My wife and I just returned from the New York Boat Show. We went there fully armed with your Buy With Confidence Book and Reports.
Before going to the show we decided not to go for anything larger than 25 feet -- again with the help of your book -- therefore we eliminated the 27 foot we were looking at. We also looked at another new 25 footer before the show and eliminated that too...the new design really ruins the cockpit as far as we're concerned, and the entry into the mid/aft cabin is now so tight only a child can get in there as far as we're concerned.
Anyway, it took us 1.5 days to go through all the other 25' Express Cruisers at the show. We short-listed down to four 25'ers.
After getting initial price markers, we decided it was worth the extra money (approx. $10K) to go with the top quality boats.
Then we got down to brass tacks between the last two. We really liked both boats, and each had some nice, unique features/benefits the other did not have. We didn't have time to go through every point in your Inspect It Yourself Report in check-off list fashion, but we did keep as many items in mind as possible when looking at the boats.
We were down to the wire deciding between the two. Then we remembered one of your key points about going through the windshield pass through, onto the foredeck, and walking over to the bow cleats and anchor. And that's when we discovered a fatal flaw in our choice #1. Just forward of the pass through is a really nice foam cushion. Great for sunbathing but not a great non-skid surface to walk upon. On each side of the cushion was a sloping, triangular shaped piece of Plexiglas surrounded by smooth fibreglass. Again, a great feature for adding light to the cabin but again, no safe place to walk. Overall, the foredeck slanted down towards the bow rather steeply. Just sitting stationary at the boat show, we felt totally unsafe walking around the bow. We could only imagine what it would be like trying to get up there on a rough, windy, wet day! The salesman -- in this case the owner of the dealership -- tried to convince us that this was not important. He said we could get by docking by using the midships and aft cleats, and then tie onto the bow cleat from the dock. Ha! (And what about anchoring???) He also pointed out the 2" wide non skid "walkway" underneath the bow rails. (A toddler just might be able to walk along this, carefully placing one foot directly ahead of the other foot...) If we had purchased this boat, an otherwise fantastic boat, we would have found out very quickly that we had made a major mistake!
We went back to look at choice #2 and its foredeck was completely non-skid, much less steep, with easy and safe access to the entire bow area. So we bought it and we are very pleased with our decision.
But if it had not been for your expert guidance, we likely would have opted for choice #1 and this would have been a major error for us! So many thanks for the assistance. The money we paid for your book and reports was a very wise investment!
So now we want to go ahead and order your wife's book, I think it's titled "First Mate 101." Please send me ordering instructions."
Irwin D. Nathanson, New York