My husband and I are in the very early stages of preparing to cruise with our two young daughters in three years. Our daughters will be 3 and 4 years old. We have begun to look at boats and were thinking the mid 30ft range and were wondering if this would be a good size. We recently looked at a Morgan Out Island 41 and liked the forward berth bunks and the aft cabin design but 41 ft is a lot a boat and the price was not right. For others who have cruised with two small children, what size boat have you sailed?
We coastal cruised with our daugther and son from babies to adults. Our first boat, 28', was plenty for two adults and two small bodies. Mostly weekends but also a winter in the Bahamas.
When they reached 10 to 12, things started to get smaller. Berths, galley, dinghy, cockpit, head, lockers. We still did it in the smaller boat, but when an old 38'er found us, there was a collective sigh of pleasure from all of us.
The best part of the bigger boat was that it has two pilot berths. A 1961 design, our Alden Challenger is tiny by today's boats standards. But I can't for the life of me think of a worse arrangement for two siblings than an aft cabin. Our two got along so well together, but kids are kids. Two kids in an aft cabin would be like putting your dog and cat back there.
At 3 and 4 years old, many arrangements will work well. You don't need a big boat. Think of each having their own space to sleep and a small area to stow their stuff in a way that leaves the boat open for you to use when their sleeping(napping during daylight).
Think of a cockpit big enough for all of you underway and at anchor(you'll spend most of your time there).
You can find these spaces on smaller boats, but many are not designed with kids in mind.
Good luck, best thing we ever did was sail with our kids for 2 decades.