While this does require a little bit of work, it is well worth it because not only does it organize all the information swimming around in our heads on one piece of paper, it offers a side by side comparison of the boats we are looking at. We learned a lot when we put the boats we are considering into this spreadsheet, and discovered that our contenders are - as we suspected - very different indeed. They are, however, all appealing in their own ways - what one boat has, another does not and visa versa. There is no glaring "winner" which is precisely why a spreadsheet like this was so necessary.
For those of you looking for a boat and interested in our spreadsheet, the information we gather is the following:
For most of these line items, you will want to know at least three things: a) if the boat has said item b)type and c)year. For many of these articles, you will also want to make specific notes on the condition. Do not forget to include things on this list that are not only important to you, but things that you have grown to like such as, "aft deck shower" or "# of opening ports/hatches". You will not get all of this information from a listing, you will most likely need to speak to the broker and probably even the owner to get all of these questions answered. In the "notes" section, Scott and I made specific observations about what said boat would need to get it up to the cruising condition that we are used to, such as: "needs SSB" or "needs watermaker". Other notes such as "dinghy unsuitable" or "radar and chartplotter may have issues" went in that section as well.
We put all of the items listed above in one single column on an excel spreadsheet, and then in the subsequent columns filled out the appropriate information for Boat A, Boat B...etc. That way, all the information is side by side and very easy to compare. You'll be surprised what you learn when you view boats this way!
Again, we're not telling you what we've come up with - but we do have some answers (wink) - and it looks like we'll be making an offer on Boat #1 in the near future! Might we have a new home in the next month?!?
Brittany, Scott & Isla