After looking online for about a month we narrowed the field down to six boats from 29' to 40'. Most were in the 32-36 range but we wanted to throw in a couple outliers that looked promising. The 40' was almost 20 years old but the online photos made it seem like a good deal. Unfortunately that was ruled out after our inspection. The 29' was a 2000 Hunter 290 and actually was our number 2 pick. It was well kept and had a lot of upgrades. Three of the boats we inspected were in average condition at best.
When all was said and done though we settled on "Fortune's Fool". It was a well maintained 2002 Hunter 326 living in New Bern, NC. It was about $10,000 more than the 290 but, it came with the extra 3 feet and you could feel it onboard. I would say the 290 was actually just a tad better maintained and had a couple more extras. However, the extra room of the 326 won out since the upkeep and extras were very close.
We have secured payment, insurance and slip to keep her in. Unfortunately we won't be able to sail for a couple weeks though due to work schedules and the Annapolis Spring Sail boat show that we already had paid for.
I can't wait to report on our first sail from New Bern, NC to her new home in Oriental, NC. But until then I'll leave you with a few pictures and stats on our first boat.
2002 Hunter 326 Sloop