The feel of a boat when you go aboard is far more important than people give credit. Regardless of the reputation, or the design, if you do not get a good feel for the boat when you go aboard, that will not likely ever change.
One of the first wood cruisers we considered was a 37' Garden ketch
. the boat was well kept, the seller was very motivated, and I was unable to find any problems with the boat. (A survey
may have, but they were hidden well if they were there. )
My wife did not like the feel of the boat from the first minute.
As we made several inspections, and met with the owners, we both found the boat to be unfriendly, for lack of a better description. As we got to know the seller, we found the boat to have a similar personality. As we found out more about the past owner, a well known and rather unsrupulous attorney, it started to make sense. We did not buy the boat, and I do not think we ever would have gotten the previous owner's personality out of it. The boat we did buy, had never taken on the personality of the seller. A good thing. The boat had lots of problems, but in the 5 years we owned her, she always felt like home. Every trip we took on that boat was memorable. That first boat did fit all of our criteria, but just did not feel right. I know a few people who have purchased boats that they did not feel at home on. All of them approach their boat like a rented cabin
. There is no relationship, and no passion when they talk about the boat. Although this is not exclusive to wood boats, I think the wood boat has much more of a personality than fiberglass
. A wood boat is a living thing. I say this with great conviction. This is probably why wood boats are so much more affected by maintennce, but also why they are so much better companions at sea.
Just an opinion for what it's worth, but if you experience it, you will know what it's worth.