To the OP:
Make a list of Features & Characteristics which are of key import
to you, & always
keep it at hand from now on. Along with a; camera
, & or video recorder, audio recorder (for audible note taking), & something to use as a sketch pad - so that you can expound on any "can't live without" boat features which you stumble across & snap pics of, or dream up at 2am.
No joke; as such tools of expression being at hand, stimulate the mind to creativity.
My old list, drawn up when I was 22, & had a choice Ranger
33' (my 1st boat, ideal but for her galley
- okay, that & a work bench & proper sail locker), is sadly MIA. But 95%+ of that ancient list, still applies, many years & hundreds of boats later (lots, of lots of deliveries, guest sails
, surveys, races, etc.). And I would kill to find it/remember where it is.
It's on a series of 3x5" notecards, with a ring through them as it's organizer (so it's pocket sized). And it covers important things such as; SADR, Ventillation, Keel
, Bunk & Galley features, etc. And
... the best way(s) for said features to be constructed (including access points & designed in access/"think aheads" for maintenance).
When you see a boat that intrigues you, stop & take a look. As well as inspecting things further if you can. Plus, leave a kind note, hand written (weighted, in a Ziploc); you'll get more responses than you'd ever
figure you will. Seriously.
And take the owners up on their offers for the chance to see her in further detail, live, & to go out for a guest sail/test sail as well.
For during such visits, if you "pay attention" (to what they say & don't, plus how they say it), as well as ask the right questions, & are open minded
, you'll learn many of the key steps which led the owner's to said boat. And why they so value gorgeous feature X, & Y... plus several that they had in other, previous boats, as well as will have in their future yachts.
And, of course, read as much as you can on boat construction & design, and go to More
boat shows than you have time for. Including viewing many types of boats which you normally wouldn't
. As they'll have both
; features, & methods of design & construction (ergonomics, comfort, liveability, seaworthiness...) which your "normal" style/type of boat never would/will.
Which is HUGE, in terms of forming better ideas of the "ilttle things" which you'll want to have on/in your coming boat.
- For example, if you're a full keel
, pilot cutter
guy, then go & see as many custom, hand made multi's as you can.
Or as they say, when you go to a designer
, to have your ideal, custom boat drawn up. Go with crates full of notes, sketches, & pics. PLUS, especially, an Open Mind. As his mind, insight, & design ideas, is where the best value per $ is where your money
As... "Perfection is achieved, not when there's nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to be taken away". - Antoine de Saint-Exupery.