Thanks CD/Jeff. Great feedback. It's great to be here and talking about boats again (oh, and I'd love to hear from that owner BTW).
I have always loved the Firsts. But, I will admit, within my specs/budget - the biggest downside for every one I've looked at thus far is the stupid headliner. THEY ALL SAG! And it's not cheap fixing them. But...they sail...no doubt.
Anytime to speak with him. He and I are very, very good friends. Damn knowledgeable sailor too. Been all over he carribean, bahamas, spent 5 years in venezuela, etc.
My issue with the FIrsts is that they aren't fast enough to outrun a solid, high performance race boat so you are going to be running PHRF anyways so get something that does OK, but is comfortable for the family - which is critical if you ever want to look into more distant options as we discussed.
THe fridge and freezer on that boat is big enough to put a few refugees in, the salon is wide and comfortable with nice backroom, the table is large for several people, the aft berth and showers are great and roomy, and the cockpit is nice and well made. THere are two heads which is nice when you get two boys aboard and the nonskid is better than most boats. THis isn't a thin-plastic boat like some Hunter has made. There are a few little building glitches with it, but all boats have them (errhmm, except mine of course!!). I know that boat will run a comfortable 7.5 in 15-20. I have been there when it did it. Course, I was running about 8.2 so (hehe... had to throw that in there). That is a live-aboard boat, btw. BIG DIFFERENCE from a weekender that is light and empty.
Anyways, happy to help.