In your price
range you have many, many options, and many ways to get what you don't want. The first thing you need to do is get some experience so you can realize what is and isn't important to you. With so many options you are going to be dizzy with decisions. Probably the most important consideration is... can you single
hand the boat. With kids that age one of you will almost always be busy dealing with a kid issue while the other is dealing with the boat. While bigger is better for space, you will need to be sure that you have the means to handle the boat by yourself. In a larger boat that may mean power winches and other high maintenance gear
. One thing to also consider is that large sails
mean high forces on gear
. With high forces on the sheets
there is a large chance for injuries when tired or if something fails. This becomes especially important with little ones around. I personally would limit myself to under 50' for sure, and would probably stick to the 45' range. At your kids ages sharing a berth is probably a good thing. There are creative ways to do this. You do not need a separate cabin
for each child. Three cains or four max.
If it were me, I would be looking at a Manta
or a St Francis in your price range. I am sure there are several other good choices as well. If you have time, take a trip to the Anapolis boat show
ASAP. In addition to the new boats, the catamaran
center always has a large selection of used cats on display. It is a short walk or ferry
launch ride between the two.