Our short list was based on OPO -- Other People's Opinions. We don't know enough to have an informed opinion on various boats.
After a few hours with a professional, however, a few things became clear. We have specific needs and preferences. Even though we don't know much about the wide variety of boat models, it turns out we do know some of what we're looking for.
While there are a lot of things that one can value in a boat, the broker noticed one common theme to our poking around.
Stowage. Stuff. Supplies.
What did we spend the most time looking at? Cupboards and closets and cabinets, lazarettes and lockets.
Not on purpose; it just worked that way.
We weren't clear on this when we started, but as we talked about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, it become clear to a level-headed third-party that we wanted a place for our stuff so we could take long trips.
Really long trips.
We didn't lay out any grand plan or detailed cruising agenda, but somehow we communicated a dream of longer voyages.
And that took the Morgan 38's off the list. The center cockpit is nice. But there's not enough space. And it put Island Packet back on the list. Plus it changed our sense of how we'll have to finance things.