Well BigJoe - you're finally leaving the dark side - congratulations ! Imagine how much more beer
all that money
you used to waste on gas will buy. As far as boats to look at go...
If you are going to be cruising Georgian Bay, you want something that doesn't have too much draft
(i.e.: has a keel
that isn't too deep), and that isn't a flat-out racing
machine. I would suggest you go comfort rather than speed for your first boat.
There are a lot of boats in really bad condition for sale
right now in Ontario
. You need to be careful that you don't get one that has extensive deck delamination
, as it costs a lot of money
to fix. Also be careful of cored hulls - basically these are hulls that have a layer of insulating material, usually balsa wood, between two layers of fibreglass. A lot of them are wet inside, and rotting. This makes them very flimsy. It is more expensive to fix them than it is to buy them.
That said - there are also some good boats out there. Check out the Aloha 28, Bayfield 29, any Mirage that is within your budget, Tanzers, C&C's, CS's, Ontario
31, Paceships, Albergs.
A really great boat for you would be a Hughes
31SE. You should be able to get a decent one for 30K or under.
Personally, I would avoid Hunters, MacGregors, Irwins, Seidelmanns, and Jeanneau's. NO OFFENSE MEANT TO ANY OWNERS OF THESE BOATS< THIS IS MERELY MY OPINION. ! There are thousands of these boats out there, but the build quality is not at the same level as the boats I have mentioned, and you also want to think about resale. An Aloha or Mirage holds its value far better than the others.
Make sure that you get a GOOD surveyor
, and be really careful about the brokers in Ontario. Most of them got fired from Used Car Lots for bad ethics. If you PM me I can send you the name of a decent broker and excellent surveyor