Those of you who are considering buying a boat have to make sure that you give proper consideration to one item that is even more important than the boat itself: access.
I bought a boat that suits me very well (Santana 35) and to which I have made many improvements. But, because of the draft, I could not find a marina within half an hour of my house, so it is on the Chesapeake Bay. Great, you say, and I agree, save for the fact that it is one hour from my house under the best of circumstances, and those best circumstances are rarely present in the Washington DC metro area. I drove over to it once a week during the winter to work on it, and I am already tired of the drive with sailing season just beginning.
I know there are others who are much farther from their boats than this, but for me, it is too far. It means that there will be no unplanned Wednesday nights on the water, no going to the boat on a whim on a Sunday evening - nothing that is not planned well in advance and that we cannot devote an entire day to in order to justify the drive.
With all this in mind, my beautiful boat is up for sale so that I can get a smaller one I can keep closer to home and use more often. It doesn''t do any good to have the perfect boat if you can''t get to it.