Boat Shopping - Need Guidance
I'm now in the process of boat shopping in hopes to be back on the water before I dry out.
I hope my questions aren't too cliche' or have been beaten to death on this forum already. I've spent a few years weighing out ideas, and have already been through some of the phases associated with the sailing craze. I no longer have the urge to jump on any old boat and sail the world with the change in my pocket (a phase I see I'm not alone in having suffered). I also have focused more on what I'll be using the boat for rather than what I wish I could do with it.
My goals are to purchase an older boat, between 30-40ft, in the $50k range. I plan on using it for coastal cruising, and may venture further years down the road when I am confident enough to do that. I have even thought about living aboard in the future, as it would put me right in the mix, and keep me close to something I love. I have reserved additional funds for getting the old boat back into shape and upgrading. My experience is low, but my will is great. I've battled many unrealistic ideas, and reading through these forums has brought me closer to earth.
I currently have my eye on an early 70's C&C 39'. The C&C 39 in particular is just an amazing looking boat. Perhaps that is what first got me looking, as well as the prices. I've read all the websites recommended by you guys for C&C boats, I've heard the good and the bad, and know somewhat what to watch for. I just need to know if I'm still to far away from realistic thought, or am I on the right track?
I live in the Houston, TX area, and would keep such a boat along the coast. I hope that someone in the neighborhood has some advice regarding bridge clearance and draft for this ship. I've read 54' mast and 7' draft. I realize this is a big no-no for the shoal waters of Florida and some of the Caribbean, but haven't found much regarding Galveston, Galveston Bay, etc. Any thoughts? I doubt it could slip into Clear Lake, but please correct me if necessary.
I suppose I'll stop here for now. I look forward to your ideas and questions.