Several thoughts. First, the budget. I too
wanted to spend about 30k..but the more I
looked the more it made sense to consider the
modest increase in loan payments allowed for
a much more comfortable negotiating range and
wider selection of boats. Jeff H. usually
has a really good feel for matching boats and
needs and he often posts here.
Since the first boat is usually a prelude to
the second boat, consider resale value and
market demand. The older Pearsons and Tartans seem to hold value, particularly in
the northeast, and are forgiving.
Make a more complete list of the need-to and
nice-to-haves. Realize that no matter what
boat you select, you''ll be doing upgrades.
Then there is the purchase/commissioning situation. I thought I estimated everything.
Still, it came to several thousand over my
projections. Little things like new bottom
, engine fluid changes, new lines
batteries, etc., etc., not to mention the
cost of a slip, if you can find one where you
want to be located. If you are buying a
30k boat, plan on having at least 10-12k
cash available for closing and commissioning.
A final note...often, not all family members
are as fond of sailing as you might be. My
x-wife started out liking the first boat but
soon drifted from the concept...too small,
too much "roughing it", not sea-kindly, etc.
The teenagers liked it at first but they too
drifted away...typical of that stage of life.
Make sure you can single-hand the boat. It
makes the cost-per-use more acceptable.