Re: Trailer sailer
I started with the same dream as you have about 2 years ago. I also have the same spouse issues, lol. So here's what I did:
I read these and other sites like crazy and absorbed as much knowledge as possible. I then took ASA 101 and learned the basics of sailing.
I wrote on a sheet of paper the pros and cons of what boat would fit our needs, taking into account our intended use, $$, tow vehicle, area of use, bunks, sleeping, sailing ability, motors, ect.
Sleep on it for 6 months. Lol
Read lots more and revise your list.
I bought a Mac26X and we love it. It fits our needs and our sailing area well. The wife likes it, likes the enclosed head, and the cabin space. The kids like that I can tow them the inner tubes for part of the day, or just motor about. I like that i can raise the sails and do my thing in total peace and quiet.
It's not a great sail boat, or a great motor boat. But it does both good enough for us. Ours has a 50hp Honda, and at wot we can hit 17 kts. At sail I usually do 4-5 kts, but as my sail trim improves, so does my speed. My Mac won't win any races, but I could care less. I can raise the mast with the mast raising system by myself, and have the boat in the water ready to go in 40 min. With help, 25-30 min. We frequently sleep over night on her and enjoy the room and comfort. I keep her in my backyard when not in use, and is easy to work on.
I also have well under 10k invested at this time.
My BIG advice is this: In my personal opinion, a Mac is not, repeat not, a blue water boat. I would not risk my loved ones on rough open stormy water. It's a good lake/limited (proper planned/good weather) coastal boat.
Re-read the posts on this topic as their is some mighty good advice.