Originally Posted by bljones
There is a sweet spot between having enough room and having too much boat for you to manage. And that sweet spot is likely different for each person, family or couple. Some couples are perfectly happy with a 25' boat. Other families require a Lagoon for crusing the carib. Others want to circumnavgate in comfort, so a crewed 65' boat is the only option they will choose.
The type of cruising you want to do plays a role. If you want to gunkhole, then draft becomes an issue. Circumnavigation? different needs. Determine where you want to go and how you want to go, and find the boat that best suits YOU.
That's exactly where I was taking this... My feeling is that money has lot to do in what is "essential" gear and what makes an ideal cruising boat probably just as much as seaworthiness. Yes, of course if we are going to be all "purist", that sub 30 footer with a sextant, a compass and an old salt at the helm is probably a very noble way to look at the question... but IMHO reality is that for most of us, the size of our boat and the extent of gear we carry on our boats will be much more to do with what we can afford rather than what is considered "sensible cruising" as per the original post.
Again, IMHO... what do I know after all. The only thing I've cruised so far is the net. Lots to learn.