I know before I hit the "submit" button that I'm asking an almost impossible question as so much of the decision to choose a boat is personal, etc. Having said that, and apologizing up front for the newbieness
, here goes.
My sailing experience is limited to going out with a few friends and taking a 6-week class (on a Pearson 33, BTW). I will be living aboard in the Boston area, so the cold months will present their own challenge - I mention living aboard, as this will probably impact which size/layout works best. In an ideal world, I could ask for the best boat for living aboard, BUT with handling and blue water capabilities - while not impossible, is asking for quite a bit. I would hate to ignore my desire to sail extensively in a couple of years, but I sure wouldn't want to start to hate my new home because it's cramped or uncomfortable to live on.
I've done enough research to fry my eyeballs and it's still a bit confusing. One of the best things about Pearson is that there are so many different "models" out there - which can actually make it confusing for a newbie. So far, the 10m, 365 and 323 seem to stand out for my personal needs. My budget is on the ridiculous side at the moment, as I would only have $25-$30K (including maintenance/repairs). My "plan"
is to spend the first year living aboard while attending to maintenance/repairs, increasing my knowledge of sailing/seamanship, etc. Not counting maintenance, I'd be saving around $650/month over my cost of living expenses right now in a house - yes, I'm pretty sure this is a realistic figure and includes things like boat insurance, electricity at the slip, etc. This "savings" would sure help with any boat costs/upgrades/equipment.
So, I've read HUNDREDS of threads here and elsewhere, and I've actually contacted sellers and asked a lot of questions. I've fantasized that a GREAT price on a boat in Alabama would make up for having to get it up to Boston
and would be a great learning experience for me
Although most people LOVE their Pearsons with enthusiasm, not all Pearsons are created equal with regard to their own personal strengths. THAT is what I hope to get my head around. Obviously, a spartan racer
with SMALLER cabin/setup might not be good for someone living aboard all year long. It's probably all about compromise. To find the "perfect" boat for me to live on/learn on and then sail off to the Azores in 3 years might be fantasy. But, I'd like to get as close as possible to that. OK - maybe Bahamas or Bermuda is more realistic than the Azores!
Anyway, if anyone has opinions or advice as I begin my search for the "perfect" Pearson, I'd love to hear it.
Thanks for your patience and advice,