Re: Another "opinions requested" thread about boat choices...
Ha, ok. Keep in mind that we looked up most of the suggestions here to look at the characteristics of the boats. All the suggestions were good, but not all were as close to "ideal" as others. For example some might be a little more for offshore or something like that.
So culling the field a little the next question was are there any for sale within a few hundred miles? Some boats are harder to find than others. Or you find one but only a model with a deep draft, or the condition of the boat is not quite what the description said once you actually go and see it, or this, or that, you get the picture.
To end the suspense, we are going to get a 1986 C&C 35 that is listed as being in excellent condition for the very good reason that it really is. Of course we are going to get it surveyed, but everything works, the current owner is meticulous about everything and has records of what he has had done and when...pretty much the type of situation anyone would want to see buying any used boat at all.
For anyone thinking of selling, there is a big advantage to presenting a boat in that way. If your boat needs work, go ahead and do it rather than showing the boat as is and dismissing whatever work needs to be done as not that important. Even if it isn't that important, the person with the turn-key boat is going to sell before you do except in the case of people actually seeking out project boats. But the project boat person is looking for a really good deal - you aren't going to get the price you want from that market. Also, as a seller preparing for a buyer to see the boat, do the basics on cleaning up. It doesn't have anything to do with how the boat sails, but get everything put away and swab every surface.
We saw some terrific boats suggested on this list that, even with being within the parameters we set for size and all that, were priced a little high for the shape they were in - that we knew about, which was already enough that we wouldn't invest in a survey - and even if we got it for a little less would have been an investment both in money AND time, and to us time is a big deal. Next spring, we'd like to get on our boat and sail and not have spent every weekend between now and then sweating so that can happen. Does every boat require work? Of course. Is there "requires work" and then "requires work"? Oh yes.
So there it is. This is the boat that made it all the way through the selection process. 35', versatile, well built, there was one for sale close that was well maintained.