The other day my wife said that she wanted to buy me a boat for my birthday. Her idea was to take $50-75k out of savings and use it as a down payment on a new boat. I, however, am thinking about getting a solid used boat for $50-75k and not having any debt. Additionally, I feel that most all of the depreciation is out of the way.
The boat would be used simply for easy daysailing on Lake Michigan and nothing else. I crew on a racing boat and scratch that itch using someone else's money
My thought was that if the boat were to be older, it should be a solid, well-built brand. But I have to make sure it is something that is still enjoyable in light wind. If it was to be newer (or new), than a production boat would suit the job well (Beneteau 31, Dufour 325, etc).
Unfortunately, I am not yet well-versed in older boats. My yachtworld searching has lead me to believe that for a boat with a length in the low-to-mid 30s and a price of $50-75k is going to end up being from the 1980s. I tend to prefer the more modern designs, and they seem to start showing up in the 80s.
I would be happy to read some recommendations as well as some feedback on the following boats (sorry no links - I'm too new). How well will these suit me?
1987 Elite 364
1985 S2 11.0
1983 Ericson 35 MKIII
1986 Express 35
1985 Wauquiez 35 Pretorian