Can I get a copy of the minutes of that meeting?
No if it was discovered it was given to you they would have to kill you and the person that gave them away unless you care to make a contribution?
Seriously, Boat reputations are fine for sitting around the clubhouse and shooting the breeze. You are not buying
all of them. You only need one good one. So what if most of the rest were bad? Simplistic methods of judging quality are easier than they are accurate. So look at the cabinet joinery and extrapolate everything else. It does not really work that way but if the rest of the folks you talk to think so then they will appreciate that you did the right thing. The intent is to do as little work as possible without learning
or knowing anything so you don't buy the wrong boat.
This seems to be a very large fear with people deciding they want to get a boat. The idea that you could get the "wrong" one scares too many people to a large degree. The converse of picking the right boat and all the problems go away is about equally foolish. This makes the two ideas balance out. The third approach is you will research
all the boats making detailed charts
and thus "compute" the perfect boat. I've met people that spent years doing this. Decided they would go out and buy one and find out they wanted a different one because it was a better deal. It's the more painful approach but usually pointless.
Boats are somewhat like suits. The better ones are custom fit to you, your needs, and your intended purposes. Lots of folks sail a lot and only sail on the nice days for a day or two at a time. They love boating
and they can't invest more time than they are currently doing. They would if they could but they can't. They still have a lot of fun. Many sailing for 30 years or more. This comprises most of the market for sail boats. All boats do this more or less well.
There really is no secret information available because the critical part of this is determining your needs and purposes to a level of specificity to differentiate one boat from another based on how well it can meet those needs. Since you don't yet understand your needs then you will never find the perfect boat nor will you know it if you fell on it. With limited knowledge you could just go out and find one you like. Brand names are mostly pointless since most boats for sale
are used and you don't know where they have been.
There really are no lists of bad boats you shouldn't buy. Since all boats are built for a specific purpose though you may not know what the purpose is. Knowing the purpose won't actually help you understand your purposes any better but it's a way to approach boats you don't know. The first step is to learn about your purposes and you desires. Not so much what you might do but actually what you will do, know how to do, what you like and what the Admiral wants. First lesson in sailing is the Admiral is always right so don't get ideas to the contrary. You can make a list of boats and you can look them over but if the Admiral does not like it it's not the one. The best you can do is stack the deck
with some good boats. It's what I did.
Needs and requirements must be derived based on what you can do because you know how. Understanding is the key not a list of boat brands. What you can afford matters unless of course you have exceptional wealth. Boats do cost a lot and we have many threads here about the details - there are a lot of details so you know it really is expensive. The "a lot of money" is the key phrase. There are no cheap
boats. From there all secrets will reveal themselves to you without an invitation to the secret meeting.
If your intended purpose is to sail off for extended periods of time (aka "Cruising") then there really is only one significant requirement that many boats fail to have and it has nothing to do with anything about quality. The boat has to be designed and in serviceable condition to haul lots and lots of crap. Water
, supplies, equipment
and all your personal crap too plus have room for a nap. An overladed boat will drown you. You need at minimum 2 tons of crap per person to live poorly.
This will eliminate all boats used for racing
and day sailing
. It is the one issue that we might all agree on. After that things shake out based of all the various things that make some people different than others. The money
really does matter and you should never buy a boat you don't like. The good news is the Admiral will know the latter. Half the job is now done.