[QUOTE=gcaskew;1257708]The intent of the post was trying to get input on buying a smaller better quality built boat vs a larger, but still quality boat, while still keeping the initial cost of the boat around $50k. I want to keep $25 k for a good solid refit to bring it to "good life" cruising standards. Repair what needs to be repaired, add water maker, solar and wind power, honda 2000, good dink if needed...etc...
My wife and I will be island hopping the Caribbean and maybe Central America. No big blue water for us.
I've also looked at Irwin CC's and older boats, but if you have a better choice for a boat that I might have overlooked, please share...[/QUOTE]
This is, in my opinion, an acceptable approach to finding a boat in that it leaves the field wide open to all kinds of boats, especially ones that may never have been considered in a narrower search.
For the sailing described, any well maintained coastal cruiser, or blue water boat, would suffice, given proper seamanship. American made boats such as Pearson
, Tartan and Ericson
would be quite acceptable and the market is full of examples to choose from. Slightly heavier displacement
boats such as Bristol, Cape Dory
, Pacific Seacraft
, Hallberg Rassy
etc might also fall into this category though prices might be a bit higher than your budget
. These more blue water oriented boats might have better tankage/storage/build quality but will also be slower and more costly.
Keep an open mind to manufacturers. I have owned both a Wauquiez (Centurion 40) and a Express Yachting (Express 35) that were outstanding boats, yet were never on the short list of possibilities that I entertained.
There are a number of lesser known European builders that have examples over here in the states that would serve you well.
I think, were this my decision, that I would go for the waterline length of a bigger boat with the understanding that once any prospective purchase
is older than ten years old, condition, rather than brand name, would be my main consideration. There are also a number of people who would vouch for boats built prior to the '90's in order to avoid hull
blistering or to get teak
interiors rather than the current
mystery woods in many boat lines.
And most importantly, it has to look pretty to your eye.
In any case, have fun with the search!