Join Date: Mar 2010
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More space is good (so sayeth the Sea Wife). A 33' and more space didn't compute to me, but you have a much newer design than the one we sailed. I like the Arends for liveability, and the galley layout is superb. Two things: 1) PLEASE get an extended bimini - all the way to the helm - for the cockpit, sitting in the sun all day for long watches (or whatever) gets old even faster than your skin will. 2) You will want a little comfy folding stadium chair with good back support to pop onto the top of that transom seat you are expected to sit when you helm! Not having decent back (and butt) support for long hours at a time also gets old.
Doing your trip in your early 30s is a GREAT idea. We did the same in an old (1978) 36' Allied Princess in our early 30s, and then came ashore, sold the Allied, took up the careers again and had a child; now he is 11 and we are heading out again as a family! Don't worry, you do this now, and you will probably do it again, and pass it on to your kids (and grandkids?). You are starting in a beautiful place, and the safety factor is good: technology only improves -- you can afford redundant GPSs and a good SSB and EPIRB -- all are cheaper than they were when we did it, and often better, as well. Check the cockpit drains but with an open transom it should not be a big problem, getting pooped. Stay out there long enough and you will get into some seas that you're looking up at, and some will eventually try to come aboard for a visit, but you have a nice small companionway with boards (or lexan) you can leave in on passage and the cockpit looks like it would drain well... you are about to have some serious fun!
BTW, look at the prices other 33s of similar age are fetching before you make an offer -- if the asking price on the one you want seems unreasonably high, try offering 60% of the asking and see if they will negotiate a bit -- maybe wind up at 75%. Depends on how long the boat's been on the market, too, of course. I mention this because the asking prices for used versions of this boat seem to vary wildly -- from 29,000 to 110,000 (?!) on one site I visited. Of course, there could be mechanical reasons for the variation, see SeaDog's Tips & Tricks thread for stuff to look at carefully before paying for a survey. Fair Winds!