“Hey what kind of boat do you guys think I should buy...”
Kidding! I do need some advice though. I am planning on buying a boat in June of 2012; 35-38 foot approx. We will live aboard for one year-ish leaving from DC area and hoping to cruise from Nova Scotia to Aruba during that period. Following good weather, gunkholing up the east coast and the Caribbean. Maybe a trip to Bermuda if I can convince my wife when we leave the North East heading south after hurricane season. Just general live-aboard stuff for a year. The departure date is a bit flexible as I see problems trying to get out of DC in December and even more problems in the discipline needed to LEAVE the Caribbean in the heart of the winter too.
I would like to buy a vessel for approx $65K. I would like to purchase the boat 6 months before we actually push off on the one year cruise. I feel the 6 months will permit time to adjust things that need adjusting, learn the boat and its nuances (or is that nuisances?), re-acquaint myself with some sailing etc.
We previously owned a Beneteau First-285 for approximately 5 years sailing it in the Albermarle sound, NC Outer Banks, and then taking it to the Southern Cheseapeake near Ft Monroe Va, sold it about 10 years ago. Now with the kids gone and retirement around the corner we are going bigger and farther. We had great “long weekend” trips in this boat but it woefully lacked fresh water capacity and refrigeration. It was a bit crowded but manageable for short trips for a small family. We’ve got to be more comfortable this time.
Lurking the sight for a few weeks and doing some looking around I weigh the risk of Older = Bigger based on my funds available. BUT (there is always a “but”) older can come with old boat problems. Ideally I find an older boat that has had extensive refit and upgrade and I am the beneficiary of someone else’s effort and money spent. Newer boats have some better layouts and “liveaboard” type features in some cases. There will always be “exceptions”, a cherry condition old boat or a newer boat that had a hidden problem, such is life.
What I would like from this esteemed panel is based on my situation above and funds available what boat would you buy given my plans as indicated? I apologize for the long post and the subsequent volumes folks could write on this subject. Most answers will have the “well it depends” in the answer too. I would welcome any response and will also be satisfied with “well I WOULDN’T buy a.... or here are the top THREE things I would look for first”. I’ve got over a year before I have to write a check so I have time to get this right.