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8 Bells Everett Pearson

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"Pearson, Everett A.
"He was a man ahead of his time."
Everett A. Pearson, age 84, of Warren, RI and Estero, FL, passed away Sunday, December 24, 2017, in the Hope Hospice Center in Providence surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Virginia Bourne Pearson, to whom he had been married for 62 years.
Born in Pawtucket, he was the son of the late Peter S. and Elin M. (Larson) Pearson. Everett was a graduate of Pawtucket East High School, received his Bachelor's Degree in Economics in 1955 from Brown University, where he was Captain of the Football Team and later a member of the Brown University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Mr. Pearson was the co-founder of Pearson Yachts, the first company to build production fiberglass boats, earning him the title "grandfather of fiberglass production." In 1968, he continued his boatbuilding and fiberglass work with the start of Tillotson-Pearson Inc. (TPI). TPI built wind blades, all-composite bus bodies, test track vehicles for Disney Imagineering, the branches on the Animal Kingdom Tree of Life, numerous other products, and the most well-known, J Boats. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his creative work with composites from the National Fabricator's Association. Later in life he continued running SwimEx and started Pearson Pilings.
An avid sailor, he competed in local yacht club and ocean racing, and was a member of the New York Yacht Club."

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/providence/obituary.aspx?n=everett-a-pearson&pid=187626009&

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Met him when the Ensign was inducted into the Sailing Hall of Fame in 2002 after we win the National Regatta. Had a nice chat at the bar about family values an the impact Sailing had on family lives. I was there with my Mom, Dad and brother- Everett with his wife and sons. He was such a mellow guy- no ego. When Bill Creelock came over- his Pacific Seacraft was also inducted- these two started cracking witty, dry humored jokes. Both super funny and not one word about boats between them.

Sail on Everett,  fair winds and an easy helm

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Never met him, but way back when I was just out of High School a couple of years, I would trailer new boats from TPI, on a Hydrahoist trailer, to the Dealer in Stamford, behind my GMC 1-ton, dually, 4x4 pickup.  We also used that truck to test our experimental, C&C 40, spinnaker guys, wire to Kevlar splices, at the local Rigging shop.  The good old day!!

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1 hour ago, MR.CLEAN said:

anyone have a good pic of Pearson, or maybe your favorite Pearson design of all time?

Alberg designed Pearson Triton.

Handsome, wonderful little boat.

Started the age of fiberglass boats.

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60's and early 70's taught a lot of sailing at a rental in Dinner Key,Coconut Grove in Ensigns .....along with many fond memories night sailing with sweet young things picked out of sailing classes at Miami Dade JC

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5 minutes ago, egon said:

Alberg designed Pearson Triton.

Handsome, wonderful little boat.

Started the age of fiberglass boats.

Still a few racing here in ELIS, pretty decent PHRF rating, IIRC?

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6 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

anyone have a good pic of Pearson, or maybe your favorite Pearson design of all time?

My favourite from when the Pearsons actually ran things.

image.png.513e981d7a36970de6c02d285019001b.png

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10 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

My favourite from when the Pearsons actually ran things.

image.png.513e981d7a36970de6c02d285019001b.png

 

Lovely pic, what model is that?  In '79, I think it was, I was mate-cook on a Pearson 531 Charter ketch.  Aussie Captain was somewhat challenged with his duties, (he may be reading this, for all I know), so I quit in Bermuda and spent a few months hanging out on the ex-Tenacious, War Baby, with her crew, Scotty, Dee, Fred, and Waterfront Tim and ????.  Gerry Trimingham was about to leave for Antigua on his brand new F&C 44, when I noticed the braid halyards were improperly spliced!  Only the cover of the braid was spliced back into itself, none of the core. I went and fetched my rigging bag from off of War Baby and re-spliced them correctly, and was rewarded with a handle of Mt. Gay for my trouble!  Good times!  I wish my daughter, who is now of that age, would do similar, those were good times, travelling and working on IOR boats of the era!  

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5 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

Lovely pic, what model is that?  In '79, I think it was, I was mate-cook on a Pearson 531 Charter ketch.  Aussie Captain was somewhat challenged with his duties, (he may be reading this, for all I know), so I quit in Bermuda and spent a few months hanging out on the ex-Tenacious, War Baby, with her crew, Scotty, Dee, Fred, and Waterfront Tim and ????.  Gerry Trimingham was about to leave for Antigua on his brand new F&C 44, when I noticed the braid halyards were improperly spliced!  Only the cover of the braid was spliced back into itself, none of the core. I went and fetched my rigging bag from off of War Baby and re-spliced them correctly, and was rewarded with a handle of Mt. Gay for my trouble!  Good times!  I wish my daughter, who is now of that age, would do similar, those were good times, travelling and working on IOR boats of the era!  

Countess 44 circa mid 1960's model.

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3 minutes ago, @last said:

Countess 44 circa mid 1960's model.

Countess, or Contessa?  Not sure the Contessa was even a Pearson?  There was a local Contessa here in ELIS, that won a shitload of pickle dishes, on a regular basis, back in the day.  IIRC, the owners son is a bit younger than me, but still a good mate on a race boat, when I can get him.  

 

EDIT, looking at the pic again, I think you are correct, and it's Countess, not Contessa.....

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Sad to see his passing but like every gifted person be it a musician or in this case boat builder, the legacy lives on forever. Folks bought a Pearson Vanguard new in 1966 and from that came my love of sailing/life built around it.  Fast way forward 50 years and I have owned/enjoyed more recently two boats he played a part in, the J35 and J24.  Passion counts in life and I am just grateful that Everett's passion was creating really great boats.

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3 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

Countess, or Contessa?  Not sure the Contessa was even a Pearson?  There was a local Contessa here in ELIS, that won a shitload of pickle dishes, on a regular basis, back in the day.  IIRC, the owners son is a bit younger than me, but still a good mate on a race boat, when I can get him.  

 

EDIT, looking at the pic again, I think you are correct, and it's Countess, not Contessa.....

From memory I think she was designed by Alden, Pearson used a stable of great designers (Phil Rhodes, Carl Alberg, etc).  I think two important pieces need to come together to make a great boat, a good builder and great designer/design and Pearson was one half of that equation in my book.

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1 minute ago, @last said:

Sad to see his passing but like every gifted person be it a musician or in this case boat builder, the legacy lives on forever. Folks bought a Pearson Vanguard new in 1966 and from that came my love of sailing/life built around it.  Fast way forward 50 years and I have owned/enjoyed more recently two boats he played a part in, the J35 and J24.  Passion counts in life and I am just grateful that Everett's passion was creating really great boats.

 

One of my mates and I briefly owned the cold molded prototype of he J24, which was actually only 23 feet.  It was campaigned successfully by a couple of dentists from Fishers Island Sound area, then traded into my Mom's Yacht dealership and we bought it for 5 grand.  We got too busy with careers and raising kids to use it and sold it to a newbie who bricked it up a couple of times, then abandoned it at a local boatyard, where it was cut up with chainsaws and put into dumpsters a few years on, but for the lead that was sold for scrap.  Sad ending for an important original example of what would become huge fleets of OD racing world wide.

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2 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

One of my mates and I briefly owned the cold molded prototype of he J24, which was actually only 23 feet.  It was campaigned successfully by a couple of dentists from Fishers Island Sound area, then traded into my Mom's Yacht dealership and we bought it for 5 grand.  We got too busy with careers and raising kids to use it and sold it to a newbie who bricked it up a couple of times, then abandoned it at a local boatyard, where it was cut up with chainsaws and put into dumpsters a few years on, but for the lead that was sold for scrap.  Sad ending for an important original example of what would become huge fleets of OD racing world wide.

Cool story, thanks for sharing!  The boat get's a lot of grief here but honestly, I really like it.  Full disclosure I don't use it for OD racing, instead it has done everything from micro cruising in the Florida Keys, day sailing on the great lakes and the occasional PHRF race.  I think the Johnson's put a lot of thought into the boat and although design and construction have moved on since then,  Everett again has given me and I suspect many others a boat that they can enjoy immensely without breaking the bank.

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5 hours ago, billy backstay said:

Still a few racing here in ELIS, pretty decent PHRF rating, IIRC?

Raced a Pearson Triton as a teenager on LIS.  In fact, my most prized pickle dish is winning the  1977 Pearson Triton Nationals. 

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2 minutes ago, @last said:

Cool story, thanks for sharing!  The boat get's a lot of grief here but honestly, I really like it.  Full disclosure I don't use it for OD racing, instead it has done everything from micro cruising in the Florida Keys, day sailing on the great lakes and the occasional PHRF race.  I think the Johnson's put a lot of thought into the boat and although design and construction have moved on since then,  Everett again has given me and I suspect many others a boat that they can enjoy immensely without breaking the bank.

 

If Bob Evelyn had a genius marketing brother, like Rodney had Bob Johnstone, he could have been serious competition for J-Boats!  Still more than a few Evelyn 32's winning lots of pickle dishes in Long Island Sound!

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1 minute ago, billy backstay said:

 

If Bob Evelyn had a genius marketing brother, like Rodney had Bob Johnstone, he could have been serious competition for J-Boats!  Still more than a few Evelyn 32's winning lots of pickle dishes in Long Island Sound!

I think you are right, being gifted and very good at what one is passionate about is a piece of the equation, but to bring it to the masses be it music or sailboats it does take other parts of the puzzle to be present too.  The 32 is a cool boat and for a period of time there was a 42 on the great lakes that I also thought was a cool looking boat with good performance.

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Just now, @last said:

I think you are right, being gifted and very good at what one is passionate about is a piece of the equation, but to bring it to the masses be it music or sailboats it does take other parts of the puzzle to be present too.  The 32 is a cool boat and for a period of time there was a 42 on the great lakes that I also thought was a cool looking boat with good performance.

 

So many incredibly talented people, in all fields, simply lack a business partner, who can handle the business part of it.  Evelyn's wife Sally was a trooper, who did a great job, but perhaps it was the financing end of it, that limited such a great designer for his time.

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2 hours ago, billy backstay said:

Lovely pic, what model is that? 

Pearson / Alden Countess 44.

An antique now but BITD it was good enough to make it into the original "The Proper Yacht". I think one with the right layout (there were 3 or 4) would make a very comfy liveaboard.

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I think his role in the creation of the J24 is his greatest contribution to the sailing world.  If you weren't around back in the day it is hard to overstate how big a deal it was.  Folks were racing cruiser-racers like C & C's, Cals, Catalinas, Rangers, Tartans, Morgans etc. and along came this peanut shaped thing that just took off like a rocket once you turned the corner.  Fast was fun on that boat!  Sure, time and design marches on, but it's hard to argue how big an impact that boat had on sailing in general and one-design in particular.  I remember the first time I saw one on the water and thinking, "what is that sexy, low-slung thing?".  I'd love to have one today to just mess around with...

Fair seas Ev and thank you.

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On 12/28/2017 at 11:43 AM, MR.CLEAN said:

anyone have a good pic of Pearson, or maybe your favorite Pearson design of all time?

image.png.13337018925e40298a11c3b54547cb4d.png

Pearson 10m and its big brother the 36.

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My Pearson 323 in Huahine. 3/4ths of trip around the Pacific was off the wind. Great boat for that. Last 1/4 was much upwind in light wind. Not a great boat for that.

pearson.jpg

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There's a great chapter on the Pearson cousins in Heart of Glass.  "I still remember that New York Boat Show.  We had the first Triton loaded on a low bed truck with a gear shift that would not work.  It took us 14 hours to make the trip from RI.  We were inside the boat finishing it with screw drivers.  We got a lot of orders and, of course, we were thrilled."

 

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10 hours ago, pnwer said:

My Pearson 323 in Huahine. 3/4ths of trip around the Pacific was off the wind. Great boat for that. Last 1/4 was much upwind in light wind. Not a great boat for that.

pearson.jpg

 

Same characteristics with the P-531 Charter Ketch, that I was mate-cook on for a short stint.  Not close winded at all, but comfy off the breeze with decent pressure.  OTOH, the Hinkley B-40, an icon to many, is also similar in that regard.

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had a 26 OD/weekender as my foray into monohulls.

Built like a brick shit house and could take any abuse a knucklehead could throw at it.

Once was racing in the remnants of a hurricane.  Launched off a wave and pulled everything out of the water including the keel & rudder (sistership next to me had done it 15 seconds earlier).  Came down hard, the mast went out of column by 10 inches in a slow circle and did it a second time with less intensity.  Boat immediately accelerated like nothing had happened.

Simple to sail boats made them great for families.  Started taking my daughter out at 3 weeks old in her car carrier seat.  Only issue was the ride home as the car just did not gently roll like the Pearson so she would cry heading down Rt 95.

40 year old boats can be brought to original standards with some gear updates, polishes, and TLC is a testimony to the designs and construction.    A fact Everett lamented about in a Wall Street Journal article in the 90s saying they did not understand the properties of plastics at the beginning so they way overbuilt, but there was no natural enemy to the boats like wood bores, so the boats would never die and that would impact the boat building industry.

Fair winds Everett..

pearson.jpg

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My brother has the Vanguard and we have an Ensign Classic together. Great boats...

Thanks for the memories, Everett!

 

AD04B2A2-ADB2-450C-A323-FDA30E2A7F18.jpeg

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Sad. it happens to us all but that doesn't make it any happier.


BTW, I'm an Electra and Ensign fan.

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45 minutes ago, Alan H said:

BTW, I'm an Electra and Ensign fan.

Ditto, I didn't realize until I looked up Pearson Boats on sailboat data.com that the Electra preceded the Ensign.  i grew up surrounded by Pearsons and loved most of them.  With Cuthbertson and Farrier (any others), this has been a bad year.  All legends.  

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The Electra showed poorly at the Newport boat show in 1960 or so. It has a small cockpit well and a decent cabin. Everett and Carl Alberg got together and re-designed the deck layout as a daysailor/racer and it took off as a one design fleet with over 1700 original hulls and 35 new boats since 2000. 

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In the early '70s I was a Sea Scout in the Milwaukee area and our "troop" had a Triton, it was built, as someone said above, like a brick shit house. Our parents, fools that they were, let us use it at will and I will leave it to the reader's imagination all the fun times that were had. On our boat, its name is lost in the mist of time, the gear shift was a loose metal stick that we kept in the lazarette and it worked opposite to direction you'd expect: push it forward and the prop pulled the boat backward. One afternoon after too much fun, I was at the helm headed into our slip which was amidst dozens of others in the McKinley Marina. 

I was coming in at a responsible pace but as my crew was about to jump onto the dock I revved the engine and pulled the shift stick backward which immediately launched the boat toward the dock. Luckily, Lake Michigan was in a high cycle at the time and the Triton's gracefully angled bow hit the wood edge of the dock and the engine drove the boat up halfway to the keel it seemed until I was able to throw it into reverse (by pushing the damn lever forward) and we settled back into the water.

Was the boat any worse for wear? Nope, but for years after, I passed that slip and the notch smashed into the wood edge reminded me of those times. BTW, I don't think the adults of our troop ever learned of the near mishap!

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His Ensign was most significantly a "yacht." My particular rig was near perfect boat...solid, near indestructible, added only tracks and Hex's for the jib...as implied above a "rock." 

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Sailed thousands of race hours and many hundred cruising/boozing hours on the Ensign. While my friends were on the beach I was out shanghai’d by my Dad to help collect pickle dishes. Surprising how many wins you can rack up in the same boat if you keep it for 40 years...

154BF1E9-513E-41D9-A8F5-36364565B5D4.jpeg

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Aye!. Swilled away on her...Did not have head in cuddy...we used a bucket, if needed. The deck, seat and trim teak...If I had kept her, would never have moved. Could sail here in any weather, alone if needed be, long-shaft never really moved from its storage beneath the deck in keel, and never feared losing an empty beer can. Mis her much. Thanks for the drawing, save it for screen.

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Dang , my grandfather's name was also Everett Pearson. 

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On 12/29/2017 at 5:56 PM, SloopJonB said:

I always liked the Flyer - well after his time though.

image.png.438e9c785cee6d972d1a2719df9beb03.png

I'm driving the boat there, Pearson gave me a Flyer to use for the summer, they were pushing hard to get into the J-30 market, which came out a year earlier.  That shot is at BIRW in 1981, notable on the boat are Ken Read and Geoff Moore of North Sails when both were sophs in college.  We had 6 boats in our 25 boat class (MHS), we crushed all the other Flyers but lost class to a Columbia 43, it rolled us on the reach of the last race, their entire crew was in the cockpit eating lunch while we hiked our asses off.  Really fun boat to sail, great to party on.

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I have a soft spot for the Ensign's bigger brother - The Commander Courtesy of Mr. Pearson and Carl Alberg (another Genius before his time)

What a pretty boat - not fast but always stiff in a big blow. I sailed her on the coast of California - From SF to Ensenada Mexico. Sailed her mostly within SF Bay. I raced short-handed / single-handed in her. (We did quite nicely - thank you!) Great boat. Built like a tank!

Sleeps 4 in 6'+ bunks all around! Try that in the equivalent Alerion. We loved spending the weekends on her.

I loved that 9-foot cockpit! The boat's mass and that cockpit made her feel much larger than its 25'-7"

She remains in the Bay as I understand. She started out life in Tiburon where she spent 40-some years. I had her for 5-6 - in Berkeley mostly...  A few years after I sold her to a family with two young boys, I heard she had eventually been donated to one of the sailing clubs. I hope she is being taken care of. - She has another 50 years in her..

 

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MC Dock Rot A.jpg

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On 12/29/2017 at 5:56 PM, SloopJonB said:

I always liked the Flyer - well after his time though.

image.png.438e9c785cee6d972d1a2719df9beb03.png

Crewed on one in the Vanderbilt Cup race in Huntington Bay in 1984.  Blowing like stink...25+.  Last upwind.   Approaching the windward mark we discussed putting up the chute.  Crazy!...Nobody else is doing it!...It will blow the chute!   F' it.  Lets fly it.   Well we screamed (gyrated/broached/yawed) our way to second at the leeward mark and we repeated that same process 2 or 3 more times.   Took a second as the finish was downwind.   What a blast.   At the party at the museum after the race we felt like studs.   So many great memories tied up in the Pearson name.

Would love to get my hand on that great Flyer ad with the preppies.   Classic.

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