I spend a more than a few hours a week looking through YachtWorld at boats that meet our criteria
. Some people would consider it fun, but I'm starting to tire of it! My usual search parameters are: 1) 48'-58' length, 2) Built between 1984 and 2008, 3) Cost between $300k and $800k, 4) Located in the US, and 5) Cruiser, Racer/Cruiser, Center-Cockpit, Pilothouse, Deck Salon as valid boat types. Currently that shows 168 boats. I've then removed boats from manufacturers I don't recognize (and don't show up as good in Google searches), and boats that I would consider more coastal (Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter, etc.). I remove boats that focus on the quality of the varnish on the exterior (we won't keep it up and I can't do that to a showpiece of a boat). I remove boats that I don't like the shape of (Amel and Mac 26's). I remove boats that cost $350k and I'll have to put $300k into in order to refit, since I'll never ever see that money back, vs a boat that costs $300k-$400k and is almost ready to go (although resale value is VERY low on the consideration list). I remove boats that need a lot of TLC. I remove boats that don't have the 3 cabin layout we're looking for, or have a weird third cabin (perhaps with a compression post or inner forestay piercing through the center of the berth). This usually leaves about 20-25 boats in the entire country that meet our needs. We then have a four page list of criteria we're looking to meet, and we examine the boats in depth against this criteria list.
We actually weren't looking to buy a boat right now. We were trying to make the decision on having one built (which will take a year or so) or buying on the used market. We were in Annapolis, so I figured we'd look at a few boats for the heck of it and we tripped over this HR53. It met almost every single criteria on our 4 page checklist except for ICW capable and a few other odds and ends (you can see part of our checklist here
). When that happens, you have to take it seriously!
Thanks for your comments! Bypassing most of the ICW is what we're considering, as is your mention of the limitation in other areas. It seems that once we get out of the islands we'll do OK, but we'll have a long dinghy ride in a lot of areas.