Thank you! Thank you! Thank you all for taking the time to go out of your way to check out the auction, and for your thoughtful replies.
And will give this a miss.
What we have learned from this is that it's time for us to do the boat dream and that if we're juiced to put what's necessary together to jump on something like this on short notice, then it's really time to do it thoughtfully.
I'm saddened because I really like the seller and we were developing a good rapport. It was wonderful to take his dreams and run with them. He has great ideas and has thought out many of the details about how to get this going, and has sourced the vendors to do the engine work and put the masts on. He's had the boat for a number of years and had lived aboard and done a lot of planning. He said that the hull was great and that he had hunted for over a year to find one this good.
My husband and I are happier than we've been in ages, talking about this and wanting to jump on this opportunity to be living on a huge sailboat. His father owned and rebuilt a boat exactly this size when he was 18, and has been doing fine woodwork forever. It looked like a project that would bring them closer together, and in the end we could share the profits with him.
So if we don't get this boat, it's time for us to get a different one - one that will be worth the investment. Let go of this particular boat, but not the dream. Let this boat be a catalyst.
If we take the next six months for research to find something that might wind up netting us both a boat to live on and a profit for sweat equity, then what would be good next steps? We were looking to invest around $30k to $60k over a couple of years to rebuild something magical - that would allow us to liveaboard and also wind up with a profit when we sold.
Any book recommendations? What's the best way to figure out what will be a worthwhile investment?
When I was working in a boatyard in Florida, it seemed the way to get a good deal on a boat would be to pick up hurricane salvage - where the insurance had completely written the boat off. I'm up in Boston now. I don't know if that would be a good strategy to start out with. My father-in-law is on his way to Florida and he's able to hunt around a bit.
Any other suggestions / strategies?
Thank you again. We appreciate your advice.