I'd be wary of alot of the boats that come from Florida. There were a lot of boats that were sunk, water-damaged, or salvaged last year, due to the hurricanes that hit the whole gulf coast area, and there are some very unscrupulous people out there, selling very badly damaged boats, and not offering full disclosure on them.
Any deal that seems too good to be true, usually is.
In general, boats from the warmer states are generally in far worse shape than their older counterparts from colder states, where the boats are stored for part of the year on the hard, like New England. Part of the reason is the annual exposure of the boat to the elements is lower, and the dry storage allows the boat's hull to dry out—reducing the risk of osmosis type problems. The sails are usually in better shape, as they will have less UV-related damage, etc..
Used, you could probably find a decent Cat for under $100K. New, some of the smaller ones are only $150K or so. The Gemini 105MC, TomCat 9.7, and the MaineCat 30 are among the models of cats in the smaller size range. Of them, the Gemini is probably the best, as it has the longest waterline and narrowest beam, which makes it able to fit in some single slips.
The only real problem with getting a cat is finding a place to put it.
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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.