Re: Champagne taste on a beer budget
I agree with all of the above, especially ccrider. Your dream boats don't seem like the best choice for "weekend sailing on the Chesapeake Bay". You preferably want something with less than 5 feet draft, that sails well and is fun in 5-10 kts of wind, especially as you start out. Pearson 30, Oday, Catalina come to mind. We started out with a 1980 Seafarer 30... great boat for the bay, affordable, and fun to learn on/with. That kind of boat suits what you are planning to do, and as stated by others, if you love it, you will probably move onward and upward to the next boat, when it is time. I think the biggest consideration is your probable cruising grounds and the qualities a boat should have for that geographical area.... eg one of my big favorites is a Sabre 386 (gulp), but my Caliber 35 LRC is better suited to warmer climes and has wayyyy better ventilation down below. That was just one component we considered in our decision for the move-up boat. But, I would do it all over again, with the Seafarer 30 as entry boat. Look at boats like that.. eg the ones mentioned above. Good luck, and go for it. You won't regret it! You are right to think about the other costs involved, though. Buying an older used boat means inevitable maintenance costs... get a survey on whatever you buy.