Re: Could use some info!
A little friendly advice from someone who is a full time liveaboard and has owned 3 boats and witnessed problems encountered by friends that also live aboard....avoid wood hulls. Also, avoid fiberglass hulls that are cored. A solid fiberglass hull is best. You also want solid fiberglass (not cored) decks, if you can find them. You generally have to go back into the 70s to find them. Earlier model boats (70s) generally have much thicker fiberglass hulls and also decks. However, you will sacrifice speed due to the increased weight, which is not a big problem for me, since I don't really have anywhere i have to be. I've not been overly impressed with the metal boats I've seen, and I've seen alot of them. I would also discourage you from buying the newer "production" boats, such as Hunter and Catalina. They typically have VERY thin fiberglass and I've actually seen their hulls "oil can", meaning the water pressure distorts the shape of the hull when underway. Some of them are cheaply made and tend to fall apart. Some of the better boats are Bristols, Hinkleys, Westsails, and Hylas. C & Cs are almost as good, as are Endeavors. I would avoid "Choy Leaks"(choy lees). Every one I've ever seen leaks, period, and you'll pay thousands more just for the name. (I'm not sure I spelled all of these correctly). I hope this helps some. If you have any specific questions, I'll answer the best I can. I sincerely hope I have not offended anyone by telling you the brands to avoid. That was not my intention. I hope this helps some.
And another thing.....the location where you purchase the boat does matter. If you buy in certain places, you'll pay alot more for the excact same boat. I would avoid Annapolis, MD and parts of southern Florida. I would also avoid any boat that has been a charter boat. Some areas of northern Florida (especially Jacksonville), most of South Carolina (Charleston inparticular), and parts of Georgia offer some really good deals. I wish you all the best!