Originally Posted by camaraderie
Rule 3: Don't worry about the money.
Here I disagree...if the goal is long distance cruising/living aboard. In my experience, most people have to worry about the money and cannot afford the loss that comes with a two or more boat approach to finally getting the "right boat". I agree with the need to really research the right type of boat for the planned cruising agenda and then find a suitable one that is affordable. But if a Tayana37 is the right boat...there is no need to get a Hunter 28 to learn on first in the "Bay" Not doing so will save a LOT of money and buy a lot of rum drinks somewhere nice!!
You had excellent points (most of which I looked at and said, "hum, yeah, that's a good point.")
I was unclear about the "don't worry about the money" part, and I apologize. There's a great deal to be said for buying the boat you need first, rather than "moving up." Unfortunately, my choices seem to be a) buy something small that "will do" for learning and having fun on the bay until my girls go off to college, b) wait until the girls are in college to get any kind of boat at all, or c) borrow a bunch of money to buy a boat now to get experience.
See, I've sailed (baby boats - Lightnings, little O'Days, Lasers, E-scows, Tornados, J/24s, etc), but my wife has not. Ever. I bought her a course with Womanship for Christmas to see how she likes it. If she absolutely detests sailing, and never wants to go on a boat again, I'll never need to go past the 30' (or so) Bay cruiser - the one that "will do."
If we wait until the girls are off to college (3 years from now), she won't have much experience, since all our money will go into the boat fund and kitty.
As for option c, well, I don't want to borrow money to buy a boat. I'm not very good with personal finances, and that's just a disaster waiting to happen (for me - YMMV).
So what I was trying to say was, don't worry about the money when you're trying to find out what *kind* of boat you need. Money is not a good measure of suitability. I just ran over to YW, while writing this, and did a search for used fiberglass sailboats between 28 and 32 feet, for less than 10K, and available on the east coast. Of 57 hits, there are widely different boats, like the Pearson Triton, the 29' Bristol, and the 28' Newport. I imagine the Newport's handling and seakeeping are pretty different than the Triton or Bristol.
(I'm sorry, I cannot seem to write concisely today.)
So I'm on a strict budget, and need to get out on the Bay to have fun with the family and get them sailing experience. I feel like I'm better off saying I'd prefer the Triton to the Newport, based on sea motion, rather than just looking at price and not really understanding the differences between the boats.
What works for me certainly isn't what's best for everybody.
Of course, if I hit Wednesday's Powerball, it's a different game entirely (I think there was a thread a while back about "what would you buy for a million dollars?").