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Old 08-03-2010
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The question of ages - what boat?

Its the question that's been asked many times... what kind of boat is best for me?

OK, so, right now I am in the market for my very own boat (been borrowing a friend's 23' all summer) and I find myself asking the same question, trawling forums, books and reviews.

Context?
Got 3 young kids 3-7 years old, sail 100% on big lake (Champlain), occasionally have 1-3 guests on the boat (yes 8 is crowded on the deck of a 23'!).

Not super interested in going fast, but would like do do the odd 1-2 night trip with the whole family. I can't see us doing week long trips.

I don't think I'll be trailing the boat all over creation. Champlain has years of exploration in it, but I might bring the boat home over winter to work on it easier (we live an hour + away from the marina).

Budget is $6-9000 all in.

My conclusions so far are...

28' to 30' boats seem to be a jump in price. In my budget range that means older 70's boats.
24' seems a minimum size for young family of 5
24'-28' range seems to be 80's boats in my budget

and here is the big one....
Much of the boat price seems to be in after market equipment, and at the end of the day, much of this seems to be the same. The same electronics, motors etc etc.

So, do I go for an older boat with an older foundation (hull/rigging, etc etc) that is a little bigger, or something smaller and newer?

If I move a move, at most once a year, do I need the swing keel water ballasted trailer-R-Us boat?

Please advise!
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