The folks here on Sailnet have been very generous in helping answer a LOT of my crazy questions as I've searched for my next boat. It looks like I've found her, which is great because it means I don't have to search the Internet obsessively, nor do I have to travel hither and yon every weekend to look at boats. I've seen quite a few over the past few weeks, and I've met a few very nice brokers and sellers. To that end, if anyone is looking for value-priced boats (i.e., boats in the 26-32' range that are under $10,000 and, in most cases, under $7,000) in the northeast, I know of a few, and I'd be happy to point you in the right direction. They don't meet my needs for one reason or another, but, to my amateur and inexperienced eyes, all seemed perfectly nice boats. Most need some TLC, but nothing major - a few coats of varnish
or Cetol, some cleaning, etc.. That's been my goal all along - to find a boat with good "bones" that, if necessary, I could restore over time while allowing my family and me to get out on the water in comfort and safety this season. So, with that in mind:
There's a 1977 or 1978 Pearson 30 on the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis that seems to be in very good shape for her age. Everything worked well, and the bilge was fairly dry (only a little water, and she was kept in the water this winter). For the money, this one seemed the best value of the boats I saw, but she didn't meet my needs due to the way the cabin and cockpit were laid out, but she seemed like a great buy.
There's a 1980's Cape Dory 28 in Charlestown, MD that was probably in the best condition of the boats that I saw. A door had come off the hinges
(or had been removed by the owner), and she needed a few little things, but was a very pretty boat and looked to be good structurally. A few minor leaks, but nothing major.
There's a 1980's vintage Laguna 30 in Charlestown, MD that looked to be well maintained and in good shape. A few small leaks, and lots of condensation, but the bilge was also fairly dry, especially for having been in the water all winter (and it had just snowed the day before I was there).
There's an early 80's Hunter 30 that is in fantastic shape, that I think could be picked up for (barely) under $10,000 in Deltaville, VA. This was probably the second best condition of the boats I saw.
There's a late 1970's or early 1980's Newport 30 in Deltaville that also looked to be in good shape. She was on the hard, and I did see a little water in the bilge, but not much. She needs a lot of brightwork, cushions to be recovered, etc., but structurally seemed to be in good shape.
Those are the boats that I saw in person that I liked. Again, the impressions above are those of an amateur and inexperienced boat buyer/owner, so you'll want to look at them yourself and get a surveyor rather than relying on my opinion, but I'd say they are at least worth a look.
Had I not decided on my boat, my next stop was going to be Long Island to look at a few. I have not seen these boats in person, but I talked extensively with the brokers:
There's an S2 9.2A in Long Island that looks great on paper, but I haven't seen it in person.
There's an 1977 or 78 Pearson 30 on Long Island that I know needs the deck repainted, but otherwise actually appears to be in good shape, though I haven't seen it in person.
I also have a lead on an early 1980's Endeavour 32 on Barnegat Bay. I haven't had a chance to see it in person, but the owner assures me she's in decent shape (not that that means much). I was planning on seeing that one when I was on my way home from Long Island.
Finally, there's an early 1980's S2 9.2C for sale in Charlestown, MD. She needs a lot more work than the others I've seen, but if you're willing to rip out the headliner, fix the diesel (owner assures me he knows the problem, but is moving and doesn't want to deal with it; Honda 9.9 outboard pushed the boat hundreds of miles just fine), and do a few other odds and ends, she looked decent for the money. She's the roughest of the boats that I saw, and was more of a project than I wanted, but she'd be a nice boat for someone willing to invest the time. The owner sailed her up from Miami via the ICW, so she's at least seaworthy!
If you are interested in any of these boats, I'd be happy to share pictures and what I can remember about each of them with you, and to point you to the sellers/brokers. I don't have any affiliation with the owners or brokers, and don't stand to make any money off of any sale. I've already done a lot of legwork, and if I can save a fellow Sailnetter some time/trouble, then it's the least I can do in exchange for all the help I've gotten.
To the moderators, if you think this should be deleted, that's fine. If you think this is better suited for another forum, please let me know and I'll move it.