Seaboy: I was in the same position as you four months ago. I just turned 24, not sure how different our ages are.
You should look back at my first boat thread in the forum here. I was(politely) told by the forum it was way too much boat for me. They were very right, and I'm glad I got the advice, the boat I was looking at would have been a disaster for me. 47 feet and too much of everything. I started looking at other boats, and reading the forum, and I started to figure out who's posts were thoughtful, and what criteria those who have been there and done that use. If Bob Perry is telling you you might want to think about your boat choice a bit, you really might want to take that advice. Lots of people pay for that knowledge with good reason and here you are getting it for free!
I ended up buying one that was well reviewed as a tough blue water ready smaller boat just finished equipping for cruising with new engine etc. An alberg 30. Some people here suggested it might be abit small but I went ahead anyways with a well known and expensive surveyor. I got completely screwed over, survey was a load of horse manure. Four months and another ten thousand dollars later, she's a lot closer to what I was told I was buying but I still have a ways to go before I can hoist a sail, and two people living as sneak aboards in a tiny floating construction site gets stressful sometimes.
While I don't always agree with everyone here, and it's important to have your own choices, it's equally important to consider the advice. In my case the too small is only too small while fixing her, and because there are two of us aboard right now. The trade off with my narrow beam and size was very important in my city, I fit in slips that are open for lease while my friends in bigger boats are on wait lists that may stretch to a decade. Despite that I'm now considering the move up to the size of boat initially suggested and selling my boat for about what I paid for it, a costly but valuable education in surveyors and boat repair, better value than I get from university worth every penny.
I can do that because she's attainable for many in price, and docked in the nicest location in town.
I got lucky, I landed a job fixing boats when someone saw me fixing mine every day. That job landed me some big benefits, especially in the understanding boats end of things. I'm never lucky, but this job made it all worthwhile. Now I get paid to practice and learn.
The biggest lesson: don't look at what he put in as a anomaly, look at it as a guide.
Boats spend money for you easily, I worked 90 hour weeks all summer and fit boat repair around that. My boat is nicer I'm just as broke as at the start.
It sounds like a nice boat, when all is said and done I admit a soft spot for fc(and bilge keels) I like the insulation toughness and the quiet inside vs fiberglass. But I think you need to think long and hard first. My boat showed me better what I need vs what I want etc. First boats like first girlfriends/boyfriends are often an education, some lucky few get just what they want the first time, most learn and move on. You might be handy, I've rebuilt vehicles and worked with my hands in factories and workshops to earn my living since I was 14, finally started university a few years ago. I never expected the kind of work a boat takes, I doubled the work vs complete car rebuild when I should have multiplied by ten. You're buying a small town not a car or a house. You will be providing power water sewage etc.
Can you afford to spend 50k on an education? It will be a great education, and a hard one no matter which way things go.
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wow good for you 24 and owning a boat i admire that a lot, im 37 by the way
i think you might have got a hold of the wrong end of the stick though, this boat is ready to be put back in the water as she stands, everything is done to a very high standard already, its just not my taste, he is an older gentleman who built this and as such its his taste, the work i need to do on it is cosmetic, ie, flat screens, dvd players, im thinking even a ps3 somewhere, i want to redo all the seating in a soft white letherette, and im thinking about doing the same on the roof of the main cabin and galley as well, although i would say this boat is already luxurious compaired to the other F/C boats i have seen of the same Hartley & Brookes designe, i can make it better, i.e somthing i have been toying with is puting a soft shell over the stern and including some wrap around leather seating up there as well, the boat already has a pontoon that fits to the back end of the boat, " good fishing platform, or somewhere to put some mountain bikes, or even a cheap motor bike, but im thinking more along the lines of mounting a couple of fishing chairs and a beer cooler! all very nice if i get this old girl to the med!.
although i am a bit mad, im not mad enough to drop this thing in the water and on my first day head for the Med, but on the same note, im not going to spend years hugging the coast of dull, grey England either.
Having said all that by the time i have done what i want to do to that boat, i will probably be the slowest, most careful sailor in the world, in fact i have just had a flash forward! the first sign of any wind and waves, take the sails down, engine on and stick the bow into them, i cant be having the flat screens up on deck getting wet ! lol .
that last bit was Sarcasm by the way, im not a total coward, i just like my tv!
All the best
ps where have you sailed your boat, and did you fill your pants the first time out on your own?