I am basically in the same position as you except I live in NJ.
I too plan on cruising the Bahamas
and the Keys during the winter
of 2015. I am also looking for a 30 sized boat which
seems to be the sweet spot although would consider a 27.
Years ago I owned a 27 and think it would be fine for a crew of two
and my Admiral. I have been armchair and internet
(It's 17 degrees outside) all over the east coast
for a suitable boat and what I have found is this.
I have no doubt whatsoever that
I will be able to find a suitable NON PROJECT
boat for around 15K Cash
Stuff will have to be done but not to the point of being a project
I'm staying away from them and will go down to a 27 if need be.
The good folks here have helped me focus on what's important
and in what order
These are the biggies that you want to avoid having to refit
A little tuning, fine, A refit
I have eliminated a "Wheel" as a requirement
A tiller would be fine
I have eliminated a diesel
as a requirement
(after finding Moyer Marine
an Atomic 4 would be fine)
And so on
I suggest, as was suggested to me that you read
Don Casey's The Complete Illustrated Sailboat"
I also suggest you read Moyer Marine
"Complete Owners and Service
Manual - Atomic 4" as well as read up on their website
I make this suggestion because it will be the engine
in lots of the
boats you will come by. Many are afraid of this engine and nicknamed it the Atomic Bomb I was in this camp but not anymore after finding a good source of information and support for this golden oldie.
Once the better weather
gets here I plan to start some serious
marina, boat yard, dock
walking looking for that perfect opportunity
It seems to be a great buyers market and cash always works wonders.
Good Luck and Happy sailing