Hello, new to the forums but have read and searched over the years. I have read latts and atts and sail for 10+ years.
I have wanted to sail for a long time. every since I was a teenager. I am in a position now where I could really do some extended cruising and afford a decent boat without much trouble. I want to bite the bullet and just buy something but being such a large purchase and me knowing so little, I want to start small, but not so small that I am wanting to upgrade in six months time.
I keep thinking to get a cheap decent boat like a Catalina 27 or something that is ok for a day trip and easy enough to learn and not worry with cost wise but at that size I know I will quickly want to upgrade.
I found a great article at one point, I think it was great boats for around 30k or something along those lines, and I think that would be a better starting range for me. The article contained several models from the 70s 80s, all I can seem to recall now are the Irwin's and Gulfstars. The Allied mistress is one I recall for being very seaworthy, but the article had maybe ten or so in it. If I could locate that article I would have a better place to start.
I seem to be drawn to the center cockpit design which for a long time had be thinking an Irwin 37 would be ideal to get started on, but I read so many issues with those I have thought twice. The gulfstars 43 CC seem pretty decent and priced in my budget, but I know there were other I looked at over the years that I can recall, Can any of you make suggestions or recall the article I am talking about ?
More about me and what I want, budget will be around 50k, want center cockpit I think, just for the extra room you get down below. looking mostly at late 70s early 80s models. But what would the advantage to having an aft cockpit be ? I Have one small child, maybe more to come, and will be based out of NC. Will spend my time coastal cruising the east coast with eventual fair weather trips to the Caribbean. Cosmetics on the boat not hugely important so long as she is mechanical sound. I dont want a project boat, but I am pretty handy, I can do just about any DIY item to clean it up. Ideally I would find a boat that has already been gone through and refitted in the past 5-10 or so years. Really like the look of well maintained wood, but can strip, sand replace and re-stain that myself if needed. one that I found which looks promising would be :
Advice ? Thoughts on other makes / models to look for ? Any help will be greatly appreciated. I am sure I will look and wait for a year at least before pulling the trigger. I am just anxious to continue my research.