Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cape Cod
Thanked 31 Times in 31 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Re: Starting to look for a boat
I'm going to pile on here, hope you don't mind. I've had 5 different boats, now in my 60's. Each one fit the bill for the time and place I was at.
Lifetime sailing, particularly in your case where circumstances of location and family are changing fairly rapidly is unlikely to be a one and done affair.
If you buy used, and you take care of the boat, you are likely to get your money back. The cost is not the purchase price, it's the annual operating costs which if you have a family and career will be likely be significant, since your time is valuable and you will let yards do lots of the work. It gets larger exponentially with boat size. Get some experience with this stuff.
Where maybe I'd differ a bit from the usual recommendations is here. If you go too small, you might turn the family off from cruising. So for now, I'd look for a coastal cruising boat in the 30's, shoal draft, used but well cared for, and give it a try. You'll have trouble finding a dedicated shower in this size, but take the family out on a few nice days, anchor overnight to a perfect sunset, and this inconvenience will fade way.
And know this...all that automated stuff like power winches, power furling, bow thrusters, air conditioners, etc...all breaks. A big boat is like taking your house, spraying salt water at it without all the windows closed, and shaking it all day in major earth quake. Not easy on your stuff. These conveniences are worth it for long term cruising, as you learn to fix stuff and adapt. Start with a simpler boat, and frustration will be minimized.
But whatever you do, go sailing, and don't wait, life is short.
Last edited by capecodda; 01-25-2015 at 12:32 PM.