I agree with IslanderGuy and others who suggest looking at a lot of boats. I would start now, and as IG said, just be honest about being early in the process. I think looking while you are not quite "ready" might be perfect--without the push to buy right away you can hone your looking skills and increase your knowledge of what's out there and what you both like.
2000 Beneteau 331
Northern Chesapeake Bay
Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy ~ Steven Wright