The short answer is yes, USD 40-60k will buy you a fine blue water cruiser.
I've seen quite a few sailing the Windward Islands
the last two years, but ended up buying a boat
. Hail the internet
Tricks to keep the price down:
1) Be patient, follow the market
2) Choose lesser brands
3) Be willing & able to lots of work
4) Pick up stranded yachts (Trinidad and other Caribbean
and give a bold but reasonable offer
6) Go smaller but designed for blue water and not a brochure
7) Aim at only spending 2/3 on the boat and the rest on equipment
I personally stumbled upon the German design house Reinke looking for a boat with Chinese junk rig
. Used Reinkes offer a lot of alu or steel
boat for the money
The alu hulls are usually professionally welded with home made interior
Some interiors could do with a loving hand, thus the exceptionally low prices.
REINKE TYPYACHT - KONSTRUKTION
I got a Reincke 10 Super 10,6m - 34.8' in alu and with a professionally built junk schooner rig for EUR 16.400 - USD 18.300. 10 years old.
It needs some TLC, navigational equipment
& new solar/windmill and electrical overhaul
Price of a bare new hull
in alu is however EUR 40.000 - USD 44.600.
Not bad at all!
PS. Reinke has boats all the way up to 16m - 52'