First I too am from Montana. Bozeman and Billings. Second when I retired from the military I bought a boat, my first one ever. I did have a great resource to help me with that purchase
THANK GOD as there are so many things to think about.
I am presently in Maryland
. Not my favorite place anymore. At first I thought it would be cool over here and the state flag is stunning but OMG I hate the East coast
A 1980 37' O'day center cockpit
. It looked good for an aged boat but once the work
began it never stopped. I bought the boat December 2014 and it should be seaworthy
again this Spring. I just about gutted the thing due to mold
damage to old woodwork. Not to mention the original build quality wasn't that great to start with. Needless to say I have learned a whole lot about my boat but most of what I know about sailing has been academic or from online sailing videos and forums
like this one.
As you go on with your customization you are welcome to pick my brain. From my experience there seems to be a lot of people that sound like they know what they are talking about but in practice, at least for my needs, they don't. Be careful. Learn USCG regulations
and always be safe.
Find me on FB. I have all my photos from the refit
on there in a photo
file "Boat Construction" if you're interested.