Sounds to me that you've narrowing it down considerably -- given your previous boat/outdoors experience when "your sailboat" pops up in your vision, you'll recognize it. I didn't read what you did in the military, but if part of your career was with a rucksack on your back (or doing the duffle-bag-drag in C130s), you'll have a completely different perspective on personal requirements compared to those who spent years compelled to travel business class, find a valet and roll off the plane into senior staff meetings. I like the tone of "TP's" synthesis... Around 30ft+/- there is so many options it is hard to narrow down even with semi-rigid budget
parameters... rescanning these pages, I think the draft
if the vessel was about the only semi-firm feature, and even that seemed to have gotten squishy as the discussion progress.
You seem to have decided that financing
may not be the best for you -- I heartily agree. Even for those of us not remotely independently wealthy, there is a serviceable vessel out there. I've owned sail and power boats off and on since the early 70s -- and the biggest mistake I made was to let myself get talked into a post-retirement "escape vessel" that eventually blew through my budget
and was in time financed -- I intended to see the world (or at least part of it) and never left the Chesapeake -- word to the wise! It has taken years to regroup and get back to what matters (to me), but excepting that one huge mistake that effectively left me tied to the dock
, I've never paid more than $10K for a boat
(see the blog you can see some of them). You can get the one you that suits you, its out there -- dollars are not the limiting factor, but imagination can be -- looking at your camper-home pictures, I'd guess you'll do just fine.