Back from my trip, and thanks to all for the advice and input. I'm learning
more everyday. While I was away, the results of the last biopsy came back and there is some good news. The cancer has not spread to the bone marrow,(their big concern), the stomach, or intestines. Good. Will still need treatment for the tumor, probably chemo, but the doc says chances of survival are probably greater than 90%. Treatments will take 5 or 6 months, so gives me a bit of time to find the right boat.
Aris, thanks for your input. I very much realize this life is only temporary, and could change at any time, so I'm trying to keep that in perspective. I have looked at a couple of pilot house vessels, and there is a lot to be said for being protected in bad weather
. Have also looked at several boats with very substantial hard dodgers, that would provide some of the same protection, but not as completely or as comfortably, but still better than a completely open cockpit.
As an aviation mechanic
, I can fix almost anything if I want to, or have to. Because of that background, I also tend to be a bit anal about things being in top notch condition, i.e. "ship shape".
I plan to check out the smaller Irwins (thanks to Randy), will also look at catamarans. At this point, I'm open to almost any option that meets my basic criteria. First and foremost, good sailing qualities, strength, reliability
, enough room to be comfortable, but not so large as to be unmanageable, capable of being sailed shorthanded, ie. by me, and within a reasonable budget
So, the search is on, the mind is still open, and any additional advice and/or recommendations are welcome. You guys have been great so far, and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to share your knowledge and insights with me. I know I can never pay it back, but maybe I'll get the opportunity to pass it forward.
Thanks to all.