Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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This seems to be the topic of the week. I would look at some of the previous discussions on boats for 5 people in the past few weeks. For 5 adults, you need a boat that minimally displaces around 22,000 lbs with something closer to 30,000 lbs being more ideal. If you want this boat to be reasonably fast then you are looking for a boat that is sloop rigged with a working sail plan (i.e. based on SA with a 100% jib and not with a genoa) of roughly 900 to 1000 square feet (or cutter rigged with 1100 s.f to 1200 s.f in its working sail plan) and a waterline length somewhere above 38 feet. This will probably be a boat around 45 feet. You can get by with smaller boat of course but it comes at the price of speed or the ability to carry adequate supplies or both.
Sailing across the Pacific is roughly the equiveilent of 6 to 10 normal years of sailing for a coastal cruiser so you are looking for a boat that was well constructed to begin with and well maintained and upgraded over its lifespan.
Which brings us to your budget. I know of nothing under $100,000 that even begins to meet your goals. Probably my best single suggestion would be to try to find an older Peterson 44 without teak decks that someone has upgraded and maintained. The Peterson 44''s have always stuck me as a very balanced design for your purposes.
There has been a lot of discussion on this lately so I would do a search.