report + decision: beneteau 32s5
Thanks to all who have provided opinions during our boat search (particularly, a big thanks to Jeff H.).
After seeing a whole lot of boats we''ve finally had our offer on a beneteau first 32s5 accepted. Pending a survey report, we''ll get possession in early August. To say I''m excited would be an understatement. (I''d owned a Hobie 16 a decade or so ago, but this is our first keelboat.)
The boats that were on our final list included the beneteau 35s5, c&c 33, c&c 34 and the sabre 34. we''ve also looked at a few larger boats, including the c&c 37+, express 37, beneteau 38s5 and cal 39.
In the end we decided to get the smaller boat, sail it mostly in the bay (San francisco Bay) with occasional jaunts up or down the coast. The 32s5 offered the best compromise of cost, accomodations, modern design and speed for what we were after. It may well turn out that in 3-5 years we''ll consider more serious cruises and need a 37-40 footer, but that''s a decsion that would have to be made down the line.
For now, we can''t wait to get on the water. After months of reading, searching, calling and driving around, we''re almost there. Thanks again to everyone for their helpful comments along the way.