Everyone has an opinion on the "perfect boat" and many would most likely be right! For my part, I bought a used Valiant 40 in the late 80's and have never looked back. I singlehanded the boat as far as Rarotonga (Cook Islands) and there met the love of my life and so the single
days are over. I think the Valiant was what she liked more than me!
The boat has been awesome. I have now lived aboard for almost 24 years. The older Valiants do have there drawbacks (fire retardant resins used) but you can get them cheap
. We did the hull
fix-up for the fire-retardant goop Uniflite used about 14 years ago. It is not that hard or expensive to do.... just very time consuming... and you must be fit. So far, no more issues at all...
40 feet used to be a "big boat" but from the well monied people we see out here today, on much bigger boats, it seems not so anymore.
I always joke that even if someone gave me a bigger boat for being a "great guy" i would have to turn around a sell her. The point is that 40 feet is about what I can afford to maintain and not have to work too often. As boats increase in size the cost of owning them increases exponentially. Anything you can think of for the boat gets more costly. That means you have to be wealthy or working to keep it going. As we are not wealthy we rely on our ingenuity to keep things going for the most part. This has worked out well (mostly) for all this time.
The Valiant 40 has been synonymous with ocean-going cruising for decades now. Sea Kindly and loaded with design features to keep you comfortable. The older ones are a bargain if you can put some elbow
grease into sprucing them up. Thats my '2 cents' worth.