Three replies already, and after only a short night's sleep. Thanks, guys!
I'm starting to get a better idea of what SWMBO is looking for (she's the one driving this, primarily): She wants something that's both quick and responsive (tho she says
we're not going to race) and
suitable for cruising; with things such as a capable galley, a head, and the ability for us to sleep side-by-side w/o me having to assume the shape of a pretzel.
Addressing the individual comments made so far...
Lake St. Clair, Sabre666, for the 1st season. Many shallow areas and, IIRC, some shifting shoals. Yeah, I had noted the draft. That would put the J-29 at a disadvantage. I'll keep in mind your recommendations.
SailorMan, I thought it was the later Hunters that weren't regarded as being as well-built as the earlier ones? You're saying even the late 70's and early 80's Hunters aren't well-built? And the Lasers about the same? Yeah, I've looked at some of the C&C's. From what I've seen so far, they seem to be on the more expensive end of the spectrum. What I found that met our other criteria were all out of our price range. I'll keep looking, of course. I'll check out the Aloha. Thanks for those other tidbits. (We will, of course, be contracting with a reputable, experienced surveyor.)
I've since read-up a bit more on the J-29. Very low cabin (5'4") and the one picture I saw indicates it has no galley? Looks like something oriented a bit too much toward racing for us. Sounds like, from your comments on the other J Boats, John, that these aren't for us.
The terminology is all coming back, now. Wow, it's been all of that 25 years or so since I heard or read "fast around the cans." I really enjoyed sailing. I shouldn't have let my colleague and I parting ways at the time stop me. Really looking forward to getting back on the water.
Here's a bit of fate I'm sure y'all will find interesting: I had no idea, at the time I married her, that my wife enjoying sailing, much less that she'd once co-owned a sailboat. Many women (and some men) have trouble with the boat heeling. My wife thrives on it