Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Marco Island Florida
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A thirty foot rugged offshore boat such as a Cape Dory, Alberg 30 etc will take you anywhere around the world safely. A Bene, Catalina, Hunter isn't going to be as rugged but it will be much more livable and will be newer and with more creature comforts for the same amount of money. If you are just going to be doing coastal cruising I would think that a Catalina/Beneteau will be ideal for what you are wanting to do. With a 30k budget you should be able to find plenty of boats that are suitable for coastal cruising.
I have heard a lot of opinions on twin keels although I have no personal experience with them. They have a very dedicated following from a select group of people. The rest of the world shuns them. Since there are very few manufactures that make them finding one on the used market will be hard, especially if you are going to be selective on your criteria. Most twin keels were/are built in England. This is primarily because a lot of there anchorages dry out at low tide and they need to sit on their twin keels. Unless you found one that you absolutely fell in love with and was in your price range I would probably not worry about it.
always in decline-never hitting bottom