I would recommend a boat in the 28-35 foot range. Anything longer will be much more expensive to both maintain and store. Dock and marina fees are based on the length of the boat, and the size of a lot of the gear goes up with a larger boat, and so does the cost of maintaining and replacing it... like sails, rigging, hardware, etc. Also, boats larger than this become a bit much to single-hand, unless specifically equipped for such use.
A survey is an excellent idea. But get your own surveyor, not one recommended by the seller or seller's agent. A boat broker may or may not be a good idea. Generally, IMHO, they're not quite as useful for people looking for lower cost boats, as they have less incentive to really help you find one to buy.
A couple more good magazines to get are Good Old Boat and Spin Sheet.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 05-25-2006 at 04:23 PM.