What boat to buy for long voyage
Look at a Mariner 36 (the New Hampshire-built ones, not the Far East-built ones.) Nice, solid, seaworthy boat. Here''s one: http://yachtworld.com/listing/yw_listing_detail.jsp?checked_boats=1023414¤ cy=USD&units=Feet
Agree heartily with WHOOSH regarding extra gear. When we were shopping for a boat for a similar voyage, we first made a list of everything we''d have to do to or add to any boat we bought (af course boats that already had any of this stuff were given bonus marks!!) The list included items such as:
good dodger & bimini
decent wind/depth/log instruments
SSB radio system
dinghy & outboard
good sails to include storm trisail & storm jib
all standing & running rigging checked and updated as needed
all seacocks checked, hoses renewed with 2x hose clamps, etc
all electrical systems checked and updated as needed (i.e. properly fused, correct wire size, etc.)
heavy ground tackle
safe LPG system
and other stuff WE felt was necessary for our voyage. The boats we looked at were all over the map as far as how much of this stuff we''d need to add or do. Even doing all the work ourselves, this list could easily add up to $30,000. So, on every boat we looked at, we calculated what we''d need to add and subtracted that from our maximum budget, giving us the figure we could afford to pay for that boat.
In our case, we decided to get a boat we''d need to do A LOT on, for cheap, and spend a year fixing her up. The other end of the spectrum is to get a boat that''s been cruising and recently refit and is ready to go. I suspect you''ll be looking at under 35-ft boats for your budget.
There are some nice well-built west-coast boats like Spencers that you might find, assuming you''re starting on that coast.
Good luck: the search is so fun!