Buying an Ensign
A New Ensign
If you've decided you must have a new Ensign, the choice is easy. Give Ensign Spars a call (look at the nice photos there). They'll be happy to talk to you about your new Ensign.
An Almost New Ensign
For most of us, we'll be considering the alternative, a previously loved Ensign. The good news is that the Ensign is about as "bullet-proof" as a boat could be, with its solid fiberglass, hand-laid hull of up to 3/4 inch thick in some areas. Its deck is fiberglass, cored with end-grain balsa. The spars are aluminum, and it is ballasted with lead. These boats can outlast their sailors. The other good news for us at Saratoga is that most Ensigns are in the Northeast, so most are within a reasonable distance. Their price often quite reasonable, running typically from $8000 for one in really good condition with a good sail inventory, to $3000 or less for one requiring some amount of restoration. Occasionally one will appear that has a lot of new race rigging, new paint, possibly a trailer, and a huge inventory of new sails that will sell for more.
The last Pearsons were built in about 1982, so at this point even a late-model Pearson will likely have required at least some amount of restoration. We believe that the amount of care the boat has received is the primary determinant of its price, not its year of manufacture, since the vast majority of the nearly 1800 boats were originally built in the 1960's. Properly cared for, even the earliest Ensigns can be like new. Ensign Hull #5 recently won the "most beautiful Ensign" award. Other low-number Ensigns continue to place highly in and win large regattas.
Here are a few online places to start your search for an Ensign:
Contact us if you'd like to learn more about Ensign sailing.