Re: Coastal Cruising Boat Selection Help
Any of those boats would work for coastal cruising in Gulf. For the extended cruising to the islands for months at a time, I would want something larger. Without knowing the condition of the 3 boats mentioned, the Pearson would be my choice. Not a fan of Hunters and the IP is too slow.
As to a test sail, I don't believe they show as much as you might think. Too dependent on weather and wind at the time. Any boat for sale through a broker will not give you test sail before getting an offer. When I sold my previous boat privately a couple of years ago, I did take out prospective buyers for a short sail a couple of times. One of them ended up buying the boat.