The perfect 35-40 footer
Thanks for all those suggestions. Noted and agreed with. The Southern Cross 35 looks a bit small (no quarter berth?) though nice. The 39 is a real possibility. There's an unprotected prop, but you probably can't have anything. The price looks right, as do the specs.
In the end there is bound to be some compromise and you have to compensate for that with your own flexibility and seamanship.
Re proper second cabin I agree this would be highly desireable, but it takes you to 40 feet most likely and the flip side of that of course is automatic higher costs than closer to 35 feet. I think a decent quarter berth would be a useful retreat even if not permanent sleeping cabin for two adults. Our last boat was a Contessa 26 -- yes, with two children and for weeks at a time -- so almost ANYTHING is going to feel spacious!
We are in NY, so mostly going to look in the NE and Maryland.
Saw those two Freyas, but want to avoid steel and a huge project. There are nice Freyas but they come up rarely...
Seems to me the PSC, Shannon and Valiant deserve their reputations but they are going to be old and the prices are possibly inflated, ie paying for the name. At that age it might be that some of these others, selling at 20K less, are no worse and, with the upgrades you're bound to end up doing anyway, might be just as good if not better.
There's a lot of boat in a 60K Rafiki, 70K Southern Cross or Wauquiez Pretorien...
Any more thoughts -- or EXPERIENCE -- about seaworthiness of Bayfields, Rafikis, Southern Cross or other less well known ones much appreciated.