I have spent a lot of time researching different cruising boat models over the past two years. Well, maybe "a lot" is a bit understated. Maybe "a lot" would be a little closer to the truth. I enjoy the process of researching things I will buy. My kids think I'm a little wacky about it, but it gives me pleasure and in the end I know exactly what I want.
Now that we are truly in the market for our future boat/home, I am narrowing down my search to specific models and identifying examples of each to physically inspect. The Island Packet 31 is a study little cruiser that is surprisingly roomy inside due to it's wide beam. Another small cruiser high on our list has been the Baba 30. These salty looking boats are solid as tugboats and feature more teak than a reasonable couple would be interested in maintaining. Next is the Mariner 36. It is much roomier than the previous two boats and still has the classic look we like. It also has an amazing reputation as a solidly built cruiser.
If we end up buying a more contemporary looking boat it would probably be a Hunter 33 - 37 footer or a Catalina 34. These boats are readily available just about anywhere there is water. They can offer a lot of boat for the money and would serve our intended use just fine. Our problem with them is that they just don't tug at our hearts. We want a boat that is classic, individualistic and makes us smile each time we row out to it. Yet if one shows up that is in incredibly good shape, well equipped and priced well we would certainly consider it.
So many choices and only one chance to get it right.