Re: What do you wish you had known before buying your first boat?
Looking at the situation you are getting into, there are three things you should know (that I wish I had known):
1. Make sure that the boat is dry on the inside. Weekends aboard will be hell if you are dealing with leaks on you, the bedding, your stuff...plus these leaks are indicative of structral problems or at least impending structural problems. I'd hit the boat with a hose at the very least to see if the hatches, deck joint, mast boot, or anything leaks.
2. Consider not just the boat, but the parts that wear out. Is the running rigging worn out? Are the sails usable or just rolled up rags? Replacing worn out rigging, sails, winches need to be considered when comparing boats you are looking at. These things can really add up and could possibly exceed the $5000 budget you have if you have to replace everything.
3. Understand that you are buying into a life-long addiction. You say now that you'll keep it small, keep it simple, and so on. Next thing you know, you'll be strolling around the boat shows and tapping into your kids' college fund to get a chartplotter and a fancy folding prop.
[/B]S/V Wind Orchid
Catalina 350 (hull# 273)
LET'S GET SERIOUS ABOUT REMOVING POLITCAL TAG LINES -- NOW!