WingNWing raises a good point about fixing a boat up over time. The back fences of marina yards are littered with project boats never finished and more than one person has dove in to a massive refit and sold it when done. They've come to see the boat as work not pleasure.
Remember this about boat projects:
- Everything takes longer than you think.
- Everything is more expensive than you estimate.
- You REALLY do need marine grade hardware.
- If your boat is an hour from home you WILL need the ONE tool you didn't bring today.
- No matter how good the surveyor, no matter how good your eye, there will be projects you didn't anticipate.
This is not to say don't go sailing. But don't stretch so the boat JUST fits your budget. Give yourself room in your budget and plan on sailing your home waters for a while to work the bugs out.
It's also important that the boat belong to both of you. It won't work if it's just your project. It's important that she be part of the process and she gets the things in a boat that are important to her.
Best of luck,