Dakine, Agree with Smackdaddy. Sounds like you're going in the right direction. If you haven't looked already, take a look at two of the sticky threads in the 'Buyers and Sellers' forum: 1) Boat buying trip tips and 2) Local boat-buying assistance. These might help you find the right boat and make a good assessment of a boat before you hire a surveyor. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
Thank you for your sage advice. Some folks put in alot of thought and effort developing the buying SOP. Save a copy to take with us next time. Are folks really kind enough to look at boats for you in this part of the country? I will ask for help before signing a contract and getting a surveyor.
Sorry, but I'm not a rugged individualist. Folks scare me when they start talking about "when ships were wood and men were steel" talk. It would be nice to have a thorough understanding of chemical/elecrical/mechanical engineering to be a better boat buyer. Noticed a couple of comments on how mentally impoverished we are in the US of A on our reliance on surveyors. I don't pay my mortgage with boat knowledge ;-)