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Old 01-01-2012
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VK540 VK540 is offline
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Bought my boat, used, old, but well maintained. Wasn't the boat i wanted but the more I sail it the more i like it. It's a C&C 38. I wanted a Gozzard but would have had to wait too long to make it a reality. The C&C was a right place at the right time deal that I couldn't refuse. Jackdale mentioned boat shows. I went to the Annapolis boat show and went on every boat I could within the class size that I had in mind and compared them as best I could. I had a list of basic priorities I was looking for. Shoal draft, shaft drive, keel type, heavy displacement, maximum storage, and so on. Some boats looked pretty but lacked in the basics. ie, no storage, no hand holds in the cabin, head location, galley location, cockpit size, cockpit drainage, opening ports and so on. It would be wonderful to build your own then you can customize it but there is enough different designs out there with the market the way it that you will probably find something that you want. Yachtworld is a good start but pictures never did much for me. I traveled fair distances to look at boats that looked good in the pictures and were described as pristine condition that were far from being pristine! Just recently a couple were leaving our area to go cruising. They had planned this for some time and joined a cruising club. They left the local marina, crossed the border into the USA to check into customs for the proper visa but misread the buoys entering the USA marina and ran aground. The boat they had fixed up for their worldly adventures had an encapsulated keel that was damaged instantly and caused them to delay their retirement dream for another year while repairs are made. My personal opinion is that the boat they chose was not a good choice for what they intended on using it for. They had done much research on the trip end but perhaps not so much on the boat designed for their trip. My opinion. Do lot's of research and keep asking lots of questions. You will be able to sift through the good and bad advice quickly. Good luck in your decisions and happy sailing!
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