Monday, October 06, 2008

The boat!… well, one just like it.

Countess - Atelier

We may have found the perfect boat… the Pearson Countess 44!

In the early 60s, Pearson Yachts asked their dealers to complete a survey regarding a motor sailer design they were tossing around. At that time, well-to-do cruising yachtsmen were growing restless with the cramped, spartan living quarters one could expect aboard a traditional sailboat design. These lonely gents wanted a boat with spacious accommodations that they could cruise with their families in comfort. Pearson, ever abreast of the modern-day sailor’s changing style, wanted to tap into this need with a boat that a couple or small family could crew in luxury, without leaving behind the amenities of home.

Based on the survey findings, Pearson employed the office of the famous naval architect John G. Alden to design their new model, slated to be named the Countess 44. A master of the art, Mr. Alden delivered Pearson a beautiful, seaworthy design that would sail like the devil, but also had the auxiliary power and spacious interior to rival a powerboat. This was not a boat intended for a hoarde of salty male crew, surviving on canned food and sterno, taking bucket baths and sleeping in narrow, cramped bunks while they tossed their way across an ocean. Heeding well the survey's results, Alden's Countess was a boat to be crewed by a civilized couple or two, an elegant little group who held high in esteem matters of privacy, comfort, hygiene and dining, but who still wanted to travel far and fast.

Alden gave the Countess a ketch rig to keep the sail area manageable for the hypothetically small crew, and a beefy 109 HP engine to ensure that the Countess would skip along whether a breeze was afoot or not. The open interior and picture windows in the deckhouse kept the cabin pleasant, ideal for entertaining, and imminently liveable. Pearson excitedly approved the design, and production began in 1964

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