Originally Posted by sailingdog
Rather than going with a 50' monohull, I'd highly recommend you look at going with something like a Chris White designed Atlantic 42 catamaran. It will have more living space than a 50' boat, and it is specifically designed to be sailed short-handed. The pilothouse and forward cockpit allow you to sail the boat relatively easily in even the worst weather in relative safety. It is probably less money than many 45-50' monohulls as well.
Second the motion! Catamarans provide you with additional privacy in addition to a saner traffic flow; with your kids and grandkids that will all be very welcome. Enjoy the whole process, though, shopping for boats and then finding one you love and then refitting to whatever your own cruising style will be are all exciting and wonderful precursors to the (bounding) main event. Stop me before I pun again...