You can refer to my previous reply regarding the J22 which basically would be the same thought process for the J24.
However there are differences in the boats.
The J24 has more room down below, however the 22 has a much more comfortable cockpit!
I think the 24 is a more fun boat to sail and has a better feel on the helm
. The 24's are pretty much a neutral helm boat.
There are a lot of 24's to choose from however most are beat to death with wet decks (core saturation). However that can be fixed with some effort.
Limited cruising with a family would be tough on a 22 less on a 24 if you can put up with hardware
everywhere and no place to really sit without coming in contact with some piece of deck hardware
Also the 24 needs a genoa
in light air to move and I would definitely only recommend a non-over lapping headsail for cruising with a family.
So......if your priorities are sailing pleasure then go for the 22 or if you want more protection from the elements while at anchor
then the 24.
In a blow then it would not matter to me if I were in a 22 or 24.....they both have their limitations.
Despite the small size J-Boats, they can really take a beating when compared with other production boats of similar sizes.
I recommend them strongly.
Just make sure the standing rigging
is sound and your tiller is not going to come apart and you should be fine.
Have you checked the prices on the J27 or 30?
Good luck and happy adventures.