Since the OP mentioned children
Ill chime in here.
Technically we are not on her full time yet but soon.
After considering all the pros and cons and our situation we've settled on a beautiful Nantucket Islander
33' a center cockpit
with walk through head
. I was a bit worried the cockpit
would be a bit small but it suits us fine and we have back rails that help you feel secure in heavy seas (along with many clip in points)
We are a family
of 4 2 young girls but don't see why this boat couldn't handle teens. I guess it's all about what you get used to.
Heck there's family's 2x as big living in smaller accommodations, that are content.
I think a lot is about set up layout and what you are after.
Sailing is a big requirement and everything we do about getting her ready is with a mind to cruising and making passages.
Minimizing and simplifying goes a long way. Getting creative with storage
and making sure everything has a secure place and is put away so that you can sail within minutes instead of hours. This I feel is important because it gives a small living place a sense of freedom and grandeur. Otherwise your just at the dock
in a small place.
Another important requirement for us was the boat needed a nice interior
. For us that meant a bit of a salty character and nice timber and layout.
To us this makes it cosy instead of small.
Other things we are doing is insulation
for comfort, plush seating and we will be adding a bulkhead propane
P-9000 for ambiance and comfort.
A cockpit you can seal up in inclement weather
, having good ventilation etc is to me very important more so than a few extra feet.
Anyway that's my two bob.