So the original query still needs to be addressed. Lets assume everything has been thought through and WE are a go. As I look for possible boats I am overwhelmed by the selections available. My biggest fear is to end up buying something like a fresh water Bayliners which is allot of boat for the money but not allot of boat. I see the two most common are Hunters and Beneteuaus. Looking through the ads I see Hunter had a delamination problem in the early 90's ??? this is exactly what my query is trying to avoid. What other brands if any should I be considering and in them brands are there models/years to avoid. Thank you so much for taking the time to advise your impute is greatly appreciated.
Honestly, there are a ton of boats out there that will do what you want. It's like asking for the best mid-sized family sedan for a moderate commute, except the production numbers are so much lower.
It comes down to what you want to use it for:
- How many people? Guests? How many? How often? This will decide between 2 & 3 cabin layouts.
- How far will you realistically sail? Do you want to move to a new anchorage every few days, weeks, or months? What islands/areas do you want to visit? I'd recommend a very different boat for wintering in the Bahamas vs trying to see the whole Caribbean in a few years.
- 1 bathroom or 2 (or 3)? Shower inside or out (probably both). Showers in both bathrooms? Where does the "main" bathroom go? Near the entryway or near the bedroom (if it's in the front).
- What kind of bed do you want? Big aft cabin vs v berth as the master bedroom.
- Food: what do you cook, will you want to keep lots of meat on hand when you're somewhere far from grocery stores (e.g., Bahamas) or hang out somewhere you can shop daily if you want (e.g., Martinique). How much ice will you use for drinks?
- Will you be going back & forth to the US or just staying south? How will the boat get to the Caribbean? Will you buy it there or get it there somehow?
There are some generalizations about manufacturers that often spark off arguments here. It's the same as if I said bad things about Ford on an auto forum (and you'd still have to figure out if I'm actually complaining about Pintos since boats that old are still in use). If you give us some details on you & your plans, you'll probably get some decent recommendations for specific boats. Even just the number of cabins you need and an estimate of how old you expect your boat to be would probably trigger that.