Hunters should be fine for costal and inland waters. Approach it as you would any other boat.
That is getting into personal preference. Have you made a list of desirable/undesirable characteristics? That will help guide your choice.How about any other boat brands to consider? Or avoid?
This question is a bit of a conundrum. JeffH posted a list of suitable offshore yachts. There are many to choose from going back to the 80s.How about any other boat brands to consider? Or avoid?
Probably somewhere in between. Here also lies the problem.. .. finding that initial sweet spot of cost/value/. .. sooner to purchase or save up for possibly a better boat for later? .. and let's not forget over thinking vs underthinking?That is getting into personal preference. Have you made a list of desirable/undesirable characteristics? That will help guide your choice.
Are you willing to put up the money for a well found boat, or are you willing to pay more over time in maintenance and sweat equity for a fixer-upper.
Honestly, as you are just getting started, your preferences are going to evolve quickly as you get on the water.
As for boats to avoid, they are the under-maintained dock-queens, no matter the brand.
as far as "upgades" and systems go.... make a list of what you feel you need... eg pressure hot water... AP... stall shower... etc... what you don't want... eg tiller, hank on sails etc... anchoring is extremely important... you'll probably want a windlass with chain.Probably somewhere in between. Here also lies the problem.. .. finding that initial sweet spot of cost/value/. .. sooner to purchase or save up for possibly a better boat for later? .. and let's not forget over thinking vs underthinking?
I like this approach... however...@lovebluewater so I'll discuss a plan that worked well for me. Maybe it will help you shape yours.
Consider treating your first boat as a learning lab. Not the one to sail for years and years, or to entertain lots of people or take more than a long weekend trip. You're going to buy it, learn to sail, maintain, upgrade and repair it. Then sell it after maybe 4 years once you have developed a solid foundation and have a better idea what you like.
I purchased my first boat, a 26' keel boat in 2014, when I had about 12 hours of sailing experience (including about 6 hours of actual instruction), and had read Sailing for Dummies and a couple of other books (absolutely no exaggeration).I took my first ASA course in 2017 with about 280 sea days experience. The takeaway: You can spend money on sailing classes or spend money on a boat and learn to sail. There are some obvious advantages and disadvantages to each method.
When I purchased, I understood basic boat characteristics. I knew I wanted a fin keel, I knew I preferred a skeg. I thought I wanted a wheel but am happy with the tiller I ended up with. I did not understand the finer points (or even the rougher points) of assessing a boat's condition. As a result I purchased unidentified problems I would describe a deal breakers now. However, these problems forced me to make repairs, and learn. The takeaway: The boat will teach you, and she will teach you at her pace, not yours.
Your boat is not a financial investment, it is an expense. My purchase price was $1,500, including the trailer she sat on. I sold the trailer for $800 (roughly the cost of the chartplotter). When I sell in the next year or so, I plan to ask ~$7,500 (I won't get that). I've replaced all of the bulkheads, replaced running rigging, chainplates, floor, made deck repairs, rebedded almost everything, added a mainsheet traveler, run all the lines to the cockpit, added a deck winch, done a complete electrical refit and upgrade, rebuilt the fresh water system, and replaced the cushions, and a zillion other little things. The standing rigging is on this spring's to do list. I paid others to make the cushions and and laser cut the chain plates to my specs. I will NOT make any money on this boat, I will not even come close to breaking even. The takeaway: Your return on investment is in the knowledge, experience, and skills you will accumulate along the way.
Consider a 25-27' keel boat. Small enough to handle short or single hand. Big enough to comfortably take 4-5 guests out for a daysail. Keep systems to a minimum. You don't need hot running water, or refrigeration. You're learning to sail and keep the boat happy. You want an inboard diesel, not because that is what your 25-27' boat requires (an outboard will suffice). You want the inboard because the next larger boat will have one, and you want to understand that system before you upgrade. Remember, it's a learning lab.
The best way to learn sailing is to go sailing. The best way to sail whenever you want is to own the boat.
I hope this is helpful. It's just my experience and there are many more (and more experienced) perspectives here.
If you could post a link to the ad for the boat (is it being publicly advetised yet?) it would help people to give advice.
I think you'll find (or maybe have already found) road transport is prohibitive - you also need to factor hauling out and dropping the mast, then putting it back in the water and having the mast re-stepped. No idea what kind of a trip that would be by water.Any thoughts? I can take criticism if this is a bad idea? I'm trying to consider all costs-- including transporting/sailing it from Niceville Florida to Slidell La. --- My initial searches look pricey.
As a delivery captain I require that the owner submit me to the insurance company as an authorized vessel operator and I believe this is a common solution to the vessel insurance issue.200 miles is a 2ish day trip straight through, or 3-4ish in daylight. I don't know prices in FL, but a good delivery skipper up here is running near $400 per day, plus provisions and transportation back. The good news is that 200 miles is easily driven, so you either personally drive them back, or rent a car one way for them.
You should go with them, if you can find a skipper that's good with that. You'll learn your boat inside and out. If you're not experienced enough to be helpful, they'll want to bring a mate. The mate can sometimes be free (other than provisions and transport), but most often about half the cost of the skipper.
Be sure your insurance covers the boat with someone else piloting it, if you're not aboard.