement in cubic feet). Finally, divide the beam by the number you just arrived at (i.e., divide the beam by the cubic root of the displacement in cubic feet) to determine the CSF. A value of less than 2 translates to a relatively safe boat in rough conditions. Greater than 2 indicates rough weather vulnerability. The CSF gives a quick and dirty capsize vulnerability indicator. It is, however, less rigorous than the mathematical formula used by most naval architects to determine the maximum angle a boat can heel and still right itself without doing a 360. If a sailing vessel could right itself up to a heeling angle of about 100 degrees--it would be a good thing.

MOTION COMFORT RATIO (MCR): MCR = displacement / (0.65 * (0.7 * D.W.L + 0.3 * L.O.A) * beam 4/3). This ratio is a relative measure of the motion comfort of a boat. A boat that is less affected by significant wave action is generally considered more comfortable. Smaller, beamier boats tend to have a lower ratio while longer (D.W.L.) less beamy boats, a higher number. Typical MCRs range between about 14-38.

BALLAST RATIO (BR): BR = displacement/ballast. Typical BR values range between 2:1 and 3:1. Tradeoffs between speed, stability, comfort and manuverability are factored in when determining the BR. These tradeoffs depend on the vessel's intended use (i.e., blue water cruising, coastal cruising, daysailing, racing or some combination thereof).

MAXIMUM RANGE OF POSITIVE STABILITY: Naval architects determine the maximum range of positive stability by the combination of a rigorous mathematical formula based on the section area curves, as well as an experimental inclination test. The results yield the maximum angle a boat can heel and still reright. Most offshore cruisers would want to have a range of maximum positive stability of at least 120 degrees. In the event of a knockdown, the mast will initially be submerged at about an angle of 90-100 degrees. The greater the range of positive stability--the better the chance of rerighting after a knockdown. US Sailing Association's IMS certificates for Pearson 30s typically yield a maximum of about 120 degrees of positive stability.

PHRF (Performance Handicap Racing Fleet) : Performance handicapping systems are based on the speed potential of a yacht, and the ratings have been derived from observations of previous race data. Base ratings, have been determined from past performance of a class or similar type yachts, and some simple measurements are taken to make adjustments, i.e. larger sails, propulsion and others. Ratings vary slightly, depending on the region, and other factors. Generally, and arguably, the lower the PHRF number, the faster the boat.

Overview of the Pearson 30 - By Richard Ian-Frese.

The Pearson 30 was designed by naval architect Bill Shaw. Approximately 1,185 fin-keeled, spade-rudder P30 sloops were produced in Portsmouth, Rhode Island from 1971 to 1981 attesting to her tremendous popularity. The P30 was designed, primarily as a coastal cruiser, however, she had a good turn of speed and was successfully and actively raced throughout the country under PHRF, IOR, and MORC certification. She won the 3/4 Ton North American Championship in 1972.

Pearson was one of the oldest fiberglass boatbuilders in the country. Their Triton and Alberg 35, preceeding the P30, are two of the classic modern boats. In the 1970's, with over 20 years of fiberglass boatbuilding research and development, and practical experience, Pearson had solved most of the construction problems that seemed to plaque some builders. The hull structure is a hand layup in a one-piece mold of alternating plies of 1 1/2-ounce mat and 18-ounce woven roving. Two layers of omnidirectional mat are used beneath the gelcoat. Below the waterline is a solid seven-ply layup, yielding an average bottom thickness of .29 inches. Along the keel, the the plies from each side are overlapped, doubling the thickness. The topside skin is five plies of mat and roving with an average thickness of .21 inches. The deck is a fiberglass/end-grain balsa sandwich. The hull-to-deck joint is made by glassing together the external flanges of the hull and deck and backed up with stainless steel screws every four inches. The ballast is molded lead which is encapsulated in the fiberglass keel molding. Resin is poured over the ballast and locked in place avoiding the need for keel bolts. The mast is deck stepped and made of 6061-T aluminum. It is supported by an oak compression post that is glassed into the top of the keel. Chainplates are bolted to primary structural bulkheads that are glassed in. Much of the interior construction is bonded to the hull, including the fiberglass floorpan and molded headliner. Pearson hull strength is considerate, having slightly heavier scantlings than average. The rigging is strong and somewhat larger than most boats of her type making her very suitable for the coastal cruising conditions she was designed for.

The interior is spacious considering a boat of this vintage and relatively narrow beam. There is plenty of compartmentalized stowage both belowdecks and in the cockpit locker and lazerette. Headroom, in the main cabin is five feet, eleven inches, and six feet, one inch, in the area just under the companionway hatch, near the galley. The cabinet and locker face sufaces are easily cleaned, low-maintenance white formica, trimmed with teak. The headliner is smooth, rounded, and light colored. The forward and aft bulkheads, as well as the door seperating the forward and aft cabins from the head were constructed of plywood and covered with a teak-patterned (non wood) veneer that makes a good candidate for renovating with a fresh coat of mildew-resistant marine-grade paint to lighten up the interior even further, while at the same time reducing the inherent mismatch of simulated wood grain contrasted with real teak. With four portlights (including one in the head, that opens), a forward opening transparent hatch, and two long, main cabin windows, the interior has a clean, airy feeling. There is enough teak trim in the form of handrails, cockpit storage bins, companionway hatch coverings, winch and turning block bases, etc. to provide a classic touch without the heavy maintenance required of traditional all teak interiors and heavily teaked exterior decks and cockpits.

The original 30hp Atomic 4 engine provides adequate power to move through chop and windy conditions. A recent trip in 30 knots of wind with 6 foot chop yielded an average speed, going to windward, with an opposing current of about one knot, of 3 knots/hr. Typical cruising speed is 6 knots plus under power. The venerable A4 engine is relatively quiet and smooth. Access to the engine is easily gained by removing the companionway steps, the quarterberth access cover, or by access from the sail locker. Engine access for routine maintenance is reasonable once you, literally, get the feel for it (some tasks like checking the oil require that you reach around, behind the engine to retrieve the diptick -- since you can't see the dipstick from the access door on the front side of the engine compartment you must feel for it, and with a little practise it becomes easy to find, remove and replace the dipstick. This is necessary when draining the oil as well. However, it's easy to add or replace oil, as the oil filler cap is right in front). Some tasks require some extraodinary flexibility on the part of the mechanic, a common trade-off on a sailboat of this size. My A4 mechanic says the P30's engine compartment is a "ballroom". You've got to like a guy like that. The P30 has excellent handling characteristics under sail. She is very responsive and turns within a very small radius, a useful characteristic when negotiating tight marinas, etc. She will heel over in a breeze quite readily, but seems to love it, even if you manage to bury her rail she is responsive and moves quickly and with a light touch on the helm. She's not stiff, but she feels very secure and has excellent secondary stability, with a maximum range of positive stability of about 120 degrees, according to IMS certificates obtained on a number of P30s that underwent stability testing. When heeled to angles of more than 20 degrees the P30 retains its light, very well-balanced helm making her easy to handle when the breeze kicks up. With the proper sail combination the P30 is comfortable in a wide range of wind conditions. In a 25-30 knot breeze, with a double reef in the main, and 100% jib, she will sail comfortably to windward, heeling to about 25 degrees or so. With the chop at around 3-5 feet she will still make between 5 to 7 knots under sail, assuming no significant opposing current. Under ideal wind and sea conditions (not factoring in a favorable current) she will cruise at around 7+ knots under full sail. Heeled over, her waterline is a bit longer and results in a better than theoretical speed (6.7 knots) for her D.W.L.

The Pearson 30 is simple, clean, well built, safe, fast, and sturdy -- generally speaking, bulletproof. She is very comfortable for two people, such as a cruising couple, and easy to single hand as well, an important consideration when practising crew-overboard rescues. One could comfortably undertake a moderately long trip, for instance, from Seattle's Puget Sound to SE Alaska, encompassing a range of sea and weather conditions, from protected (although not without some very fast currents) inside passage work, through cautious open-ocean coastal cruising on the outside of the islands along the route. The P30 has a nice motion through waves and chop and is surprisingly seakindly, for a moderate-displacement, fin-keeled sailboat. Pearson delivered P30s to many locations, including a number of skippered-deliveries to Bermuda, a 700 mile ocean passage from the east coast of the US where the Pearson 30s where built.

Although the P30 is built rather sturdily and has seen some ocean time, I wouldn't be inclined to sail her offshore on extended passages. The stresses and conditions associated with long ocean crossings are considerably more intense than those related to coastal passages where shelter from harsh weather and seas can usually be found within 1-2 days or less. This is important because it's not likely that you'll be able to wait out a serious storm or series of storms, in the middle of the ocean, without potentially comprimising the structural integrity of a vessel designed primarily for coastal cruising.

For near offshore coastal cruising with the opportunity to duck in out of severe conditions within a day or so, the P30 excels. She is a remarkably good example of an understated, well found, responsive, and very well-balanced production boat with an excellent turn of speed and characteristic of the quality and innovation for which Pearson Yachts built their well-deserved reputation.

Original P30 Specifications

HULL: One-piece molded reinforced fiberglass laminate (hand lay-up) with integrally bonded bulkheads. Fin keel and aft-raked spade rudder. Standard hull color white--other colors optional. Boot top paint: standard colors.

DECK&COCKPIT: One-piece molded reinforced fiberglass laminate with balsa core for stiffness and insulation. Color and non-skid surfaces molded in. Textured fierglass full headliner laminated to deck cabin interior surface. Self-bailing cockpit. Cockpit sail locker with molded drain gutters. Lazerette hatch. Fiberglass sliding companionway hatch. Teak drop slides. Fiberglass coamings and winch islands with teak trimmed storage alcoves under. Teak handrails. Deck unit mechanically fastened to hull with overlay of fiberglass for complete watertight integrity. Standard deck color white -- two tone deck colors optional.

MACHINERY: Four-cylinder Atomic-4 gas engine. Direct drive. 35 amp. alternator. 7/8" tobin bronze shaft, shaft strut, 2-blade 7X12 propeller and bronze gland stuffing box. Water box muffler with steamhose exhaust line. Controls and instruments inside of cockpit well include shift, throttle, choke, starter button, ampmeter, oil pressure, and water temperature. 20 gal. Monel fuel tank with cockpit sole deck plate fill and overboard vent. Automactic fuel shut-off valve, fuel filter and flexible fuel line.

TANKS & PLUMBING: 22 gal. plastic fresh water tank located in forepeak with deck fill, vent, and supply lines. Holding tank.

ELECTRICAL: Fused switch panel. Master power switch, 12V 53 AH battery. International navigation lights. Interior cabin lights. Stranded copper wiring with impervious covering, color coded for circuit identification and located high above bilge area. Designed to minimize voltage drops.

HARDWARE & DECK FITTINGS: Chrome-plated brass or bronze, stainless steel and special marine alloys, including. custom designed stainless steel backstay and shroud chainplates. Bow chocks (P&S), bow cleat, stern cleats (P&S), and flagpole socket. Two large fixed ports (main cabin) and 3 small fixed ports, 1 small opening port. Aluminum "T" genoa tracks through bolted (P&S). Genoa blocks with track slides. Two primary sheet winches with cleats. Stainless steel bow pulpit and stern rail. Stainless steel stanchions with vinyl-covered stainless steel lifelines. Tiller steering.

SPARS: Mast of anodized aluminum 6061-T6 alloy with internal track section. Aluminum spreaders. Custom masthead fitting and stainless steel tangs. Halyard winches with cleats. Rigging fittings of stainless steel and aluminum alloy. Boom of anodized aluminum 6061-T6 alloy with internal sail track groove. Jiffy reefing gear. Fixed gooseneck. Topping lift. Mainsheet and blocks.

RIGGING: Standing -- Stainless steel 1 X 19 with truloc swaged and fittings. Turnbuckles for headstay, backstay, upper and lower shrouds. Toggles on upper-lower shrouds and masthead toggle on headstay. Running -- Main and jib halyards of 7 X 19 stainless steel with spliced Dacron tails. Braided Dacron main and genoa sheets. Flag halyards.

SAILS: Main and working jib. Total sail area: 444 sq. ft.

INTERIOR: Sleeping accomodations for six. Double berth in forward cabin with trap storage under. Hinged door privacy. Two drawers in berth face. Forepeak anchor rode storage. Shelf alcove storage P&S. Transparent aluminum frame ventilation hatch overhead. Thwartship toilet room w/hinged privacy door. Holding tank toilet system. Hanging locker outboard on port side. Vanity unit to starboard with stainless steel wash basin and foot pump. In main cabin, port side berth converts to double, quarter berth aft with storage under. Folding table hinged to bulkhead. Shelves P&S with alcove storage under. Teak companionway ladder. L-shaped galley aft to starboard. Stainless steel galley sink with foot pump. Spacious top loading icebox with with foam inplace insulation. Sliding door locker outboard of galley countertop. Drawer and locker storage under. Textured fiberglass cabin sole. High pressure laminates on countertops. Teak patterned bulkheads and other interior components. Teak trim throughout. Hull sides covered in vinyl. 4" foam matresses throughout, fabric covered.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT: Bonding system incorporates common grounding of chainplates, seacocks or gate valves on thru-hulls. Deck and cockpit areas have molded-in non-skid surfaces. Self-bailing cockpit. Automatic fuel shut off valve. Natural and forced draft ventilation of engine compartment in accordance with U.S.C.G. regulations. Manual bilge pump. Teak handrails on cabin top.

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT: Mainsheet ball-bearing traveler track. Two-burner alcohol galley stove.

Return To Spartina - P30 For Sale

Pearson 30 Specs - courtesy of Richard Ian-Frese: - Who is currently selling his Pearson 30 "Squid" in Seattle WA - Visit Squid Web Site for more information.