Any advice on first time sailboat choice. Wilard30, Coronardo 41, Catalina 36
My husband and I are planning to liveaboard in the next 1-4 months. We have no kids but we do have a parrot and a cat. We are in our early 30's, self employed and are in process of selling one of our businesses (cross our fingers). We will still have one business but the responsiablility will be shared by the two of us on a four day work week until we determine what our house will rent for and how much living aboard will realistically cost us. We would like to learn more and practice in the next 2 years and then cruise the California coast and down to Mexico. We are getting close to making a decision on our boat purchase and were hoping for a little advice from some seasoned sailors. We have just a little sailing experience and did take ASA 101 & 103. We currently sail on average about once a week. Our city only has slips that are for sale not rent so if we would like to liveaboard we will have to choose between buying a slip (in addition to buying a sailboat) or living in the anchorage. There are two boats in our harbor that are for sale with a slip, one is a 1976 Wilard 30 and the other is a 1988 36' Catalina. Both would be in an 35' slip in a harbor with laundry and bathroom, electric and water. Both boats would probably require some work, they do not look like they are used very much right now. We could ride our bikes to our work. These would probably run close to 100k each with the slip. In a certain way I feel like this might be a good way to spend our money because every year the price of slips increase and we are having a tough time deciding what boat will work for us. We would be forced to just choose one of two boats versus hundreds. It seems like all boats are going to loose money over time and this situation would ensure that some of our money would come back to us in the re-sale or rental of our slip in the future.
Our second choice is purchasing a bigger boat and living on the anchorage. We would like to live on the anchorage just to be in the open water and enjoy the full experience. There is a nice 1973 Coronado 41' that is for sale and seems in good shape and would probably only run $40k. The winter anchorage would be about a mile dinghy drive to the harbor. It is not a really protected anchorage so it will be a little rough. It is better to spend the money on a bigger boat? Or is it better to be in a harbor for the first liveaboard experience and then migrate out to the anchorage once we have some experience under our belts? I worry about my pets on the hook and if working while out there will be really difficult. I look forward to anyone's feedback on our choices. If any of these boats would be horrible choices for first timers or any knid of input.