S/V Lilo, Islander 32
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lafayette, Oregon
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If budget is a big concern, other reasons to start smaller / cheaper are...
1. To get to know what you want. Before I bought a boat I had a list of what was important and not important, and these drastically changed after I had a boat for a while. For instance, planning on longish cruises in the future, I originally had a shower on my must have list for a long term boat. I could obviously do without it on a short term boat. What I found is for me and my family, we do not need a shower, and would MUCH rather have the few extra feet of space for other things. We can stay clean without a shower, people did for many, many years before the first pressure water shower came along. Many other items on the want / need lists changed too, from cockpit size and layout to cabin arrangements, etc. We still can not afford the boat we REALLY want, but now have a boat we REALLY like, even though it is a compromise of many things.
Before having a boat (or at least sailing a lot) when I looked at boats to buy I saw a whole different set of features then I do when I look at a boat now, somethings I used to drool over I know see as impractical.
These are the types of things that are very individual to each person and opinions on what is important will vary widely. The only way to know what is important to you in a long term boat you invest a lot of money in is to get some experience on boats.
2. Being on a very limited budget there was no way we could afford the boat we originally wanted. by starting small (21 foot) when we moved up, our 32 foot feels amazingly huge and spacious! Wow, a head with a door, dedicated berths for everyone in the family (dual quarter births) we are in heaven! If we had started here, we would likely be more discontent and wish we could afford a boat with actual separate cabins for everyone, rather then just quarter berths, etc. If budget is not a major issue, this might not be so important, but for us I think it has allowed us to be happier with our limited luxuries then we may have otherwise been.
So I guess my advice would be get a cheaper boat you can have a ton of fun on now, and worry about the perfect long term boat later, once you know more about what you personally really want.
Best of luck to you,
1964 Islander 32
Saint Helens, OR