We've bailed from the rat race and live in a canal front cottage on the Albemarle on the northern Outer Banks. Time to populate the dock so looking for our first shoal draft (~4'6" or less) coastal cruiser. Draft is a big issue in these parts. I've raced Hobies, Lightnings and windsurfers in my youth; been a longtime sailboard instructor and am probably the oldest kiteboarding instructor on the Outer Banks
No blue water in the plans, just Wed eve beer can races (no racer needed but no dog either), extended weekenders to Oriental, Ocracoke and the Chesapeake. Just the wife and one daughter, but single handling too. Maybe a few friends for sunset sails. Here is the odd list on Yachtworld that caught my attention:
Catalina 36 wing Keel: 1992, my upper self imposed $ limit ($59.9k)
Tartan 37cb: 1976, classic with major updates, ($55k)
Irwin 40 Citation cb, 1980, major rehab, looks fast ($44.9k)
Irwin 34 Citation cb, 1985, lower self imposed size limit, clean, and in my neighborhood, ($34.9k)
I realize detailed inspections, surveys, and final price negotiability are major factors. I've looked at some Tartans and the 34 Citation. Though not as popular as the Catalina or Tartan, the small Irwin feels adequate for the intended usage (New England PHRF 165?) and leaves more $ for refit and other water toys, but hard to say how we'll feel after a couple of seasons.
Am I way off base or not??? Would you approach the search differently?