Re: Performance Cruisers and Racer/Cruisers
We've done a lot of miles in the Caribbean on a 36.7 - it's a treat to sail and very responsive. It does lack some storage, the head access is a bit odd.. you have to fight your way around the table, and the galley is on the small side, but as far as a sailing machine I'd have one in a minute. The removeable cockpit locker/seats are an option there too. Also the one we were on is a rare tiller version, which makes the two aft cabins equal in size. We were able to easily accommodate 6 adults on board for a couple of weeks. (granted all were accustomed to living aboard in tight quarters)
The 40.7 would be a notch up, I'd expect and should be a good one too. I'm not sure that there's anything readily available in the NA market that would beat any of the 'Firsts' on that comparison scale (performance AND comfort cruising) except perhaps the J 109 and her larger sisters.. but cost is a big factor there.
If you're following PCPs thread you'll know there are plenty of Euro models that would suit.. shame they are not more widely marketed here though they'd likely be very expensive if they were.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)