Well, I've posted about this topic a few times and it's not decided yet, but after a long chat tonight the decision is coming closer.

Assuming we go ahead, here's my dilemma.... accommodation and space below is important, we want something big enough to use as an apartment, but I'm getting very nervous about spending all my money plus some, and buying a 50-odd footer as a starter mobo. Ideally we've got about 180k max to throw at this. Example, Targa 48/52, Camargue 50, Princess V52. Boats like this would I'm sure meet the brief for both accommodation and the smoother/stable ride and seakeeping in the max F4/5 that we'd choose to go out in. Concerns are handling, parking, costs, and reliability (as we could only afford a boat at this size, about 17-20 years old).

One transition option would be to go for something that's much smaller internally than we'd ideally want but which is newer, cheaper to buy and run and which we can use to learn on, and sell on in a couple of seasons. Hence, maybe, a more sensible decision. Examples might be Targa 39/42, Princess V42, Sealine S38. Or, newer examples of coupe /HT style boats from Ben/Jen/Bav etc.

Is this a bad idea... advantages seem to be that it's a smaller boat for less money and lighter, more forgiving of a mistake, easier to handle, less to go wrong, easier to park, cheaper to berth and insure, uses (much) less fuel, less depreciation. I'd be concerned that the ride/security/stability that my wife finds very important might be missing in a smaller boat.

Comments welcome.