Asleep at the wheel
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Re: new to the site... my next 3 year agenda
If the Chessie is your primary cruising ground, I'd buy a boat for that purpose, but one that is also capable of taking you farther when you're ready. If you read a lot of the other boat-suggestion threads, you'll find that there are the blue-water boats, which handle swells and nasty weather well. But they typically have a narrow beam and aren't always as comfortable at anchor. If you're looking more for something that you can live aboard / weekend aboard comfortably, many of the production boats, including the Catalinas, Hunters, Benetaus, etc. may work just fine for you. It all depends on your budget, how much space you need for your stuff, and what you're looking for in a boat. Do you need only one head, or would two be more suited for you? There was a big debate about that on here a few months ago, believe it or not. Do you NEED a separate shower, or is a shower/head combo OK? Would you be more comfortable with a center cockpit or do you prefer the more traditional aft cockpit? Do you want beautiful, ornate woodwork throughout the cabin, or are you more of a minimalist? Are you looking for a new boat or used? Do you need a big galley, or are you planning to eat out a lot? Will you be "on the hook" a lot, or primarily in marinas (this goes to fuel, water, and holding tank sizes)? Do you need a refrigerator and/or AC? How many berths do you need? Are you physically fit enough to handle the large sail area of a 38'?
Have you been to the Annapolis boat show? They recently started doing one in the spring, in addition to the traditional October show. Although many of the boats there are new, I find that getting aboard can give you a good sense for what a typical 30' will give you versus a 38', and somewhere in between. The cabins will have more modern designs, and if you're looking at older boats, you may not be able to find something that really matches what you like, but at least you'll start to form an idea of what you want.
Ultimately, to me, boats are the ultimate in selfishness - they are all about YOU. We can point you in different directions, but ultimately you're the one who has to make the decision.
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1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15
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