Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see. Moderation seems to be the key" Jimmy Buffett

I have been looking at boats for several months now. After a lot of research I have decided to 
narrow the search to a 35 foot boat with a full keel that has been cared for and maintained. I have developed a list of desirable equipment, but obviously the type and condition of the boat is my first consideration. Equipment can always be added, but I would prefer to get a boat as cruise ready as possible. Since the boat will be used on the east coast, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and hopefully the Caribbean, I am debating on whether to look for an older blue 
water cruiser or a newer production boat, or something in between like an Island Packet. 
I have decided on a monohaul instead of a catamaran because of the initial expense of a cat, and most all of my sailing experience has been on a monohaul. Shirl and I will be living on the boat, so adequate space is important. It will be just the two of us most of the time but I am sure we will have family and friends visit us from time to time.Thirty-five feet should be adequate for our needs. I need at least 6' 4" of headroom as well, which rules out many 32' to 33' boats. I am 6' 3" and really don't want to be bending over constantly while in the cabin. 
I have done a lot of research on different types of boats, and have read all the Cruiser Forum discussions on the benefits of the various types. I know enough about boats to know that quality and strength are important. Many of the criticisms of Island Packets that I read actually make them more appealing to me. I am concerned more with safety than I am speed...if I wanted speed I would not be looking at sailboats. I am more interested in getting somewhere safely than I am in getting somewhere quickly. Because I do not have much sailing experience I prefer a heavier full keel boat. Island Packet owners seem to be very happy with their boats.
There are so many boats for sale right now, and researching them although enjoyable is very time consuming. I have narrowed my search to an Island Packet 350 or the older 
IP 35, or another boat with similar characteristics that is in my budget.
Is it a buyers market? 

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