Look for a nice old Pearson - they are very good boats, built well and sail great.
Whatever you buy, at the under $10K mark, you likely should be prepared to dump some money into it during your first year of ownership to take care of deferred maintenance items left by the prior owner(s).
I bought a 1968 Pearson Wanderer last August and love it. But earlier in its life, it had been neglected. The guy I bought it from did a bunch of work to correct a lot of that neglect, but left plenty of project for me to complete - which is what put it in my price range. I'm right now dumping a few thousand bucks into whole bunch of work, but it's all stuff I shouldn't ever have to do again, unless I own the boat for 30 years (unlikely).
Just recently I saw a nice mid-1960s Tartan 27 for sale at under $10K - I've heard very good things about those as well.
Another note: don't be afraid of an Atomic 4 gasoline engine - it's what I have in my Pearson. They're bulldogs and if reasonably taken care of (and even if not so well taken care of), they run forever. They're dirt simple engines, easy to repair and keep running and there's plenty of parts and support available for them.
Don't be afraid of a 1960s boat - I think that in many ways, some of them arguable are better than some of the 1970s and `80s boats. I'm not saying across the board as a general truism, but there's no doubt that certain of the 1960s boats are better than certain of the later ones. As with any boat, have a good survey done. Don't get your heart set on one right away - there are millions of used boats out there - it's a used boat buyer's market right now.
- Bill T.
- Richmond, VA
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain