There is also the question of duration for your cruise
to think about.
You can easily live/cruise on a smaller boat for a year...but if that turns into 5yrs, well then you could need more space. We cruised quite comfortably on a 36ft boat but then we wanted to live aboard longer term we then up sized to a 50ft-er so everyone could have their own room.
The other thing to remember is the Danger
People in general give advice on what works for THEM because that's our basis of knowledge...but are we like you? Do we dry camp, Do we stay at Motel 6, or do we stay at the Hyatt Regency? Are we happy driving a 20yr old Honda
CR-V or is our definition of a safe car a new leased Mercedes SUV? These "what it takes to be happy" type of questions will dictate the advice and answers we give. People told me we were absolutely crazy to head
out cruising on a 36ft boat with two kids
, we needed to wait and save up for a larger boat to "do it right". Well some of those same "do it right" folks are still saving and planning while we went cruising and are still living aboard
9yrs later. So with all due respect to the advice people give (Including Me) you need to figure this out for yourself because only you and your family know if you can survive on a 50ft Mono or need a Cat.
One more thing....
Don't make the mistake almost everyone makes in assuming your boat has to be perfectly set up before you leave...that is BS. How do you know how to outfit a Cruising boat for what works for YOU without the experience of cruising? You can't. So get a boat...and GO for that first year in the Carib. Figure out what gear
and systems you then need and do those with first hand knowledge rather than what other people with different ideas tell you...there...that is my advice de jour. It's the Caribbean...not the South Pacific
...and half the boats down there the experts will tell you can't be or shouldn't be!
Ok..on more, one more...ignore the people that say it can't be done without this...that...or more money
. It maybe can't be done for THEM...but not for YOU.