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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Good News – Journey’s Long Lost “Sister”

Lonnie & Bona, welcoming us to scope out Journey’s
Pearson 365 “sister”, their home, Good News.
Small world.  Watching preschool Tongan dancers, my friend Patty of Armagh recognized one a cruising couple she’d met in Ecuador, Lonnie and Bona of Good News.  She introduced us.

As is often the case, we did the usual boat card exchange. There’s a photo of our boat on our boat card, noting our boat’s a Pearson 365. 











Good News’ easy-access grab-bar zip-tied rod & reel
also acts as a visible reminder to fish.  It sits above 
heir handsomely refinished toolbox.
“You’ve got a Pearson?” Lonnie asked, wide-eyed, brows raised.  Yep, I affirmed.  “So do we!  What year’s yours?”  Turns out we found another one of Journey’s siblings (to read about two other Pearsons click here for Incommunicado and click here for Evening Ebb).  We hadn’t seen another Pearson in over 8,000 miles – since we left the US this year.  Over 400 Pearson 365s were built, mostly in the 1970s, and we suspect the majority are still in active use.  Pearsons are exceptionally well-built boats.

“Good News has a sister!” Bona exclaimed.






One of several clever custom-made denim
catchall/organizers aboard Good News.  Definitely
something I plan to copy aboard our Pearson. 
Much like looking at identical homes.  We’ve lived on our Pearson for three years now (except for hurricane season 2014) – Lonnie and Bona on their Pearson for seven.  Checking out other Pearsons is a great idea source for improving our cruising domicile.  Generally, it’s a fun, reciprocal activity.  Plus, it’s nice to not be tempted by lots of cool improvements that aren’t do-able due to our boat’s relatively smaller size and somewhat cluttered ketch rigging configuration. 

I do confess, though, to envying the beautiful condition of well-varnished Good News’ teak floors.  Ours are worn enough, to look right they’d require replacement, rather than varnish.  Teak flooring material is not that hideously expensive, but the labor is prohibitively extensive.





Great use of bins and chart shelf under Good News’ nav table.
We prefer to keep our nav table stool, which Good News removed.
We’re all-electronic for navigation, and don’t need large chart storage,
but will likely shift to more organizing bins.
Good News’ lazerette-mounted diesel generator-water-maker also appealed. It not only produces 30 gallons an hour (our small water-maker produces about 1.4 gallons per hour), it replaces the need for a freestanding Honda generator.  Our generator takes up a sizable chunk of our cockpit outdoor living space.  Still, with only one year left for cruising before we sell, Wayne figures that improvement’s lacking in ROI for us at this stage.

We also ooohed and ahhhed over Good News’ solar panels.  Davit-mounted like ours, they fit in three solar panels, producing more “free” power than our two.

We didn’t check out their refrigerator-freezer, but know while we planned to reconfigure ours, Lonnie of Good News did, converting some of it to basic galley storage space. 

Not sure if I can talk Wayne into adding lookout steps like
these on Good News, but sure would like them on our Pearson 365.
One of our three water storage tanks were converted to basic storage on both boats converted. On Good News, the storage is under one of the salon cushions.  On Journey, the one near the bow, under the v-berth was converted.  Despite my filling it by mistake with water, early in our cruising our boat rides better not weighed down with water stored so close to our bow, where 200+ feet of chain in our anchor locker is plenty heavy enough.  Wayne stores less frequently retrieved (like spare engine parts, some tools and extra bags of mostly lightweight non-perishable foods like tortilla chips, pasta, soup-salad noodles) items in our former bow water tank, as it is a bit of a pain to get to.

Good News’ fishing poles were zip-tied to their salon grab bars.  I wondered if we’d fish more often if ours were not so out-of-sight-out-of-mind tucked behind one of our salon cushions.

Lonnie already replaced his bow anchor roller.  A good burly
example for us to consider, given our bow anchor roller catastrophes.
Good News’ galley seemed so much larger without the massive cargo net, which became a catch-all for far too much in our boat.  That inspired me to find a better way to store our conglomeration of stuff and recapture that open space.

Whilst I admired Good News’ custom-made snapped-on denim wall organizers, Bona said she liked Journey’s artwork, which was in some of the places where her organizers were.  Rather gracelessly, I admitted one ceramic plaque was already on the boat, and the others were there to cover holes that were drilled into the fiberglass by prior owners for who-knows-what.  I will definitely keep my eye out for a seamstress to copy Good News’ organizer systems where possible on Journey.

Like nearly all Pearsons we’ve encountered, the tiny pilot berth is far more useful for storage than its intended coffin-like bed.  Wayne no doubt appreciated the convenience of its conversion into a tool elegantly finished tool chest.  It certainly looked much better than our big albeit highly functional plastic bins for paperwork, electronics, Tupperware containers and extra food storage.

While the Pearson 365’s dedicated shower is a sweet luxury, especially on a boat as small as 36.5’ (12 meters) Lonnie and Bona repurposed their shower into storage – a closet in the case of Good News. 

Good News, Journey’s long-lost “sister” Pearson 365
in Neiafu, TONGA.
No way would I give up mine, though I confess to at one point trying out a small semi-moveable washing machine in ours – abandoned because it was too much of a water hog. 

“We shower in the cockpit instead,” explained Bona. 

I’m betting their cockpit shower’s flow … flows.  Ours dribbles, though Bona was sporting a new haircut, her previously long tresses recently chopped off.  I hope Bona and Lonnie are better with cold showers than us when the weather gets more brisk. 

Now that the air and water is cooler, we’re appreciating our shower’s instant-on hot water heater more than ever.

The oval-mirror fronted salon drop-down table with storage behind, installed by Journey’s prior owner won Bona’s admiration.  Thanks, Ned, for building such a beautifully functional addition.

And Bona, thanks for inspiring me to make better use of the open space under my companionway stairs.  It saves me from getting on tip-toe to reach the goodies in the storage area behind my stove-oven. 


Funny even after three years aboard, just how much little improvements can make such a big difference.

One more thing that made us feel better was when Lonnie asked, "About your Pearson, is it slow, or is that just me?"  We agreed, Pearsons 365s are brilliant for cruising, but not for speed.  It was nice to hear that wasn't just us.

Location Location
This post was finalized and posted in Neiafu, TONGA (S18.39.443 W173.58.965) where we’re currently cruising and waiting got a weather window to move from Tonga's Vava'u island group to Tonga's Hapa'ai island group, on our way to New Zealand for safe berth in the South Pacific's cyclone season.

Cruising Progress by the Numbers
As of our start, December 7th 2014, from Jacksonville FL NAS, USA until our current (October 15, 2015) travels around the Neiafu, Tonga are -- 10 months, we’ve spent about a third of our time --125 days -- sailing and covered ~8,750 nautical miles.  The prior 2 years combined, we sailed 3762 miles.  By the time we arrive in New Zealand in November, less than a year from when we set out, we expect we’ll sail over 10,000 miles this year.  That’s a lot of miles for a boat with a hull speed of 7 knots; we usually sail far slower than that.