You have to have a data gathering game
plan. How much you are going to spend is really late in the equation. You may discover that the type of use yuo plan puts the ideal boat out of touch but don't make the amount of money
you spend the primary target or you risk buying
an undercapable or overcapable boat.
1/ What type of cruising do you want to do?
2/ What sailing skill do you have and how will you increase them to match #1.
3/ What type of maintenance
and engineering skills do you have and do you need to increase them to be self sufficient based on #1? How will you do that?
4/ How many boats have you sailed on and how will you get esposed to more and varied types of boats.
5/ What is the financial plan? After purchase
do you have 25%-50% of the boat value for refit
and surprises? Do you have $1,000 a month to run a big boat?
6/ How many crew will you have? Single
7/ How much of a "tinkerer" are you - Teak
decks and wooden boats require lots of TLC. Is plastic better? Steel
? (personally I wouldn't get a boat with lots of wood - I know how lazy I am)
8/ What are going to be the predominant cruising grounds? Cold weather
? Hot weather
fitout could be important.
Finally, I'd say there is no perfect boat. All boats are compromises to achieve the predominant mission. Folks around hre keep steering
me towards plastic race/cruisers. Low cabins, sleek designs - to me that means dark and stuffy inside. I keep telling them that I am a true lazy cruiser. I'd rathe spend 2 extra days on a boat I like than 2 fewer days on a boat I hate. When it rains I want to be below decks on the hook drinking hot java and looking out the large windows. I don't want to be holed up below the waterline with no air for 24 hours+.
If you plan is to see how fast you can get from the Galapagos
, buy a plane ticket in my book - LOL.
Just some thoughts out of the gate...