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Hello SailNet faithful. I have been scouring the coast of Florida for a good, cheap yet sturdy, starter boat and I have come to what I feel is the final choices.

My first final choice is a 1973 25' NORTHSTAR for $2500. The ad for it on craigslist can be found here: Sailboat
I have personally seen this boat at the dock though I have not yet been inside. I am scheduling a meeting with the owner for this Saturday.

The second option is a pretty standard 1982 25' Catalina for $4000.

I have seen both boats, but neither on the hard nor the interiors. I am leaning towards the northstar because the owner is a diesel mechanic and the boat is equipped with a 12 HP yanmar diesel. The Catalina has an 8 hp outboard.
Both boats are sailed regularly by their owners (I spoke to some of the boat owners at the Marina to find this info out, this is also how I know both boats are being sold because the owners are out of work.)
Because they are both sailed reguarly I am ASSUMING that most everything is in working order. I know I will need to do some re-fitting but I really am not looking to build a beaut, I just want something practical for the next 2-4 years.

I will be using my boat for coastal sailing and during the summers I will plan to take trips to the Bahamas. The Northstar has an AC unit which I am not super fond of and so I am wondering how much of a nuisance and money pit AC units are? Also, is it easy to remove the AC unit and perhaps sell it?
I have tons of info on the Catalinas, but there is not so much on the Northstar besides schematics and dimensions ect.

All opinions are greatly appreciated! Note*I do not care that the NORTHSTAR has been referred to as a pregnant whale. Speed under sail is not a major concern. Overall durability and resale value is.
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