We started with a 24 Shark - another C&C built boat - and really liked the look of the Niagara 26 at the time (still do, for that matter) more like a grown up shark than the rest of the C&C line.
The C&C 24 is a nice boat too, and any of the models mentioned here will do fine.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)