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Old 05-02-2011
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Moving to Florida Gulf coast

My wife and I bought a retirement house last year in Cape Coral, Fl. We plan to move there in 2-4years. My only sailing experience has been onboard my friends 27ft. Catalina. (Midwest lakes) I completed the ASA basics sailing class which gave me some starters, and my friend has been teaching me a few more things. We are getting excited about moving to Florida. I have several questions (doesn't every newby) and was hoping some of you could share your opinions. Lets start with quesiton #1:

1. Type of Boat?

Sadly, my boat budget took a severe hit in the market crash of 2008. My wife says to keep the total under 25K. I do have cash...so that should help a little. However, it probably means buying an older boat and/or one that needs some TLC. I grew up on a farm and have some skills (mechanics, carpentry and even minor paint/body work). Keeping all of this in mind....what should I start look for in my first saiboat? usuage will primarily be coastal crusing, but as we gain confidence, I would really like to travel to the Keys and beyond. I have friends in the DR, St. Kitts, and even Trinidad. To do this I am thinking a study boat, designed for open water. I believe a 32 - 40 ft. LOA would best fit our size requirements. What are best boats/brands for the money? Sloop, cutter rigging, etc.? Draft...shoal, deep, centerboard or fixed? Best/worst engines? Optional equipment to look for? I think you get the idea? Also, where should I shop? I am willing to purchase anytime I find the right boat. It means paying for slip/storage, but then I could use vacations to get it ready? Or should I just wait until I move and start looking at that time? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. (tom)
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Old 05-03-2011
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Too broad a question Tom. Welcome aboard. Try to visit as many boats as you can, even go to boat shows. Read blogs and cruising stories. Try not to get too much of a project, as you might not really know what to look for. Keep reading sailnet. Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2011
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Sorry...maybe I am asking way too much. I just figured some of you had already wrestled with many of these same general questions and thought it might shorten my learning curve. In the future I will try to confine my questions to specifics.
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Old 05-03-2011
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Soverel 34?

I just saw a listing on Boat Trader for a Soverel 34ft. However, I cannot find any information on the internet for this particular model. Its simply listed by a broker as '71 Soverel Cutter, with length as 34ft. Nice looking boat from the photos. What model could it be? Are these good boats???
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Old 05-05-2011
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Broker just sent me listings for '75 Pearson 36 and '78 Pearson 35. Both are similar equippment and seem to be in nearly identical condition. Are there any problems associated with either of these models? Any Pearson owners who could give me some advice? Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2011
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centerboard vs fixed keel

The P35 is centerboard and the P36 is fixed. Pros vs Cons for coastal vs open water sailing?
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Old 05-06-2011
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Welcome

Moved to same area two years ago. Took first year just looking at boats. Wandering Star is right--look at a lot. A lot for sale, but many need work. Defining characteristic down here is SHALLOW. Winter tides and shallow anchorages combine to limit sailing on deep draft boats. Buddy has a 1980 Pearson 35 he has sailed to Bahamas, Dry Tortugas et. Fine boat for cruising and only draws 3'9". But look at others. Older Hunter 34's with shoal drafts are popular.
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Old 05-06-2011
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And there's a boat review section on this forum. Maybe you can search there for info on specific boats. Some find the search function on sailnet less than ideal. You might get better results by using a google advanced search.
Shopping for a boat is fun.
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