General Category - Pearson Owners and Enthusiasts > General Discussion

323 in Lobster-Trap Infested Waters?? A question (cross posted in 323)


Dave G:
Hi.  New to the group. Posted this in "323" as well.  I sail a 24' modified full-keel sloop. Perfect for the Down East waters with lobster traps so thick you can walk across them.  I've been looking to get something gibber for cruising and have the opportunity to purchase a 323 at a nice price (long-time friends that are stepping out of the sailing).  They have owned the boat since new or almost new.  MY QUESTION: Is there any reason that you can't install a cable 3/8" cable from, the bottom of the fin keel to the skeg to keep the lobster lines from getting caught up?  I've never heard of this before, but it seems like this could be done with a little planning on the hardware and attachment points.  also, how long (fore to aft) is the skeg dimension at the bottom.  I've seen some similar Pearson models' skegs are about 6".  Thanks in advance.

The big issue with this solution ( I thought of it too for the crab-trap infested waters of the Chesapeake bay) is that it precludes being able to haul the boat using a travelift.  The aft strap wants to be placed right below where the cabin/cockpit bulkhead is located, and this is just aft of the keel and ahead of the prop shaft.

I would also think it would provide just one more thing for the pot's float to wrap around.  My experience with the 323 is that that shaft-on-a-strut is a crab pot magnet.  If I ever accidentally run over a pot, it is near a 100% chance that it will foul on the shaft, strut, or prop.

Dave G:
Thanks for your insight, Ed.  I've been studying this a bit for the last week ad it seems that others with a fin keel and skeg-hung ridder are doing this successfully. There are so many lobster pots where I am it will needs to be addressed. Some say, rope cutter on the prop shaft, others say some kind of cable or rope. All mentioned the issue of a cable and haul out.  Will need to weigh the options--one of which is to eliminate the boat as an option. Dave

Dave G:
Ed, thanks for the info on what to look for while inspecting the P-323.  I believe they replaced the previous Yanmar with a new one a few years ago due to that seawater intrusion during the winter months (they keep the boat in the water year round).  Good points about engine plumbing, prop shaft and rudder play.  I went on an informal sea trial yesterday in the NY Harbor.  We had a chance to fly the spinnaker--that took a bit to rig, but once up was great fun.  Owner's daughter pointed out 3 areas of slight weeping (the two aft fixed port lights and one port V-birth port light).  The helm seat, if you want to call it that, was pretty uncomfortable at any decent heel.  Other than that, which I can get creative to remedy, it was a great, comfortable sail.  I'm excited to join the P-323 family.  First things first:  finalize deal with owner and then get a survey.  Thanks again.  Dave G


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