Bristol 34 or........?
I've PM'd one of the moderators of this forum for boat recommendations, and have scheduled a survey of a Bristol 34 based on those recommendations.
Prior to totally committing on a boat that I haven't personally seen, I'm looking for other's opinions on boats that would be suitable for my wife and myself.
1. I'm 67 (almost), wife is 64.
2. We've had a '77 Ericson 27 for 6 years, improved it each year. Previous owner added 400(?) lbs. of lead to its' keel and it had some port-side damage (repaired), as well as a replacement mast. It's a little small, but we're used to it. I'm also concerned about its' sailing characteristics because of the repairs. It's "OK", but not great.
3. We both just retired, have a dock space and a whole summer ahead of us to sail.
4. My wife's not a sailor, is anxious, but has gotten increasingly comfortable onboard and LOVES our "floating summer home at the dock".
5. We'd like to spend the summer in LI sound, and hopefully go down the intercoastal come October.
I love the romance of sailing and cruising, love the warmth of interior teak and mahogany, and would like stability under sail, single-handed capability and would prefer an Atomic 4 (which I'm very familiar with). I can fix ANYTHING, but don't want to or have the time. My wife wants creature comforts.
I realize I could make a huge mistake here, and that's the reason for writing. With a comfort zone of under $30K, what boats would you look for if you were in my position?
Here's what we've seen and our perception:
(2) Pearson 323's....Well laid out, decent size, but for $16K - $19K I would sacrifice YEARS making it "nice". Our boat's numerous imperfections don't seem as problematic to me as those on other boats.
Ericson 30+ that was on ebay.....very, very nice teak interior, diesel smell (of course, since it had a diesel) but not significantly more room than we have now. Price was excellent (under $10K) but the time aspect of getting it in the water and the minimal increase in interior room caused me not to bid.
Catalina 31 (2005)....Although a lot more money, the deal-breaker for me was the lack of "warmth". Lots of plastic, great electronics, but (for me) a floating video game.
Island Packet 35 ($35K) Horrible teak, not in showing condition, no cushions installed and (I found out later) and not the best sailing vessel. Decent amount of room below.
Nonsuch 30 (wasn't for sale but viewable at a boat show)... Beautiful interior and craftsmanship, but somewhat pricey for one in very nice condition.
I hadn't realized until I started looking what a range of prices and conditions exist out in the marketplace. I'm starting to realize that looking for another sailboat could turn into a part-time/full time job if I let it. That's the reason for this post.
Sorry for the length of the post, but I thought the more you knew of my experience the better you could respond.
Thanks in advance!