5 people means 4 good or excellent seaberths, 1 for each offwatch person, plus a place for the on watch person to sit without bumping a sleeper. Excellent would be a pilot berth, very good would be a quarter berth, good would be a settee that has to be converted every night. Berths in an aft cabin
would also be good, the motion at the end of the boat could keep it from being very good. A dinette would not make a good seaberth because of the amount of work required to convert twice daily.
Keep in mind that with kids
their berths need to be permanent, they need at least that much stability and personal space, so they need to get a quarter berth, pilot berth or aft cabin
berth. A settee or dinette that converts will not be good enough. Sharing a double berth would be a big stretch for them too unless it is big enough to subdivide in some substantial and permanent way.
For the adults in port you will get the forepeak. Underway you will be bunking in the main cabin, but you will also each be spending a lot of time on watch in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep and loneliness may become a problem. The problem of visitors aboard that stay late keeping the kids up probably will come up rarely.
SHARKI 39 (AMEL) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
KIRK 36 (AMEL) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
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Your complement of 5 includes 3 kids who initially would not be able to contribute much to normal sailing and will be a slight distraction in bad situations, one parent will have to periodically check on them, and no way are you going to let them on deck
when things are bad so they can't contibute even marginally. So in essence you are double-handed or slightly less.
To that end boat handling should be as simple as possible. For sails
you need a main with 3 reef points. A trysail would be nice if it is permanently set on it's own separate track. Roller furling
for mains has not become reliable enough for serious sailing away from the developed world.
for the headsail has become a lot more reliable in recent years but I am not necessarily advocating that. I personally would only be comfortable with a roller furling
headsail if there was an inner forestay and running backstays
for a staysail with hanked on sails
. In addition to the extra sail area of the staysail and it's ability to carry a storm jib
the extra rigging
would provide redundant support for the upper reaches of the mast
. The forestay could be installed with a removable fitting at the tack to allow more convenient tacking in confined areas where short tacking is necessary.
Short handed and cruising, spinnaker
use is not very convenient or safe so most cruisers don't use them. Instead they tend to use CodeZero's or Drifters. A drifter is a lightweight, .5-1.5oz material, usually nylon, genoa
(150-180%) set flying or with a small number of hanks on the headstay. If you have a roller furling
headsail then either a drifter is precluded or it will need to have a tape luff to fit in the foil. The CodeZero is an asymetrical spinnaker
cut very flat and usually set on a roller furler
. It is flown from the bow or a short bowsprit
. The CodeZero is significantly larger than a drifter but will not point nearly as high, whereas a drifter can be used up to close hauled, though it does not perform as well as the course nears a dead run. One of these is needed in order to enhance light wind
progress or you will find yourself motoring a lot more.
To me the choice would depend on available money
since the CodeZero costs a lot more than the drifter, perhaps twice as much. While they each have their strengths, the both perform acceptably over most points of sail.
You will want the boat to steer itself. To this end you will need a windvane
or an autopilot
or both. A windvane
costs significantly more than an autopilot
but is more reliable over the longterm. If you go the autopilot route
, you will need to spend money
to increase your battery
capacities in order to operate the autopilot so the cost difference many not be as big as it appears when you first look at the situation. The recommendation I like the best is to get a windvane and a small autopilot for use in very light winds and when motoring.