Thanks again for all the advice. Here are my thoughts of the day:
My workplace buddy Paul is a real boat guy who lives in Chesapeake City and owns a big Morgan (that's unfortunately been in his yard for ~10 years). He really wants me to go larger (and more upscale vs. the Catalina/Hunter "price-point" boats), and makes a strong argument about how heavy weather can come up quickly, and your life depends on the boat, and a larger boat will fare better in heavy weather. However, he also really wants me to keep it on the Chesapeake. For all the complaints I've read about the Chesapeake, I suspect it's much better sailing than the Delaware River. But I really believe that the Delaware River being 10 minutes away will lead to us using the boat much more than the 1-2 hour hike to the Chesapeake tributaries. Also, the slip fees I have seen in Essington are much less.
Tomorrow my wife and I are planning to head down to Havre de Grace (Tidewater Marina) and then to Georgetown (Sailing Associates) to look at some used boats. Any other dealers on our route that we should stop off and see?
I think we definitely need to crawl around in a lot more boats to see what catches our fancy. I am a bit concerned because Tidewater is a big Hunter dealer with some attractively priced boats on inventory. Is Hunter as bad as I've been told? I sense a number of Catalina fans here, though some of my friends stick their noses up at those also. I've been encouraged to look at Pearson, Cal, Sabre, Tartan, and Erikson. I hope my obsession with "value" does not lead me to buy something that I regret.
I really value your comments from more experienced sailors, so fire away. Meanwhile, I'll continue to read as many pre-existing posts as time allows. Feel free to post links to prior postings to help guide me.
Last edited by TakeFive; 10-24-2009 at 12:16 AM.