Originally Posted by Ozbullwinkle
Hi Trevor and welcome to the forum. There are many posts asking very similar questions to the ones that you are asking now.
As you are a new forum member
you may not be aware that there is a very good search engine
so that you can find and review the wealth of information that they contain.
Maybe it might assist you to take a look at some of these first and then maybe come up with a short list of likely candidiate vessels so that you can narrow down your question.
Here is the link to the search for you.
All the best with your boat shopping
Google Custom Search - Cruisers & Sailing Forum
It kind of sucks to hear 'go check the older threads' as the reply to your query, but when you're at the beginning of your search sometimes the type of advice Ozbullwinkle gave is absolutely right. I mean, opinions abound here and everyone has an idea of what a person's first boat should be, but those opinions are tainted by personal experience and expertise/background.
If you just go by what the first half dozen of us yokels tell you, it could seriously impair your ability to make a great decision.
That said, if I were buying
my first boat and planning on having three adults living aboard
for a year together, I'd want something reasonably large (40'), heavy hulled and simply rigged. A 1978 Morgan
was my family's first boat, and it was a dandy. We knew nothing about sailing, and it comfortably housed a family
of six with children
ranging from 3yo to 13yo (along with the family
'dog' at the time, a Yorkshire Terrier). Beamy, with a simple sloop
rig and two sails
to keep things from getting confusing. The full-length keel
also kept us from worrying too much about running aground on sand bars.
So that's the direction I'd say to go, but I'm one voice in a veritable ocean of them. And there are bound to be strong opinions voiced which contradict my opinion. Personally, I'd say you're best off to go cruising through the older threads to get some bearing on what is most important to YOU in a boat. Settle down with a cup of coffee and peruse for a few hours. You'll get more information in a half-day's surfing here than in three months of dock-walking.