For a first liveaboard, considering that after living in a house that feels like a barn I have all the questions that have been answered but not to the points that make me feel "comfortable" about the decision.
Seeing as what would drive me to this is a costly divorce from a costly spouse you can assume anything over $100k is "out of reach."
I've read stories of people forking out $50k in a refit which is likely for most boats I can afford. After all, '89 seems to be about the newest that look "in reach" and a 20 year old boat is likely to need a refit - am I right?
The Beneteau and Whitby yachts (about 42' LOA) look roomy enough and stable enough for the Great Lakes, buth the Whitby was built before I hit puberty.
A Hughes 38, like a 36' Morgan, looks affordable but are they cramped? Do they sail well? Are they cheap? (a 35' C&C costs about 50% more.)
The question is "can you have guests sleep over?" This happens because certainly my daughter may pay a visit, or some friends.
The conflict comes from the multiple voices in my head - conflicting desires. My background involves sailing nothing larger than a Tanzer 26 and mostly just a few dinks.
One voice says get the CC, a boat I love to sail or you will never leave the dock, something I can sail alone because you can't assume the person you are with loves to sail. The voice of passion and adventure.
Another voice says get the Beneteau or the Whitby because you live in the boat 24/7 but only sail 7/24. There is also some sense that says "you need a real fridge." I like simple but love my bike & the idea of having my own transport when I make landfall. (My mountain bike can fit a 26"x29"x13" box.) The trinkets and trash I cannot live without are the cell phone, some art supplies, a dozen books, a guitar, harmonica, microwave oven. Is this all too much?
Is there a boat that meets the challenge - that can be fun when sailed alone, be large enough for guests to stay in comfort allowing me privacy, carry the trinkets and trash that I cannot live without and not break my back?
How much money is paid for a refit of a 20 or 30 year boat? Is a 30 year old boat strong enough for a Great Lakes storm?
Wintering in a boat in Toronto in the winter is a different topic altogether.