So far so good. Seen some great boats. Seen some questionable boats. Seen some
Started off with a Saturna 33 offshore, nice boat, but the inside was a bit odd. Definitely lived in, but a pretty zany setup, like the lamp with 15' of wire wrapped around the post, rubber tarantulas on the ceiling, and the holes drilled in the trim all over for pencils. I had flashes of the Joker in Batman since they were all stored end up.
It became quickly apparent which boats would work for me, and which wouldn't.
next was a Nonsuch 26, tons of room for the size, but just didn't do it for me.
Up to Nanimo to look at a CS33 and I felt bad for the salesman, junk all over, he opened the cockpit up took a look, turned to us with a sad look. Decent boat overall, and I liked the layout, but it felt a little small inside for the price.
Right next door was one in great condition, way cheaper with self steering vane and obviously well cared for, a different dealer had it though. he didn't stay too long and went off to talk with the wharfinger.
Some pretty fail-laden boats, where the guy was ashing in the sink, and left his roaches sitting all over the edge, obvious liveaboards, with tires and junk all over asking 10k more than the spotless ones.
Some pretty fail-laden brokers too. Not a clue about their boats, or sales for that matter.
One notable exception was Larry Thompson with Bayview yachts in Ladysmith. Every boat he had was in beautiful shape, modern electronics, tons of upgrades, and great prices. His info packets were huge(not a single page), and he knew them inside and out. He took 2 hours to show us 3 boats, one was a beautiful Aloha 32 for a very reasonable price. He outlined anything he thought should be upgraded or replaced, with approximate costs to do so, even down to the level of a specific propane fitting on one boat that he felt was better replaced with a modern fitting.
I would absolutely recommend him to anyone looking for a boat in the area. My dad even agreed, and he's not usually a fan of salespeople at all. If nothing on my current short list pans out, I'm just going to tell him what I'm looking for, I know he'll come through if anyone will.
Right now my shortlist is down to 5 boats, all really solid candidates with good reasons for each. Not bad considering how broad my list was at the start.
CS36T: Solid in every way, functional well built and tons of space, good tankage,power etc. Good supply of spares.
custom steel 36' (pretty in an ugly industrial way, well built and sailed over from Europe.) Felt smaller on deck than the 36T.
Comes with moorage in a nice liveaboard slip.
mid 30s Custom wood restoration of a William Garden design. Beautiful, functional and in need of a little love, incredibly well built, but in need of some repairs
CS33: Little brother of the 36, less tankage, but well put together, won't save anything in a marina though.
Aloha 32. Some savings over the 33 and 36 in both moorage and purchase price, nice layout, except for the complete lack of V berth.
Alberg 30. This was one of the biggest surprises, a lot roomier than I thought, it actually felt more livable than the Aloha 32, though not as prettily built inside. Very lived in, very easy to live in. Great upgrades inside and out and some really brilliant ideas from the owner. Full keel, skeg rudder. Tons of storage space, the biggest deck lockers I've ever seen, tiller steerage and easy to handle. I felt right at home in it. Owners lived at anchor
right through the winter, said it was much more sea-kindly than the Benteneaux 36 he used to sail. More tank capacity than all except the 35 and 36' boats.
Now the biggest problem seems to be finding moorage, the compromise my dad and I have tentatively reached is that if I want his backing on anything more expensive than the Alberg that I need to find real moorage, either a buoy or a slip.
The 36T seems to be the best all around boat, which is what I'd expected, it was always at the top of my list. The others have some real benefits, and some real drawbacks.