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Old 07-04-2012
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Re: Coastal Cruising Boat Selection Help

We actually started this process over a year ago and thought the 40'-45' range would be preferable. During the past year, we have gone from making sure we were prepared for every possible situation and group combination to buying something that will accommodate our needs 90% of the time. The mantra went from 'buy the biggest boat we can afford' to 'buy the boat that best serves what we intend to do the most often.'

Again, safety is my main concern with comfort a close 2nd. Whatever we get, I must have the confidence my wife will be able to single hand. You never know what is going to happen and I cant put my family in an uncompromising position.

Currently, the budget is capped at $30K. Of course, the less we spend now, the more we have for toys and accessories.

I suspect that 75% of the time over the next 5 years, it will be Amy, the boys and myself for a 2-3 day trip out to the Gulf Coast Barrier Islands. Occasionally we may have an additional kid or perhaps another adult couple but again, it would be for just a weekend.

In 5-7 years, the boys go off to college and Amy & I will be empty nesters. At this point, it will just be the two of us on extended trips.

We actually homeschool our children and we have considered the remote possibility of taking a 6-12 month sabbatical with the kids and work our way around the keys, down the exumas, through the upper & lower Antilles down to Grenada possibly Trinidad. The current economic environment may keep this just that - a remote possibility. If it does become a possibility, the 30' would be too cramped. Does it make sense to consider an older, larger Irwin or Morgan?

Theoretically, we have plenty of time to make the right decision. The kids, on the other hand, are a captive audience for a few more years! It wont be long until I hear, sure Dad, I would love to spend time with you if only I could find the time! I would love to convince myself we will sail together as a family for the rest of our lives but that really would be naive!

Thanks for the quick responses!

B
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