Are there regional differences in the used boat market?
There are indeed. They are quite pronounced and obvious to even the most ill-informed layman.
The old adage "the cream rises to the top" sums the situation up nicely. Here on Lake Ontario, we are at the 43rd parallel. Very much on top of most of the world, and definitely on top of the United States of Despairica.
You will find the best boats here. Each of these fresh-water indulgences represents the culmination of all that is right and holy in yacht design, executed with a purity of line and purpose seldom found on this sordid globe of ours.
Without exception, they have been lovingly cared for, sailed only in the fairest of weather and buffed, waxed, wrapped up and carefully tucked away each winter.
Somewhat south and to the east and the west we find the boats of Maine, Massachusetts, Washington state and British Columbia. Undeniably great boating areas all with centuries of maritime history behind them, their craft are beautiful yet suffer greatly from one common factor - a saltwater environment.
So, while the boats are good and the maintenance is conscientious, they are fighting a losing battle against the corrosive minerals in the salt water, and much as their women do, the boats age prematurely. The occasional exception to this may be found in the case of a wooden boat, where the salt water has the efffect of "pickling" the wood, therby preserving it somewhat. Unfortunately, the women do not pickle successfully - no matter how much wood is used
Further south - Annapolis, Chesapeake, Oregon, Baltimore, Charleston et al. - the quality declines rapidly. In this area the boats, along with the citizenry are frequently of ill-defined and suspect lineage. There is much intermingling and sharing of stanchions, hulls, masts, stuffing boxes and wives, to the point where it is difficult to tell which craft is the product of which clan of builders.
Also, the boats, much like the children in the area, are subject to long, painful hours of overexposure to ultra-violet radiation hence prone to the accelerated deterioration and mutation associated with that hazard.
Again, these are boats that spend their lives in salt water of questionable provenance or purity. They are by and large owned by Republicans, a unique life form to date unknown outside the lower contiguous 10 "states". Republicanism, a zealotry which typically manifests itself as an expression of regressionist political thought, has the unfortunate side-effect of preventing its adherents from seeing things clearly or accurately.
As can be imagined, this makes for less than ideal yacht maintenance. While the Republican may be ready, willing and able to tackle whatever job might need to be done, their myopic creed prevents them from noticing the decay around them. Hulls go unpainted, leaks magnify, and things just generally go from tolerable to unbelievable. While a normal person may be able to look two feet ahead and spot numerous areas of concern in 5 minutes, your garden variety Republican is just not able to focus that far for that long.
So - you'd do well to head north to buy your boat.
Hope this helps. Good Luck