I am for the first time seriously thinking about buying my own boat. In the past I have satisfied my sailing itch by sailing others boats ... that is begining to change. I have very little money for the initial purchase ... at the most $20,000 ... less that $15,000 would even better.
My basic requirements are cheap (in price not quality), proven bluewater capabilities, active owners groups (ie fair amount of "communal" knowledge to aid in upgrades and known problems and solutions), small enough to single hand yet large enough to coastal cruise with wife and daughter, small to keep slip fees and maintenance cost to a minimum, high quality initial build. I am very handy and usually not frightened the need for a little work (ie I could do the work required to deal with the mast compression issues that have been known to occur in the A30 and Vega). I am pretty sure I don't want a wood boat. I want, for the most part, to stay clear of home built boats (can you say Bruce Roberts kit boats). I realize that this limits my choices fairly old boats.
To that end my short is:
I have sailed on two A30 although in mild conditions, seen and been aboard a Vega, seen but never aboard a Triton. I have been subscribed to both the A30 and Vega mailing lists for a couple years. Read everything I can find on the boats (PS Boat Buying Guide, Vigor's 20 Small Sailboat, John Neal, even recently brought Yves Gelinas dvd With Jean-du-Sud, atomvoyages.com, etc).
I am currently leaning towards the A30.
Any and all comments and insights anyone has on any of these boats, these boats compared to one another, any other boats I should consider, whatever would VERY GREATLY appreciatated.
Thanks a ton (make that a long tonne