Re: What made you buy your boat?
When I met my wife I had a Hotfoot 20 that we raced and camped out of, and we were ok with that. Once our son came along we weren't using the Hotfoot much because we weren't comfortable taking a baby/toddler on such a high strung, open transom boat, so we decided that we had to move into something more family friendly.
Our criteria, other than cost, was:
Decent performance -
-good Sail area/displacement ratio
-not too heavy
-good quality rigging and hardware
Good sized berths.
-we both sprawl out when we sleep, so most v-berths are too small for us
-many dinette layouts in the 27-30' range are also small
Child Friendly decks and cockpit
-A cockpit free of hazards for little fingers
-A cockpit that has room enough for a toddler to move around, yet stay contained
- Side decks that are open and clear to move around without squeezing past rigging and obstacles. (That is my preference anyway!)
Enclosed head-The wife wasn't interested in a porta-pottie!
Inboard Diesel engine-A gas engine was a deal killer for me!
I also wanted something a little more unique. I really didn't want something that thousands of other people have.
We looked at alot of boats, and determined that the 27 footers were all too small, and we needed to go to 30'. Of course with our limited budget that narrowed our options. When a friend of mine showed me a Santana 30 I found that it filled our criteria quite well in all regards, and was within our price range. We got decent performance, yet still plenty of beautiful oiled teak in the cabin. With the parallel setee and fold up table I was able to design a bed that spanned the entire salon, giving us a near queen sized bed, and our son got the enclosed v-berth to keep him and all his stuff contained.
It's not perfect, but we have had many years of enjoyment out of her, and many great memories.
Of course after 9 years with this boat, we have a whole new list of prerequisites for our next boat, and many of those are going to require a MUCH larger budget!
1979 Santana 30 Tall Rig