Thoughts on new boats
I just completed the process of buying a boat under almost the same criteria (it comes in next week!!!!), except I have two kids and my wife also wanted a separate stall shower. Like many of the above posts have suggested I looked at the used market. If you’re willing to have a ten-year-old plus boat, you may be able to get into a Sabre 362 or a Tartan 3700 in the upper end of your price range. I (more accurately the Admiral) did not want a ten-year-old boat so we ended up going new. Also as suggested, we found the e-mail lists on SailNet plus the owners’ sites (the ones put together by actual owners, not the companies) to provide a lot of insights into what types of issues people are having with their boats. Also, people are fairly willing to engage in one to one e-mail discussions to answer specific questions. Despite the general negativity on this board around any boat that might actually fit your criteria such as a Beneteau 361, Catalina 350, Jeanneau 37 or Bavaria 37 (its only a matter of time before someone suggests you buy a Trawler), you actually can get some good advice from some people in this group! Best of luck to you in your search.