The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

The Five Things We Need to Check When Buying a Boat

Given that Phyllis and I are considering replacing Morgan’s Cloud with a smaller boat, I have been thinking a lot about the process of buying a boat that will meet our specification:

  • 15,000 to 22,000 lbs (6800 to 10000 kgs) displacement, which will typically result in a boat around 36 to 42 feet (11 to 13 m) long.
  • Good sailing performance.
  • Almost certainly fibreglass.
  • Not a project boat. We are happy to do the usual tweaks that any new-to-us boat requires, but no refits and certainly no rebuilds. (That said, read on.)
  • Trans-ocean capable (in reasonable comfort and safety).
  • Price under US$250,000.

I have also:

This work has yielded a couple of conclusions:

Gonna Be Really Hard

I said right from the beginning that this was going to be a difficult spec to fill, but I was wrong. In fact, and contrary to what many people will tell you, because of two of the above requirements, it’s going to be very, very damned difficult.

The culprits are:

  1. Trans-ocean capable (in reasonable comfort and safety).
  2. Not a project boat.

Drop either, and literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of boats jump into the frame.

The other problem is that really good, well-maintained boats, from consistently good builders, are way more expensive than most people—including me, up until a few months ago—think.

And often, maybe mostly, when we find a boat that seems to break that rule, a closer look reveals a lurking problem that explains the price—teak decks that need replacing, often with water in the deck core under them, are a classic example.

So, if we had more than US$250,000 to spend, that would obviously help, but we don’t, so what to do?

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More Articles From Online Book: How To Buy a Cruising Boat:

  1. The Right Way to Buy a Boat…And The Wrong Way
  2. Is It a Need or a Want?
  3. Buying a Boat—A Different Way To Think About Price
  4. Buying a Cruising Boat—Five Tips for The Half-Assed Option
  5. Are Refits Worth It?
  6. Buying a Boat—Never Say Never
  7. Selecting The Right Hull Form
  8. Five Ways That Bad Boats Happen
  9. How Weight Affects Boat Performance and Motion Comfort
  10. Easily Driven Boats Are Better
  11. 12 Tips To Avoid Ruining Our Easily Driven Sailboat
  12. Learn From The Designers
  13. You May Need a Bigger Boat Than You Think
  14. Sail Area: Overlap, Multihulls, And Racing Rules
  15. 8 Tips For a Great Cruising Boat Interior Arrangement
  16. Of Cockpits, Wheelhouses And Engine Rooms
  17. Offshore Sailboat Keel Types
  18. Cockpits—Part 1, Safe and Seamanlike
  19. Cockpits—Part 2, Visibility and Ergonomics
  20. Offshore Sailboat Winches, Selection and Positioning
  21. Choosing a Cruising Boat—Shelter
  22. Choosing A Cruising Boat—Shade and Ventilation
  23. Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a New Voyaging Boat
  24. Cyclical Loading: Why Offshore Sailing Is So Hard On A Boat
  25. Cycle Loading—8 Tips for Boat and Gear Purchases
  26. Characteristics of Boat Building Materials
  27. Impact Resistance—How Hull Materials Respond to Impacts
  28. Impact Resistance—Two Collision Scenarios
  29. Hull Materials, Which Is Best?
  30. The Five Things We Need to Check When Buying a Boat
  31. Six Warnings About Buying Fibreglass Boats
  32. Buying a Fibreglass Boat—Hiring a Surveyor and Managing the Survey
  33. What We Need to Know About Moisture Meters and Wet Fibreglass Laminate
  34. US$30,000 Starter Cruiser—Part 2, The Boat We Bought
  35. Q&A, What’s the Maximum Sailboat Size For a Couple?
  36. At What Age should You Stop Sailing And Buy a Motorboat?
  37. A Motorsailer For Offshore Voyaging?
  38. The Two Biggest Lies Yacht Brokers Tell
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Homero L. de Barros

John, I was surprised that you crossed out an used Ovni. There are enough Ovni in the size you stipulated and under 250,000.

Kevin McShane

Doesn’t preclude aluminum hulls that are designed to go to windward. Ted Brewer hulls will fit the bill. Look at mine: >

Steven Schapera

I had similar criteria to yours, but was prepared to go to 12,500kg and 45ft. I chose a Dudley Dix design, Shearwater 45. Ironically that was 12 years ago and now I’m going bigger, but it’s a magnificent blue water cruiser and very fast!

Henry Rech


I find it puzzling that you are persisting with a FG boat given that the main issues you are concerned about relate to the fact that the boat you want is going to be made of fibreglass.

It seems to me finding a sound aluminium boat would be far less problematic, less risky and less costly (in terms of survey costs).

Henry Rech


As far as I can see your reason for going FG is this:

“Bottom line, if you are not willing to learn the basics of aluminum boat care and won’t be constantly present to rigorously enforce that knowledge on others, choose fibreglass.”

If you chose an unpainted aluminium boat what would the issues be?

Yet you are willing to pay for expensive surveys for a FG boat and even then there’s always the doubt.

It doesn’t make sense.

Henry Rech


Have you written about those matters which you are concerned about, related to aluminium boat maintenance, which you would rather not entrust to others?

Henry Rech


I’ve read your 3 part article.

Once you have set up the boat as it should be set up, there should be no maintenance problems and dramas, right?

Or, is it that the ongoing monitoring is tedious and no longer of interest to you so you’re moving away from aluminium?

Henry Rech


I’m not at all trying to influence your decision, I am interested, though, in understanding why I might want to go one way or the other.

John Cobb

I presume when you say “keel step” you are referring to the point at which the mast is attached or sets on the keel.

Is that correct?

Robert Plante

Many good points… What about the Adventure 40 criteria of a few years ago? Also, another Oops, under the heading Access, it’s still shown as “keel step”…

Steve D


An excellent, concise piece on this subject. Well-done.

Having inspected hundreds of vessels, completing my work alongside countless surveyors, and having read countless surveys, I will second your call to be especially careful when choosing that individual. I’ve covered this subject in print a few times, most recently just a few months ago, here

One of my (many) gripes with surveyors is their reluctance to disassemble anything for inspection, including and especially access for electrical panels and junction boxes. If screws need to be removed to inspect these, many will pass it by.

This line in particular resonated, “To reduce the chances of paying for multiple expensive surveys, it’s possible, after an hour or so of inspection of five critical areas, to make a reasonable guess at whether or not the boat is likely to have major problems.”

I spent two days aboard a vessel last week in Florida, conducting an inspection for a client. I started at the bow, inspecting the windlass and knew within a few minutes the vessel was neglected, as I encountered many examples of deferred maintenance. Had I spent an hour aboard I could have easily provided a pre-survey assessment, which the buyer could have used to make a decision on whether or not to proceed (the “survey” was attended by a hull surveyor, and an engine surveyor, it included a haul out and 5 hour sea trial, so no small investment). The 10-year old vessel is built by a highly respected manufacturer, it was well-made, but was over-priced based on its condition, time will tell if the client and seller can come to terms.

Here’s another article on the subject of conducting pre-survey review, much of which can be done from afar. It’s not in complete alignment with your recommendations, as someone who works more often with power vessels I place more emphasis on the engine for instance, but I believe it’s relevant.

Part I:

Part II:

I’m headed to Taiwan and China today to inspect a series of new build projects, including one sailing vessel;-).

I’m looking forward to the interview.

Brent Cameron

Most people either love or hate them For their looks but I am in much the same situation as you with much the same criteria and have settled on an Amel. There are plenty of very good Santorins (45 ft 11 inches) available (albeit you might have to go to the med to get one) that are extremely capable offshore boats, and are designed to be sailed by an older cruising couple that could be found for well under your $250K limit ($160K would buy a very good one). They are a bit bigger than your 42’ limit but they have the older style overhangs so are in the same displacement range 19,000 lbs unloaded, 25K max). They are designed to cross oceans and despite their older design, they really do decent passage times as they can carry a lot of sail and have it easily dropped and reefed even with only one crew on watch without leaving the cockpit. They built about 150 of them and a majority have been around the world. unlike most boats of that vintage, they really spent a lot of time designing a completely watertight hull/deck joint – the boat is glassed together in the mold and was designed to be lifted up by its chainplates. You won’t find a stronger fibreglass boat out there and best of all they have a completely separate (and watertight) engine compartment that you can actually work in which keeps the fumes, smells, noise out of the living spaces.

It is a centre cockpit design with a protected permanent dodger and has a protected helm position behind it. Since most cruising boats spend time on autopilot and the crew in watch is there to be on watch, it makes sense to protect them so they aren’t in the elements and they can effectively do their jobs for the watch.

They come in either ketch or sloop rigs and have the built in ability to be sailed almost completely without leaving the cockpit when dealing with normal things like reefing in or tacking/jibing. You do leave to setup the downwind pokes but the sails can be completely reefed in from the safety of the cockpit with poles up which explains why they make such good passage times as you can leave the sails up at night knowing they can come in without waking the off watch and without leaving the cockpit. As for maintenance, they have the fake teak molded fiberglass decks so no leaks and a fresh coat of paint makes them as good as new – albeit it best to find someone with OCD to do it!

I agree wholeheartedly on your comments about surveyors and I’d add one more – they should REALLY know and specialize on the manufacturer so they understand and live and breathe the boat. The best surveyor for Amel is Olivier Beaute. He was the delivery inspector for Amel when these boats were being built and crawled through each of them as they were being built. He knows the weak points , what was standard Amel and can quickly identify anything non standard or not to spec. He is in France but does travel and spends at least two days on the boat. Most knowledgeable potential Amel owners use him so it is very likely he’s already done a survey on the boat if it has multiple owners and knows exactly how it came out of the factory as well. Best of all, he won’t spend two days on a boat that is going to cost more than a good specimen to bring up to spec and will tell you everything that needs fixing both at time of purchase but also a few years down the road. If you are interested in Amel’s I’d also highly recommend Bill Rouse’s Amel Yacht School (they made him drop Amel so it’s just Yacht School now) for pre and post purchase help. He’ll spend a few days with you bringing everything up to spec and teaching you how to maintain it to spec but also about the different things Amel’s have done that make them so capable.

These boats were designed for a cruising couple to circumnavigate where the smaller crew could lift a bag of groceries should still be able to handle every task on the boat. they are worth a look.

Arthur Watson

Dear John and Phyllis,

I wonder if you might consider the Cape North 43? A Ted Brewer center cockpit design, built in Hong Kong in the mid-late 70’s. I think you’ll like the esthetics and the general design approach, and I believe these boats were very well-built, having sailed all over the world. Mine has crossed two oceans and at least one of them has circumnavigated.

There is one on Yachtworld right now, which is unusual because only 28 were built. While, having followed you for some time, I know that no boat is going to be satisfactory to you right out of the box, this boat appears to have been very well maintained (much better than the one I bought!), which in my humble view is much more important than mere age.

I think this boat might meet many of your criteria and is worth a look.


Art Watson

Patrick Kelly


You and Phyllis have seen my boat (CYGNUS) -a Hinckley 50 yawl, usually moored in Northeast Harbor. My wife is nagging me that a 50 footer is too much boat for a 75 year old single hander. And we are planning a permanent move to Nashville, TN (not exactly my choice but our daughter lives there.) CYGNUS is now on the hard at WAYFAYER in CAMDEN. There are not too many people on the planet that I would consider offering CYGNUS to, but you and Phyllis are two of them. Let me know if you have any interest.


Pat Kelly
Tel 646 675-0275

John Cobb

I’ve learned quite a bit at this website…Apologies if it’s been referenced before:

Rob Gill

Hi John,
As ever, you manage to distill a complex topic into a handful of focus items. Brilliant. This “don’t sweat the small stuff approach” makes such a lot of sense, but I can’t help worrying that “the devil really is in the detail” for some projects, and I suspect there are some details that shouldn’t be brushed aside for a survey. One such example –
Our daughter worked as Chief Steward on a 20 year old, 140 foot motor superyacht a few years ago. New to the owner, she was twin engined, yet suffered multiple breakdowns on and off passage. They cycled through 3 engineers in her 9 month stint, all leaving in frustration. The consensus was the boat needed new engines, the old ones had been trashed (overpowered)? To replace the engines, half the accomodation needed to be cut away in a shipyard first > $2MUSD project. Boat value ~ $1.0MUSD. Boat value with new engines ~ $1.3 MUSD. A surveyor missed this. I know it’s a smaller issue on a yacht, but some engine rooms / hard dodger designs could make installs worse than for an equivalent sized motor boat.
Br. Rob

P D Squire

As always, your thinking is focused and useful. When 5 surveys could consume 20% of the budget pre-qualification becomes important. Thanks for the checklist.

I am curious why Trans-ocean capability makes such a difference. A list of acceptable coastal cruiser traits that would not be acceptable trans-ocean would be very welcome. Perhaps the list already exists somewhere in the AAC library. I reviewed your “Needs”* and 8 voyaging interior tips** and found some items that appear distinct:
1. Storm survival gear
2. Lifelines, jacklines, harnesses & tethers
3. Reliable self-steering
4. Comfortable, safe sea berth
5. Interior with minimal fall distances

The first three are retro-fitable leaving just two.

Everything else seems equally important to a coastal cruiser (water out; mast up; keel down; fail-safe rudder; well engineered anchoring; reliable engine; uncluttered non-skid decks; proper clothing; GPS, chart & nav instruments; and accessible electric, mechanical, & plumbing systems.)

Or am I expecting too much of a coastal cruiser? I live on New Zealand’s West Coast where the roaring forties routinely deliver gales and 8m+ waves.

Thanks again for the pre-survey checklist.


René Bornmann
Maybe a little small, but otherwise it should tick most boxes.


Frederick Gleason

John, Before having these 5 Important things checked, you must have a pre filter for potential boats that fit your new needs. Perhaps you have written about that process or made a list of characteristics?
To what extent does builder, design, layout, and general condition enter into this prequalify stage? Do you make a short list of boats manuf and model you would consider and then look for the best ones at reasonable price? Then have the survey done? Dumb question I suppose, but there is a lot riding on the prequalification.

Murray Fitzgerald

An excellent and timely discussion thanks John. We have just sold our Catalina and are looking for a yacht more suited to blue water. At the moment one out of Sweden is looking promising. I will be watching for your future articles.

Calvin S Holt

Yes, I 2nd the endorsement of this article! I’m in the thick of hunt as well and your comments resonate. As I’m no where close to your skill level, I’ve contracted John Neal’s services to focus my search. HR 39 vs Bene 42/44 CC is where we are at the moment I’m off to Italy next month to kick the tires, so this post and Steve’s links are appreciated.
As for the final survey, do you have an example report you can share? I’ve had several done in the past and thought they were good, minus engine analysis. Also would you break down the components of the $5-10k sum? …..thanks again…and eagerly waiting for subsequent posts!

Richard Elder

Hi Calvin
From my point of view the first step in any boat search is the Mission Statement in which you honestly outline (on paper!) exactly how you intended to use the boat over the next 5 or 10 years.

Once that task has been completed (and slept on) there will be hundreds of boats that will fall off your list. If you want the very best Caribbean cruiser you will not choose a Boreal, and if you want to visit Greenland you certainly will not chose a Beneteau/Hunter. And if you are rational enough to reject teak decks you will find it impossible to buy a used HR.

John has done a great job defining the items that apply to any class of boat. To that I’d add “no boats with a full liner glued in place or set in bearshit. ” And to that I’d add, “center cockpit designs must be at least 44′ LOA to avoid cramitus.” And to that I’d personally add “It must be beautiful” . For me that criteria strikes off some of the best designed cruising boats in the world — Sundeer and Boewulf for example.

Your finalist list contains two quite different boats from a quality, layout, and size standpoint . Perhaps it’s time to go back and fine tune the Mission Statement. I’ve run into John Neal a few times over the decades as he’s accumulated a quadjillion miles on his Hallberg Rassey boats. They certainly have served him well, but such a lifelong relationship is bound to narrow one’s idea of what constitutes the best boat for a particular mission.

Philippe Candelier

Is humidity readings (HR) will part of your 1 hour pre-survey routine ?
It seems most surveyor on FG boats spend significant time moving around reading humidity level on the hull, deck, rudder and other areas.
On a 20+ years old boat chances are some readings will go into the medium category, and possibly some other areas (hopefully few) will read high.
How far humidity reading will be a deal breaker ?
As a example, medium HR on a corecell core deck versus high HR on a balsa core deck ?

Drew Frye

I found happiness by downsizing much farther, to a 24-foot trimaran I use as a daysailer. There are time when I miss my cruising boat. You can’t sail far in a day and you don’t get to enjoy waking up on the hook, but I’m not interested in cruising a tiny boat far. I’ve done that, for weeks at a time, but that was decades ago and that itch has been scratched. I also enjoyed cruising on my PDQ, very much, but that itch has also been scratched.

It is a joy to have a boat I can just jump in and sail. I’ve long been puzzle that that there are so few boats in this catagory, designed for older sailors that don’t want a cruising boat anymore, but don’t want a dinghy. A smaller boat, where everything is lighter and it is just fun to sail. Additional, there is no financial concern. Yes, I maintain the boat carefully, because that is my nature, not because resale value is vital.

Maybe you still need a blue water cruiser. But maybe it’s just the way you see a real boat. I get that. Once you get hooked on quality anything less is grating on the nerves. So maybe smaller. Maybe not.

Antony Smyth

Hi John,

I have been down the path of matching budget to boat requirements and arrived at your ‘older boat’ approach, now 24 months into a lovely new relationship and nearing the end of the inevitable list of projects here are the tests I applied before survey to screen out keel bolt worries.
1. Clarify:
a. the material the keel is made of
b. the material of the bolts
c. The location of all the bolts
d. The prior owner’s understanding of the importance of the bolts, and any relevant history they have
2. Ask if the prior owner had never grounded the boat, understand the circumstances
3. Search for signs of movement, leakage, or stress inside the hull around the bolts
4. Check that washers and backing plates are not bent into the bolts
5. Search for stress cracks especially around first and last bolt, take pictures
6. Ring the studs with a hammer
7. Remove a nut, or three – first, last and one between, inspect the thread on the bolt
8. Look for sole boards or doors that no longer fit well; if any, clarify why
9. Look in lockers, galley cupboards and under the chart table for frame detachment
10. Look for crazing in the GRP at the mast’s deck fastenings
11. Search for signs of grounding on the front and the base of the keel
12. Look at the straightness of the aft end of the keel
13. Search for stress signs in the hull around the keel
14. Look for signs of movement between the keel and hull, eg weeping soon after lifted

Most of us know much of this, so I hope you find it useful in one list rather than feel its an attempt to teach egg sucking. Happy hunting

Jo Blach

Hello John,

when buying my boat (an old aluminium cruiser around $100000) the main factor for taking the risk, was it seemed to be an honest boat.

Honest in the sense there were no attempts to beautify it, no purely cosmetic fixes or attempts to cover up problems. Sure there were plenty worn out areas, ugly kludges and broken things, but those were recognisable as such.

Also, the the chance of problems met expectations. Things that looked dodgy needed work, things that look reasonable good were mostly ok.

The boat has proven that the morning after it still had some resemblance to the impression it gave in romantic candle light the night before.

Michael Albert

Hi John- good luck in your search. Our 1987 tartan 40 has vinylester in the outer skins, so it’s clear that some builders started using this in the 80s rather than 90s as you may have thought.

Bill Attwood

Hi John
This topic is really interesting, your article, and as usual, the comments.
Can I suggest two points for your pre-survey:
1. Moisture meter – even although it does require expertise and experience to use properly, the non-professional can use it to find differences in readings on the deck, for example in way of fittings such as cleats and winches. If readings iwo a mooring cleat are significantly higher than, say, the deck 18” away, then it’s pretty sure that wet core is present.
2. Plastic hammer – tapping the deck can reveal a multitude of potential problems, voids, delamination, wet core (again) without any damage to the deck. The difference between sound laminate and dodgy is really obvious.
I am sure that I don’t need to explain why I know this. ?
As regards the hull, that I would not attempt to survey myself.
Yours aye

Kenneth McCallum

I recommend you look at some Oyster yachts in your price range. The glued down teak decks really aren’t a problem.

Richard Elder

Hi John
Any reader contemplating buying a new (built in the last 30 years) mass production fiberglass sailboat for use as anything but a coastal day sailor should spend 10 minutes watching this video.

The video is expertly narrated by an experienced young boat builder who was attracted by the curious sight of a boat sitting on a remote beach with the mast up and little visible damage to the topsides. It is a Jeanneau 54 Deck Salon that was left at anchor unattended. It apparently fouled the anchor or chain on the bottom, pounded by wave action, and ripped the anchor windlass completely out of the deck. It drifted into shallow water, pounded a few times which punched the entire keel up through the bottom until it fell off, then sat on the bottom for a couple of weeks.

Observe the intact keel bolts bolted through about 5/8 ” of poorly saturated matt and roving with no sign of keel support structure. The un-cored underwater hull is solid fiberglass, but the polyester resin used in construction had so little adhesion that individual layers came apart like newspaper. Just speculating, but I deduce that this a perfect example of how not to do resin infusion. I’ve never seen an old fashioned polyester matt & roving layup done by hand that was this resin starved.

Do you really want to have a conversation with a whale or floating log in this $500,000 floating apartment, even if the advertisements tout “Energized by Kevlar?

Eric Van Moorlehem

Hi John,
The Rustler 42 seems like it would tick off all those boxes you’ve listed. Seaberth in main saloon and central engine giving excellent access. Cutter rig, solid build quality, good sailer. If not a candidate for my own understanding would love to know where it fails.

Stephen Guy


A primary criterion for me was what is biggest sail I, at age 65, am willing to grapple with in a gale of wind? Determined by factors suce as displacement and rig, assuming the roller furling gear failed.
Steve Guy.

Ruslan Osmonov

Hi John, why do you avoid tanks below sole and near keel? I’m with you thinking on how to get it out if need be, but on the other hand reputable builders like Swans have them always under. This makes me think that I maybe over think it.

Alex Borodin

Hi Ruslan,
I believe John disapproved not of tanks under the sole in general, but rather specifically of tanks that make keel bolts inaccessible and cannot themselves be removed without disassembling furniture. Basically, that means if access to keel bolts is a nightmare, John won’t even look at the rest of the boat.

Connor Gabbott

Hey John and everyone in the comments, looking for your opinions/expertise

I have been combed through this e-book extensively and armed with all that knowledge I have found an offshore boat that I think fits perfectly into the $100K bracket. I inspected the boat the other day for the first time and the only thing I found that gave me concern was one of the bolts in one of the chainplates on the bulkhead.

This is an 80’s boat but it is highly regarded as one of the best made boats in the country at the time. This is a seriously rugged built boat that shows no signs of any water ingress anywhere on the chainplates/bulkheads. However, 1 of the 9 chainplate bolts on the starboard side has compressed the backing plate and a bit of the wood around it, creating a dip that is maybe 1/8″ deep from flush. Again, no sign of water anywhere and the wood feels solid.

My question is could this be the result of someone being over zealous when tightening one of the bolts or would you see this as a bigger issue with the integrity of the bulkhead?

Here is a link that shows the starboard backing plate. The plate is long and there is a shelf in the middle, hence the two pictures. I have circled the problem bolt in red. Hard to see the exact compression but you can at least see the state of the bulkhead

Thank you so much in advance for any opinions!

Connor Gabbott

Thanks for the quick reply John

Understood on SS corrosion happening in the spots that are covered. If I was to buy this boat the plate would for sure come off. Look forward to reading the article you have coming down the pipe.

The compression on this specific backing plate is so localized around that one bolt that to my untrained eye it almost looks like it could be over-torquing of that one bolt. I thought if there was ingress and rot I would see the whole backing plate, or maybe just the top section, would be compressed into the bulkhead. Not just a 2″ indent around 1 bolt. Is this just my wishful thinking because I really like the boat?

In your experience, when there is water ingress into the bulkheads, would you see localized compression around only one bolt?


Connor Gabbott

Thanks so much for insight John. When I first started reading your page I thought the idea of a $100K offshore boat was a fictional dream but with this boat I have found I think it could actually be a real possibility. Love your site, keep up the great work!

Todd King

The more I read this site, the more I’m concerned I’m never going to buy a boat in the first place (I currently just rent/borrow boats as part of a yacht club). There are indeed not a lot of boats that fit this criteria.
I look around my area (pacific north west) and see a whole lot of catalinas and beneteaus, and wonder if what seems to be working for a lot of other people in my area wouldn’t also work for me, despite them not meeting all these criteria.

Vesa Ikonen

Hi John.
You said that finding a boat that’s ocean capable and not a rebuild project is very hard at 250k – at least in fiberglass.

I take your word for it, but it begs a question:
What is your best guess at a minimum budget that it suddenly becomes significantly easier?
I am not thinking about new boats here.

Vesa Ikonen

Thanks, that seems like a workable guideline.

After having read so much about how the important stuff gets ignored, I am starting to think that once I can start a longer cruise, it is either going to be a brand new A40, or a boat new enough not to require a major refit.