Hey j bear congrats on your purchaseÖ Iíve owned a M43 for several years now and currently cruising the NW Caribe. First of all I would like to say that the Nelson Merek 43 is probably the best kept secret with regards to a quality boat at a discounted price. With that said here are some conís and proísÖ Perkins 4108 is to small at 50hp more like 40 usable, lack of fuel tankage at 50 gal thus having to carry cans on deck, one of the two water tanks is located in the bow which adds weight than again you have 80gal in the bilge (I only partially fill fwd tank), huge engine room but space could have been used better, raised bull works and teak toe rail are very nice but needs scuppers for better drainage in a heavy sea, aft storage locker is huge but the deck hatch is undersized. Lastly and one of my pet peeves is the fuel and water fills on the deck are side by side which of course is just an accident waiting to happen. I'm sure i will fill my diesel tank up one day with water or vice versa
The 43 sails like a dream, handles well and is relatively fast for a large fin keel and skeg hung rudder. On a broad reach with 25kts of wind and 6-8ft seas Iím usually surfing along at 8-9.5kts in comfort. I have a Raymarine autopilot with a S3G control box and it steers her extremely well. As you can see on your own vessel she is built solid with a sturdy mast, boom and rigging. As I mentioned above the vessel does have some short coming but nothing you canít upgrade or take care of with a bit of work. Bottom line is your going to have a quality vessel that will take you anywhere in safety and comfort. Go with the SS arch especially if you plan on cruising for extended periods as it gives you a perfect spot for a wind gen, solar panels etc.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
ps... I've got my radar scanner mounted on mast above 1st spreaders. Highly recommend as i can easily pick up a ship at 24nm.