Originally Posted by Richard5
do I spend thousands on various charters (and thereby less money
when that time comes) to try out different vessels? Or, do I buy an 'intermediary' boat to really tell me what I do/don't like?
Whichever approach works best for you.
Reading and researching as much as possible is useful - but at the end of the day only you
can decide what boat works for you and to do that you need hands on knowledge. Relying on others (printed word or in person) only gets you so far, with boats and everything else in life.
But the good news is that pretty much anything you buy will do the job that 90% of folks want from a boat (leaving aside boat condition!). and no boat will be perfect so don't get hung up on finding the perfect boat that does everything you want (or simply think you want). What you need and want (seperate things!) will change over time anyway, not only as you learn first hand but also as your circumstances, use and plans change - that's just life!
Folks rarely buy the perfect boat (or as near as) first time around - but usually they buy more than good enough from simply plenty of research
, thinking and as much "hands on" as they can get beforehand. Some go on to buy "better", some keep trying many times! - others realise that what they have is in fact good enough. (and with boats plenty of opportunity to add wants - even if not everything on the wish list).
Nonetheless when it comes to writing the cheque you will
be taking a punt, how big a punt depends on how much time and effort willing to put in before hand.