Thanks for the advice so far. I suppose an older boat is financially the best solution the trick is finding one in "bristol" condition. I've always thought a Freedom 30 or 32 would be a great boat (it reminds me of a 3/4 version of my parent's 38). Haven't sailed on yet, but have been aboard a couple.
Regarding the Merrimack conditions, I've been out a couple times on a 17' whaler - didn't seem too bad, though because I was on a powerboat, I didn't pay any attention to tides and currents - It very well could have been slack tide. I will investigate further.
Last edited by hazmat17; 09-09-2008 at 10:22 AM.