Correct, 38 is a charter. I realize a a 48 or 55 would be quite large but anyone buying a cat is looking at 38 as a minimum pretty much. I am also thinking safety here - would you rather be in the middle of the Pacific in a 38 foot boat or a 48 foot boat? I don't know about the rest of you but bigger is better to my mind here. I wouldn't have crew but I don't see myself not sailing or putting up a main - thats just nuts.
I agree, a 55 though is really getting up there; but anything 45-48 is kinda what to me looks like the minimum that would be liveable without feeling like being in a cramped little trailer.