Re: Make do with wrong boat
To repeat what some others have already alluded to:
I bought my Gemini new, watched her being built right here in Annapolis in 2007.
I put between 10 and 30 hours most weekends fixing, upgrading or otherwise doing maintenance of some sort, and close to 2k a year into it just fixing issues.
That includes the new engine, plumbing, electrical etc..
New and newer boats are not (for some reason) like cars, in the price range most of us mere mortals can afford they come with issues.
The Irwin I linked is actually priced in the upper range for the model, some go for up to 20k less.
Mine didn't come with windlass, arch, solar, instruments etc. (it's only got 603 hours on the engine, and I put 3 of them on test sailing). I have the advantage of not having to rip out old stuff and replace with new. My budget for buying, upgrading and all is under 100k - that gives me a lot more in my kitty to go sit next to an island with white sand and sunny skies for a lot longer. If I have to fix something while I'm there, sigh. I'll handle it and cool off with a snorkel over a coral reef.
On the other hand if I have to replace the rigging, fuel tanks and such - well, I'll still be under the 150k range, and maybe have to fore go a couple Rum and Coke Zero's here and there.
The way I see it, if a boat is strong, dry and solid at 30, it's probably going to outlast me.
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.