Re: Looking to get first boat
I agree with Ward. I bought a Tohatsu electric-start for my C25. It was great, and my wife could easily start the engine (unlike the Honda 8 that we had before which was manual start). If it's a high priority, budget $2500 toward a new Tohatsu (including a starter battery) and go find another boat with an outboard. Then sell the outboard that comes with the boat, or keep it as a spare in case something happens to the Tohatsu.
I wouldn't look for a local to help you buy a cheap boat; you'll likely blow your budget. It really isn't that hard. Read the threads here (there's a sticky somewhere) for self-inspecting a boat. If you go with the Catalina, the C25 owner's site has a great self-inspection checklist that includes topics specific to the C25. Also, be ready to look at several boats, and be ready to spend at least an hour or two aboard. A little homework and some time aboard will really go a long way toward giving you peace of mind in making your selection.
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1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15
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