Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Corpus Christi, Tx
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Have you considered looking in the northeast? Boats in Florida spend 24/7/365 in very hostile conditions. Boats in northeast get a rest from November to March or so. Surveying a boat on the hard is less expensive than for one in the water and you probably won't find as much faded and oxidized gel coat as in the south, not mention less corrosion, less deterioration of canvas, just abunch of stuff, plus you get to look at the mast and rid at ground level. Then when spring rolls around you will have much more comfortable weather to work on the boat, spend summer commissioning and cruising around and then heading south late October/early November.
The only down side to this scheme is that you don't get to sail the boat until you have invested $ + TLC into it, so you would have to know a lot about the model you select or find one down south available for a test sail.
When I was looking here in South Texas I saw a lot of very tired and abused boats at prices pretty equivalent to northeast prices.
Free advice, what good is that?