Join Date: May 2006
Location: Left Coast USA
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I think you are one-up on a lot of folks that are looking for their first boat. 30 footers are in the sweet spot in boating. Small enough to learn on, comparatively inexpensive but still a big boat. And they can keep you happy for a long time. As far a PHRF goes look to the 175 range for reasonable performance in that size. Don't discount late 70s vintage boats that may be in good shape. You should inquire about blisters in the late 70s to mid 80s.
But, you must look at boats. Lots of boats. You will know when you find the right one. besides, looking at boats is fun. You now need the experience of walking the decks and sticking your head in bilges to know what you and your wife like.
Have fun and feel free to ask us specific questions as they come up.