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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking at boats around St Joe, Mi but am wondering if I would be better off buying after I get to Tampa. I'm looking at 35'-40' with around 5' draft. Fell in love with a 1988 Morris 36 but didn't like the price.
 

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Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
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I have been to Tampa a number of times. My grandmother (at age 93) still lives there and my Father until earlier this year did also. While I never sailed the bay or the surrounding Gulf, I do understand that the west coast of Florida is quite shallow for quite a distance from the shore itself. I bring this up as you might have a hard time finding a deep keeled boat in that area
 

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Fell in love with a 1988 Morris 36 but didn't like the price.
At one time or another, I think we all have!!

Fantastic boats and great quality, I have had the chance to work on a couple and they are my favorite sailboat, kind of like Tiffany's (northern neck of VA) for a power boat.

Dreams are what keep us going.
 

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There are a lot of boats available on the west coast of Florida. So, yeah, if you're planning to move down here it would seem silly to buy a boat before you do so.

As mentioned, there is a lot of shallow water around here (as well as in the Keys, and the Bahamas). Hence, look for something with relatively shallow draft. Personally, I would look for 5' or less. It is pretty common to see boats for sale here in the Tampa Bay area--sitting and sitting, without selling--that would sell in a New York minute almost anywhere else, and for more money. But they have 6' or 7' drafts, and no one around here wants that. It is just too limiting.

Good luck.
 

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Old as Dirt!
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I have been looking at boats around St Joe, Mi but am wondering if I would be better off buying after I get to Tampa. I'm looking at 35'-40' with around 5' draft. Fell in love with a 1988 Morris 36 but didn't like the price.
Warren--

There is no shortage of yachts in the size range you describe in south Florida but, frankly, you might find that given the time of year, you might find that buying a boat further north, perhaps from someone that's either hoping to move up to an even larger boat, or quitting the sport entirely, and in neither case pleased with the prospect of putting their boat up over the Winter in hopes of a Spring sale might result in a better deal even with the costs of transporting the boat to Florida. Friends of ours bought their boat in the Fall in the Chicago area, plopped her on a truck and shipped her to Tampa, and had her sailing in 75º water within 5 weeks of closing and "guestimated" that they saved "a goodly sum" on the deal.

FWIW...
 

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There are soooooo many boats in that area for sale. I'd wait until I got there. It's really not worth the trouble of moving a boat when there are so many available closeby to your destination.
 

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I've lived in Tampa for the last 11 years, Boston before that. There are tons of boats here that draw 5' or less and prices here are probably going to be lower than up North. You don't want a deep draft boat here in SW Florida. Many people here are very anxious to sell as they get into financial straits and need to get out of the boat and slip fees. Many get too old and just can't use them any more. True, prices go up here in the fall and winter as the new crop of Northerns come down but there are always deals. Don't be distressed by asking prices as people here always start out very high (the brokers are idiots) and wind up selling for considerably less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any good recommendations of brands to look at 5' or less draft. Would like to stay $40,000 or under but would do more for the right boat. Other than 7 yr 2mo 2 wks in the USN, subs I have farmed and worked in engineering all my life so repairs is not something new to me. I will be using the boat most in the Gulf around Florida. Will do some runs to the Bahamas maybe Costa Rica. Most sailing will be single handed day sailing. I’m open on size just know I like the 35’-40’ range the best that I have looked at. Smaller seems like it’s cramped to live in for 2 weeks to a month.
 
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