Originally Posted by pwillems
This is really a very interesting topic for me... How about if money wasn't an issue? Most arguments I have seen here for the ideal cruising boat are based around the exponential increase in purchase and upkeep costs of the systems with each eack extra foot of LOA.
In short, in around 10 years when we set off, if all goes well, we should be in a relatively good position and probably not overly concerned about the cost of the boat and it's upkeep (within reason). In a case like this what would be the ideal boat for long term cruising? Would you still stick to a smaller vessel with less systems but a nicer pedigree (Tayana, IPY etc...) or rather go for something larger with room for plenty of toys to make the trip fun, a washing machine and a happy wife?
We chose a smaller boat than we could afford but the largest boat we could handle - smaller lighter sails, small enough that we could warp her around by hand if things went sour (or just to turn around in a slip so we could leave when we wanted to and not wait on tides/currents); use our dinghy to be our own 'towboat'. For us, that was a heavy traditional-looking 33-footer. The downside is that the short waterline makes her slow.
I may have missed what type of cruising you're planning, and that has to factor into your decision as well - our present boat is not one I'd cross the Pacific in, or go to Alaska, but it's perfect for coastal & limited bluewater cruising in the tropics. For example, very large opening hatches make it easy to keep the boat cool and breezy.
As for the washing machine - faggeddaboudit. If you REALLY want happy wife, plan your budget to allow giving your laundry to one of the locals to wash & fold & return it to you next day.