Originally Posted by pwillems
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.
I think that is probably true for a lot of people, that they get as "much" boat as they can - it certainly seems to be true for cars, houses, and whatever else people buy. Many people do grow out of that eventually, however.