Hi... It's all relative re the size. I'm shopping for a liveaboard/cruiser and I know I want to keep it under 30 for many financial reasons. Would I love bigger, yes, but with every foot of LOA $$$$$$.
Are you planning to insure boat at least for liability? ask a couple of insurance brokers to give you quotes on the boats with and without diesel.
I live in a similiar climate and if my boat doesn't have insulation I will retrofit as much as possible. I want to be WARM even if I am squished.
Let us hear about your progress !
sv Mary T Pearson P35
2012 Fall Cruising MD to Fla
2013 Winter Abacos Bahamas
2013 Summer Deale MD Chesapeake