You don't mention your budget
, but all the boats mentioned are good choices. Full disclosure -- I have a Tartan 34 on the market. Previously we owned a Bristol 27. The first generation Bristols are very solid CCA designs, but are pretty tight below. If you can afford a second generation Bristol like a 35.5, take a look. They're gorgeous.
We loved our Tartan 34, but it's got pluses and minuses for a family (don't they all!) We sailed ours to Maine
and down into the Block Island to Nantucket
zone frequently. The four foot draft with the board up is a real plus on the south side of Cape Cod
. They're a very pretty S&S design. They sail very well though the sheeting angles don't get you to weather
like a newer boat and, as with other IOR designs, they tend to wallow when pointed too deep downwind.
There's decent space below to pack in a crowd of kids
if they get along. The bulkhead table is a real plus in that it's out of the way when not in use giving more space below. The ice box has access from the cockpit as well as below. That's a plus with a bunch of kids on a hot summer day. The big cockpit with the wheel
forward and the traveler just in front of the wheel is a double-edged sword. Good access to sheets
and the companionway
. However, guests/children are sitting behind the helmsman and there's a lot of clambering around to move ahead/behind the helmsman. The boat is initially tender
so you're heeled going to weather
which makes the clambering more of a challenge. The admiral and I managed a very creditable pas de deux and never had issues when it was the two of us. More of a challenge with a crowd.
There are a lot of solid designs in your target size range. Many of the more common ones -- Bristol, Pearson, Tartan -- come with active on line owners' groups to help solve issues. Unless you have very deep pockets, don't discount the value of that support. A fellow Tartan 34 owner gave me a brand new rudder
for a case of beer
a few years back. Long story, but good people.