First, your budget
(or size range) is unrealistic. You will end up over your head
with a ton of unexpected costs if you do not either reduce your size, or increase your budget. Most experienced boaters will tell you the least expensive boat to own is often the most expensive to purchase
- one that has been well maintained (example: upholstery, often overlooked, is amazingly expensive) and has recent upgrades. But you do need to budget semi-realistically. Insurance
, berth, maintenance
(e.g. bottom paint
every 2-years or so), repairs
, and upgrades can easily crest $15k-$20k per year, especially the first couple of years when you are getting the boat dialed-in to your tastes.
Second, definitely try trawlerforum.com. If you put out this same request, you will probably get more information than you can imagine - more likely to get too much than not enough.
Third, McNew's Powerboat Guide
is sort of the bible for research
on brands and layouts. I will leave it to you whether it's worth the $60USD price
Fourth, this is well within your grasp to do. Learning
to comfortably drive a boat is much easier than making the money
to afford one. You're over halfway there.
Finally, I did a quick yachtworld.com search - this 40-foot Gulf Commander
is in your area, looks like it's been maintained, and is pretty close to your budget. A quick Google
search found a 2016 thread on TrawlerForum (the recommended forum above) that suggests Gulf Commander's were built in the BC area. This one does not
side decks which are common on Taiwan-built boats. In my opinion, that's a very good thing - teak
decks tend to leak, and are a deal-killer for me personally. I personally like single-engine trawlers with thruster (which this is), but there are very vigorous opinions on the merits of single/twin.
Good luck! See you on TrawlerForum!