need boat advise
The traditional rule of thumb for sizing a ditance cruiser is that you need and want between 2 1/2 to 5 tons of displacement (overall boat weight loaded) per person for a distance cruiser. Any lighter than 2 1/2 tons it will be difficult to carry enough supplies to voyage very far and any heavier than 5 tons the boat becomes more difficult to handle single handed. (BTW those were long tons so we''re talking about a displacement in the roughly 6000 to 12000 lb range.) While there have been notable exceptions at both ends of the scale, and with money you can extend the upper end, this tried and true range should work for you.
For many reasons boats are really cheap to buy in New Zealand vs the US so unless you really want to sail across the Pacific, then financially you might be better catching a plane and buying a boat over there.
There are a number of way to go here. Your best bet is to find an older 28 to 32 foot boat that someone has set up for distance cruising. Outfitting a boat for going offshore can be quite costly but adds relatively little to the resale value of the boat. I would try to find a comparatively simple boat so that you are not trying to maintain a complex boat out in the middle of nowhere. I would try to find a boat that was relatively good quality when it was new and which appears to have been maintained over the years rather than a fix-er-upper.
A couple quick suggestions:
American Boatbuilding''s Galaxy 32: Venerable Tripp design. Sort of a protoype for the Medalist. Not as well constructed as the Medalist but a better sailing design. Put this in the same category as the Cal 33/34 and Pearson 10M- big, cheap and comparatively fast but not the most robust.
Avance 33 (mid 1980''s) A poor man''s swan.
Allied Seawind (30): Another interpretation of the H-28. Good boats for what you are contemplating. They were the first fiberglass boat to do a circumnavigation
Cal 33 and Cal 34: these are very common boats and although not the best built boats they have done a lot of distance cruising.
Cape Dory 30: If you can find one in decent shape in your price range this would be a pretty good boat for what you are considering. It would be low on my list but to many sailors with a different point of view this would be about as good as it gets.
CE Ryder Eastward Ho (31 or so ft) These were a modern FG interpretation of a 1930''s era design. While these are not my kind of boat they were designed to do just what you are planning.
Cheoy Lee Bemuda 30 and Offshore 33. I would try to find a glass deck version (rather than teak decked version). These are venerable interpretions of the H-28 and offer a good (though slow) way to go. One word of caution, the wood masts should be suspect, especially if painted.
Cheoy Lee Clipper 33: Very pertty boats, eveything above applies except for being H-28 derived.
Ericson Independence: This would probably be one of my first choices on this list. Reasonably well built and a neat design in almost all ways. You may need to adapt the interior layout for offshore useage and add storage lockers but that''s not too hard.
Folkboat or Folkboat derivative: The quintessential micro cruiser. Really small in all ways but these little boats have been everywhere.
LeCompte Medalist (33'', mid 1960''s)A well built Tripp design. One version lacks ventilation for the tropics.
Pearson Coaster (30) Think of this as a ''Plan B'' boat. They are not bad boats but should not be all that high on the list.
Pearson 323: Probably the most suitable Pearson for what you want to do. Built during the period that Pearson quality was at its highest.
Pearson 303: A smaller version of the 323
Pearson Vanguard: My family owned one of these back in the 1960''s. They are reasonably well constructed and sail reasonably well in a moderate breeze. They will need additional ballast (per Phillip Rhodes the design of the boat) and better reefing gear to go offshore.
Pearson 10M (33 foot): These like the Cals are not the most sturdily constructed on this list but the should be a good platform for what you want to do.
Tartan 30: Probably not the best choice on this list but one that could work well with some modifications.
Wittholz 32; Charlie designed a nice steel cutter (based on an earlier plywood boat) around the time that I worked for him. (I think just before the time that I got there.) These were neat little boats (for a steel boat) and quite a few were built in the Pacific Northeast.
Hopefully this should give you some food for thought. I need to go to work. Good luck