Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Tortola BVI
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I personally think you are looking in the right general area as far as size goes. I would recommend you pick up a set of Charts for the area and see what type draft your specific areas will accommodate. Probably 5 to 6 feet would be good in many locations. I would tend to stick to the near 30' area if that fits into your budget and long term plans. If your going to do more extended cruising you may want to look at larger boats but they have far more cost impacts than a smaller boat would have.
Don't overlook your mates inputs. It is always better to keep the Admiral happy with her needs/ wants. I would probably stick with a sloop and one with a heaver construction for your weather changes. I don't have to have much in the way of insulation where I sail! For your cruising look for a boat with a U galley and comfortable sleeping areas. Comfortable cockpits are also important for cruising and weekending as that is probably where you will spend most of your time. Get a full marine survey of any boat you plan to purchase. Probably will cost under $400 and is well worth it. Have the surveyor go with you for sea trials.
Check with some of the locations you are considering to keep the boat and see what their charges are and what amenities they include.
Lots of specific stuff to consider depending on your budget and wants.
I would recommend continuing with the ASA classes. They are informative and well worth the cost and effort if you have a good instructor. It also usually gives you experience on different boats. Look to accept offers for day sails on other peoples boat to not only get out on the water but to learn about several different designs and accommodations the boats have.
You are in a good area and should have a wide selection of boats. Best Wishes!
I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.... Jack London