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Old 07-07-2011
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Boat buying advise

Okay, we're new to sailing and looking for advise on a boat/boats to fit our need. Here is a bit about us first that hopefully can shed some light on what we're looking for.

We both just retired. We're 32 and 30 years old. We have a son, 9 years old. We live in the Pacific NW (Portland, OR). We have very little sailing experience, we've spent plenty of time on power boats but have always dreamed of living aboard and sailing to exotic destinations. We've spent so much time on our careers and life on shore that we've neglected our sailing dreams. Now that we are retired we're working on our ASA certification and learning everything we can about sailing and living aboard.

We have two goals. Our big goal is for 9 years from now. In 9 years we want to have acquired enough sailing experience to leave the PNW for good and sail the world. Our goal is not circumventing but to leave the PNW and port hop as we wish. To take our time getting to our next destination then taking our time leaving that destination with no final port in mind.

Our other goal is to spend time building up to that 9 years sailing as much as we can. This will hopefully include time sailing the Columbia, the Oregon cost, then the west coast, and finally a few trips to Hawaii and back with our son. Over the next few years we plan on finishing up our ASA cert and sailing locally to build up our sailing knowledge.

What we are trying to figure out is our first boat and the money involved. We have set aside about $500,000 to spend on purchasing a boat. It sounds like a lot but we're thinking we want to get 2 boats and wanted input on this.

As we're learning we wanted to buy a smaller bought but still get one large enough/tough enough for the trip to Hawaii in the next few years. Then 2 years before our last time leaving Portland we would start shopping for then fitting our long haul boat.

We don't want to spend to much on our first vessel as it will be for only 4 to 5 years of sailing but we want a boat strong enough to handle the PNW. We are trying to find a boat for about $100,000. That would be for the boat plus work needed and refitting it with the gear we want. Then we would have $400,000 left to buy and refit our boat when we leave in 9 years (give and take a little based on investment earnings/losses).

So does this sound logical so far? Recommendations on our first boat? Something small enough to learn in but large enough to sail the Pacific. The female half really wants a pilot house, probably a side effect of living in the rainy and cold PNW. We have looked at Nauticat's and really like them. A Nauticat 42 from the early to mid 90s seams like a great choice for our long term goal. That could change over the next few years but we both like them.

For now we are having a hard time figuring out a good boat for less then a $100,000 to cruise the Pacific. Any thoughts on Tayana 37s? We were considering a mid 80s or newer Tayana for our early sailing.
And advice on a good pacific cruiser to last us for the next 5 years would be great, especially if it has a pilot house.

Shawn and Madeline
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