HOW DID THE PEARL COME TO BE?
Early in 2005 we started working on some performance mods for the 26M. We were using an upgraded mainsail, running backstays and a few other things on our demo boat (between demos) including a stock daggerboard with 50 pounds of lead poured into it. One day while talking to Roger about the daggerboard, we started talking about the possibility of adding a keel bulb to the end of a heavily reinforced daggerboard. After several conversations we were coming to the conclusion that it looked like it was worth a try!
In early May, Roger came to Seattle (He and I were both invited to a Future Forum by Boeing) and over the next 5 evenings we pinned down most of what we wanted to do with the basic construction of the boat. We decided that I would fly to Costa Mesa the following week to supervise the construction of the boat.
The first day at the factory I went over all the fiberglass layup schedules for the boat and made my suggestions as to where to lighten up the boat. Roger later went over the drawings and made some additional changes. We were ready to start building that night!
The hull molds are cleaned, waxed, and sprayed with Gel Coat during the night shift,
so I stayed late to make sure the colors were masked the way we wanted, and that
they remembered to spray the hull Black. We had decided early on that we wanted
the unique Black hull color, both because we wanted the boat to be one-
Over the next 2 days I was very busy following the various parts of the boat through the production process as there are a LOT of small changes involving almost every molded part of the boat. Since every MacGregor boat is built exactly the same, there is no procedure for tracking parts through the production process, so we had to really stay on top of stuff.
On day 3, when the parts were ready for final assembly, things got a little easier, as most of the parts were in the same place. All I had to do was make sure they left off the standard parts that we knew we didn't want on the Pearl. After load testing the reinforced Daggerboard and finishing the assembly, She was ready to ship to Seattle for us to finish the modifications.
A HUGE THANKS TO ROGER, BILL, CLAY, AND ALL THE GUYS WORKING IN THE PLANT AT MACGREGOR FOR PUTTING UP WITH THE CONFUSION I CAUSED BY MESSING WITH THEIR WELL OILED MANUFACTURING PROCESS.