Hey, fellow Minnesotan. I recently bought a 27fter and have spent the last year shaking things down up and down the east coast
. I agree with the other posters who say a 27-30 ft boat is not a bad way to go, particularly if you're looking at $20000. Here's a great list of small, solid boats up to 32ft all worth a good look: Atom Voyages - Good Old Boats List
. I referenced this list heavily in my search and ended up with a Vancouver
Another thing I would reiterate from others here is that the boat's vital systems may likely need some attention. How good was the previous owner(s), not only in keeping the boat systems in check, but in keeping a detailed maintenance
log? Will you know the age/condition of the rigging
, thruhulls, etc and what kind of life they've seen before your purchase
? How much trust will you be willing to put in them? (Definitely not saying you can't or shouldn't).
A general survey
will give you a great sense of what you're working with, but will probably also recommend a more detailed inspection
of many things at a later date. So for instance, even though the SS chainplates on my boat look shiny and substantial, for all I know they are 20 years old with serious crevice corrosion
where they pass thru the deck
...Things that a one-day survey
and test sail will never be able to discern. It might be a different story if I knew from the PO's log that they were actually just replaced 5 years ago. Ditto for the rigging
, thruhulls and seacocks in my case. So I'm looking at another $10G for the added assurance that no vital system will fail when it really matters. (I have liability coverage only, so this isn't just to appease some insurance
co!). Still, with a 27ft boat, I can afford to tackle this stuff in the spring without breaking the bank. Added to the benefit is that I will have an intimate knowledge of my boats vital systems.
FWIW: If you take my advice
, buy a nice small(er) boat that you can feel good about putting your love into and actually maintain on a reasonable budget
. But either way, definitely buy a damned boat! I want more peeps my age to hang out with out there!