need boat advice...new to sailing!
Several years ago we were in your exact same position, except we''re in maine and have only one daughter (then 4). We wanted to be able to do overnights, so we looked at boats with small galleys, heads, and table. We looked at Pearson Ariels, Pearson Tritons (great boat!) another Pearson from that era with a bigger cockpit & smaller cabin (can''t remember the model), Bristols, and finally we found a 1975 Tartan 27. We bought her for $4000. She was a great boat for us, pretty forgiving and safe, with roller furling jib, a keel-centerboard and good layout, and a huge cockpit (self draining!). We did many overnights on her and my daughter loved it. However, we soon needed more room and moved up to a Tartan 30 the next year!