Thank you for your thoughts. So far we have looked at:
1. 1978-J/24 for daysailing. No go with wife.
2. 1989-O'Day 302.
3. 1988-Pearson 31.
4. 1982-Cherubini Raider 33.
5. 1982-Pearson 35.
6. 1984-Hunter 31.
7. 1987-Hunter 28.5.
8. 1981-O'Day 30.
9. 1982-Cal 31.
10. 1989-Catalina 30.
11. 1977-Columbia 29. Very clean boat.
Talked to a dealer in NC on a 1996 Beneteau 281 and viewed a private owner's Aloha 28. Anything under 30' seems cramped for more than three adults to move around on. The Raider was beautiful but could only accomodate 2 adults comfortably in the cockpit.
We finally viewed a Catalina 30 last weekend and were amazed that a 30 foot boat could have so much space above and below deck. I read an article describing the Catalina 30 as a "MiniVan" of sailboats. Put a bit of sting into my practical streak.
As mentioned in my intro, I was a USN sailor for six years. Made it to Machinist Mate Second Class (MM-2). Went on three WestPacs on my 4.5 years of sea duty. 18 months of school. Not afraid to turn a wrench, make fiberglass repairs
, re-rig, refit and rebuild. I understand how dangerous the sea can get. What quality gear means. I also have a clear understanding of time management, manhour estimates, labor costs, and return on investment.
We want to find a clean, well maintained boat for a good price that we can sail immediately. Not much fun spending all your time and money working on a boat and not sailing it.