Don't mean to be long-winded, but here is my story. First off, I'm an ex-Coastie...4 years in the Florida Keys as a 41 footer captain (coxswain to those in the know!). Never much of a sail fan; it was all about power for me.
When I was a teenager I had a friend with a Sunfish and we used to take it out for the weekends, more to drink beer than sail. Then at my station in the Keys (Marathon) we had a 25 foot O'Day for recreation use. I used it once.
Well, fast forward 30+ years later. We were in Hilton Head last weekend. My sons girlfriend had a friend with a sailboat. He said he would take us out for a day. She knew nothing about it so I'm figuring something like the O'Day. Well, ends up being a 49' Beneteau. My wife had the time of her life. She took the helm for probably 4 hours and fell in love with sailing.
Which brings me here. I have a kind of selfish hobby collecting motorcycles. I figure that I'll sell a bike or two and buy her a sailboat (well, for both of us!). I know nothing whatsoever about what to look for so I will soak up all the knowledge I can and of course we will both take lessons.
I'm looking for something in the 24-27 foot range. I really like the Pearson 26 but have also found Hunter's and MacGregor's that look like nice overnight vessels. Any and all opinions will be greatly appreciated.
Here is a pic of her last week at the helm.
And her smile....priceless!