Re: 1990s Coastal Cruisers vs. Mid 70s Bluewater Boats
If you have a budget of $85k for a boat of that age, I would suggest spending a maximum of $50k on the boat since even if you do all of the work yourself, you will easily spend the remaining $35k to get it into the shape you want to go offshore. Our current boat seemed almost perfect with only minor work needed when we bought it five years ago. We budgeted 20% of purchase price for improvements and have now spent almost 50%, and are finally ready to go. (We're leaving the west coast of Canada this August for Mexico and beyond).
Small and good is much better than big and crappy.
Good luck with your boat hunting, maybe we'll see you out there sometime.