It can't be done, you'll need twice as much money
, have a look at this stout little 18' 3-knot cruiser's dream, you'll all DIE, spend $20K on sailing classes
then call us, you need at least 40 feet.
Now that that's out of the way...
We started under pretty similar circumstances - not much money
, even less experience, and wanting a boat that would take care of us while we were making more experience. We ended up buying
a boat we'd never heard of for about half your budget
. We've probably got $30 in her now, but could have safely left for under $20K - albeit with ratty canvas
, leaky plumbing
, dicey fuel
system, minimal batteries, craptacular galley
, no radar
Our second-runner-up was also a boat we'd never heard of until we stepped aboard. Maybe there's a pattern here...
Anyway, if there's any advice in there, it's to research
what sort of boat you want, and not necessarily who's name is on it. I guess I'd also add to not settle for "might work" - there's always something _just_ too big/small/wrong/whatever. We looked at a VERY nice under-priced Alberg 30
with a new engine
and fresh rigging
, which would have been a great bachelor boat (according to my wife!), for example. I wasn't quite ready for that title, so we found a couple extra feet....