Welcome to sailnet. Please read the post in my sig to get the most out of your time here.
The best advice I've seen on buying a boat is that the "PRIMARY USE IS PRIMARY". That means, if you're going to be using the boat as a couple 90% of the time and inviting guests aboard for week or two every third month...then get a boat that is best suited to you two as a couple and figure out how to fit the guests as needed rather than buying a boat that is suited to you and your guests but will be too big for you most of the time. Also, don't buy a boat you don't love...
Does your girlfriend understand that a larger boat is often much more expensive to maintain and own than a smaller boat. The cost of ownership and maintenance doubles with every additional 10' in length or so. IMHO, if she were your wife and having to help pay for the boat, her say would hold a lot more weight in my book...but she's a girlfriend, and you don't say whether she'll be contributing to the new boat or not.
What are your future sailing plans?? What is your budget??? How much sailing experience do you have??? How much skill at maintaining and repairing a sailboat do you have?? All of these will have an effect on what boats are probably good choices.
If you're planning on just coastal cruising... buying any of the 30-35' coastal cruisers would probably be just fine. If your future plans include some bluewater passages, then you might want something a bit more robustly built.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 04-09-2008 at 01:32 PM.