There is no shortage of cruisers happily cruising in steel boats under 40 feet, some much smaller. The 40 ft minimum for steel is a myth.
3/16th plate gives you lots of room for corrosion, with little worry about strength.
Any chance you recognize this particular boat?
The broker sent me the survey from 2004. One thing that caught my eye was that, although the boat got overall high marks, the surveyor mentioned in the report that the interior layout was tight and could have been better thought-out.
This surprised me. Is this characteristic of Snowbirds. I realize a 30' is going to be tighter than a 40', is there some other component in play?