Hello. This is probably the typical newbie... "What boat should I buy?" post, but hopefully I can clarify that a bit? . First, with my budget, I realize I am in the market for a boat that will need some work done to it... but hopefully no major or catastrophic repairs. Secondly, I am not looking for any of you to tell me which one to get... I'm up for the sharing of some personal experiences with each and some personal opinions, which I will add to all the other information I've been gleaning from online sources and my own inspections. I wouldn't want you to shoulder all that burden by yourselves! hahaha . My plan is to liveaboard alone(with some weekends/trips with the girlfriend and her 2 kids) and work on my coastal (West Coast of Northern California) sailing skills. Eventually I would like to take trips up to Alaska and down to Mexico/Central/South America... but perhaps not necessarily on my very first cruising boat... perhaps yes? . In my little area of the world(I have searched inland, south, and north into the next 2 states, even!), I am getting close to narrowing down my choices to 2 boats... both boats will run me below $15K . A 1985 Hunter 28.5 that I finally went below decks yesterday. Shoal keel. This will be the cheaper of the two. There are the usual issues of parts being slightly loose with tension/pressure... like mounts for rigging, stanchions, drips from the v-berth hatch, head not having been pumped out for at least 3 months, as well as the engine being removed and a new Thunderstruck 10kW electric motor and parts sitting inside waiting to be installed (batteries are in there already but not wired up). Overall... for the price he says he's willing to come down to... this could turn out to be a very good deal. Size-wise inside, with it's layout, I could live in that based upon prior land experiences in my life. I did not notice any large soft spots on deck. One of the plastic 'cap' rings for a through hull above waterline (vent for the galley sink?) was sitting on the dock so since I'd be inspecting all through hulls anyway, this one will definitely get replaced. He's had one of our local divers clean the bottom, and I plan on asking the diver if he recalls anything about the bottom when he did the job. I can dive on it and look the hull over from underwater... or motor it (has an outboard on a swingarm attached to the transom) over to where I can get it hauled out (in & out for approx $360... $30/day to sit on the hard) and see what it really looks like. . The other boat is either a 1982 or 1983 Hunter 33 (owner said built in 82 but registered as 83?). I will be stepping on deck tomorrow as well as below deck. I have been topside once so far for a cursory look around with the owner's permission. This one, too, I can move over to the lift and have it hauled out for a price. . This boat has a soft spot over the cabin which looks like it might be leaking from around the mast step. It'll be interesting to see how it looks from the inside, down the bulkhead and into the bilge. One wooden handrail is loose aft. There are some of what I feel are usual cosmetic details that can be worked over. This has it's original motor in and working. This one is currently twice the price of the 28.5 . Both boats have adequate sails... but I haven't had a chance to see them in their entirety. All running rigging for both boats are aged a bit... look fine for sailing our little bay... but for serious coastal sailing, I'd replace it all. Anchors are included with both... can't remember which has what. . After I look at the 33 tomorrow (hopefully less rain and a bit more time to stick my head, light and mirror in all the nooks&crannys)... I plan on revisiting the 28.5 next week for a more thorough 'poking around'... yesterday was only good enough for a history lesson on the boat from the owner, and some crawling around inside. . Again... any comments/information pertaining to these two boats will be appreciated, mulled over, diced&sliced, and sifted into the mix of what I already have. I don't want anyone to lose sleep over their posts here... "GEE! I hope I gave him the right advice... if not... I feel I'd have to just up and buy him a new boat!" The pressure is OFF! lol Thank you in advance... probably repeated abundantly throughout this thread. . and . WELCOME TO ME! WEEEEEEEE!