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Re: Shoal-draft pocket cruiser recommendations?
A Marshall 22 catboat might be worth your consideration, but you'd have to look at the older models to get with $5K of your budget. You may pay more, but these boats tend to depreciate very slowly.
The Marshall 22 (10' beam, 2' draft (board up) and 5660# displacement) was made in both cat- and sloop-rigged versions. There are some examples for sale in the $15k range at CBA: Cats4Sale FALL 2012 Bulletin No.159
. Catboats have stood the test of time and are relatively forgiving as long as you reef when you first think about it. They have large cockpits and make great daysailers. They are descendants of working coastal boats of over a hundred years ago and are great in light air, but can handle some pretty rough conditions that would challenge a lighter sloop like a Catalina 22 (which has half the displacement and a much narrower beam.)