Our budgetvis in the 50,000 range too. Over time and research
I have concluded that "smaller" is the way to go for us.
1. More smaller boats are purchased as costal cruisers so the market is more competative. Better prices on very good condition boats.
2. Smaller boats are often more lightly used and often require less interior
refurbishing. Thats a money
3. Refitting and general maintenance
is much less expensive. That means you are less likely to defer maintenance
4. A smaller boat forces you to consider priorities carefully. You wont be buying
stuff you dont need out of habit.
As for not being safe - this is hogwash. A well maintained boat is always safer than one you cant aford to keep. Also, good seamanship and planning are much better strategies than crisis intervention because your ego is as big as your boat.
An easily handled boat will encourage you to sail and become a better sailor.
Caveats - a small boat means getting along with your crew. Like one another and practice respect!
You cant have the biggest dink with the fastest outboard
. If this is important to you a small boat is not for you.
A small boat is also not for you if you envision your land life transported by boat.
and tankage are often more limited. This means, perhaps, having to reprovision and refill tanks
a little more often.
For us a small boat makes the most sense financially . we want to go ....not keep dreaming of the day when we finally can.
One thing to really think about
: any boat you buy will need something to make it suitable for safe passages. It would be a kin the winning the lottery to find the perfect boat, that needs nothing for exactly your budget
. Especially because 50,000 is not much!
Your best stategy might be to find the best boat you can for 1/2 to 2/3 your budget
. Use the rest of your budget to bring the boat up to snuff.
This is doeable. But you will have to prioritize. Ugly upholstery is liveable. Bad rigging