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Old 06-16-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
City: Hotel, CA
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 8,323
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you need a Swiss army knife

I was in your position a couple of years ago and we wound up in the Delta. Visalia is 3 hours from the California Delta and Santa Barbara. Gives you plenty of options.

I would suggest renting something similar to what you want before jumping in head first. Owning a 60 foot houseboat on a lake has prepared you for the big bills that come due owning larger boats so no real surprises there. Keep in mind that those bills are typically larger on similar sized cruising boats. Currents, tides, waves/swells and navigation will be the bigger adjustments for you. Also keep in mind that a similar sized cruising boat is going to have far less square footage and be vastly more complicated in operation and maintenance.

Define the mission the boat is to fulfill and the budget keeping in mind that both will likely change. As your personal mission comes into sharper focus it will dictate the style of boat that you should be looking for. Too many folks come at this backwards by falling in love with a particular boat and trying to make the mission fit it.

Try to buy the smallest boat that will fulfill your mission and budget. Quality over quantity pays big dividends down the road. Good luck and enjoy the hunt.

It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they've been fooled - Mark Twain
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