G'day, mate. We were looking at the very same decision back in the mid 90's when we were deciding to go. There weren't many used ones around then, so we were looking at buying
new and then were going to have to outfit it with all the right liveaboard gear
for our needs.
Just happened to come across a Mason 53 in excellent shape. Had to up the budget
a bit, but it had all the gear
, minus some good batteries and charging
system. Ended up buying
it and have never regretted it. She has rewarded us beyond our expectations.
Just a footnote. We crewed on an IP35 in the 1995 Caribbean 1500
. Finished 1st in our fleet, 5 overall and somewhere around mid fleet actually crossing the line, if I recall
correctly. Sometimes a heavier displacement
boat will move through bigger seas (that old momentum thing) and give you a few more miles logged over the day, plus a more comfortable ride than a lighter displacement hull
for the same length. I wouldn't hesitate to sail offshore
on an IP again.
I didn't like the nav station layout on the Caliber 40 either (being next to the stove), but at the end of the day, the Mason 53 kept us from having to make that big decision.
All the best with yours. Cheers.