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post #1 of Old 02-13-2013 Thread Starter
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1st time buyer looking for guidance

Hello All,
This spring I plan on buying my first sailboat. I feel this is a major purchase, and I'm looking for some hints and pointers. Sure I have bought cars and homes. The first car I bought was a $5K lemon. Everything seemed great on the test drive but on the drive home from the dealership it gave out. Go figure. So from then on I pretty much bought cars and homes as brand new or relatively new to "avoid" the unknowns of the used market. We all know what a new 30 to 35 ft sailboat costs. I can't put that much money into this... yet. I currently sail on Lake Michigan on a time share 29 ft Ranger. The desired sailboat would be in the 30-35 ft range capable of crossings and cruising. I plan on owning it for at least 7 to 10 years before moving up. I have set aside $15k for the boat plus $5k for taxes, fees, and costs of getting it in the water. I have read Don Casey's, "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat" 3 times now which is giving me some confidence and insight into what type of sailboat I might want. Here are my search parameters: $15-20K, 30-35ft, 1983-1990 in the Great Lakes Area. The condition doesn't have to be immaculate, but I'm not looking for project boats or major issues/soft spots (engine, hull, deck, or standing rigging). Here is a list of what I'm considering:
Cal 31, C&C, and Ericson (maybe Hunter or Irwin) Not too sure of Catalina 30 (too much beam). I'm guessing I could negotiate $20K down to $15k. Should I be looking at a higher price range, newer boats, avoid certain makes, or wait till I have more money? Thanks
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