Check out the Norseman 447. Extremely well-built boats. But then, I'm a little biased as we own a Norseman 400 and love everything about it. It's perfect for two, but I think would be too small for 5-6 liveaboards.
Remember, you are selecting a boat that is safe and liveable first. Finding one that sails
(or motors) well and can be easily handled by you (while your wife is below with the kids
or sleeping) or her (while you're below with the kids
or sleeping) is also important. But keep in mind, your entire family
will need to shower
, use the toilet, eat, and drink everyday. Find a boat that is safe and livable first. Sailing and moving the boat won't take nearly as much time over the course of your cruising dream as cooking
a day and living. There is a HUGE difference between being a cruiser and being a sailboat racer
Some of the complaints we've heard other cruisers make about their own boats include:
- Not having a separate shower space (everything in the head gets wet)
- Shower drain empties into the bilge instead of overboard
- Not enough refrigeration space and no/little freezer space (no ice)
- No way to access wiring, hoses, and everything behind the cabin top, walls, and sole. Everything is glued down. (The Norseman's interior can be disassembled and reassembled and provides access to practically everything.)
- Too hard - or impossible - for one person to handle. Or takes two people just to change tack or sails.
Best of luck!