Welcome aboard from another prairie dog. We spent most of our working lives in Nipawin until we pulled up stakes a few years ago. Now we have a little place in Buchanan to come back to but we spend roughly half the year in a converted bus and the other half on a 43 Defever.
When we bought Gray Hawk close to 2 years ago I got all sorts of dire warnings from well meaning folks about how hard it was going to be to learn to handle such a "big" boat. I'm not sure what your history
is but I had been around boats as long as I could remember and had owned several, just nothing quite that big. We picked her up in Seattle
and delivered her ourself to Sidney. Then we set about learning
to use her in small increments. We're on the prairies right now but our goal this summer is to get through Johnstone Strait into the Broughtons. Next summer - Alaska
. Last summer we spent a couple of months in Desolation Sound.
Whatever you buy you will need to be comfortable operating machinery and you will need to be self sufficient. The alternative is staying within 8 hours of a dock
and having a very capable credit card. For what its worth I found Power Squadron largely useless. I learned a lot by lurking on this forum and Trawler
Forum. We also learned a ton from 2 previous owners of our boat and we were fortunate to be adopted by a very capable couple while we were in Elliott Bay after taking possession of Gray Hawk. My wife hired a captain
for 3 days of personal training - I didn't find that particularly useful but she got a lot out of it. The whole boating
thing is like the guy said about eating an elephant - you do it one bite at a time.
Do your homework, get on lots of boats - we probably looked at over 50 boats. When we walked on Gray Hawk we both knew immediately that we would buy her. We knew that because we had defined exactly what we wanted to do with her and where we wanted to go. You can't do that without seeing a lot of boats and talking to a lot of people. We also went to a couple of Trawler
Fests - not sure if there is something comparable in the sail industry but there must be.