Cal 34 vs. Irwin 34
We are now looking at 2 boats that are in the length range we desire...(30 to 34 feet.) and somewhat within our price range. The Cal 34 is older (1968) but much more affordable. It has a newer fully battened main, and a spinnaker with gear. The Irwin (1979) has more "creature comforts", but not as nice "sailing" amenities, i.e. original sails, no spinnaker, no genoa cars/tracks, and a much smaller steering wheel (is this important?) and priced about $15k more. We are considering getting a survey of the Cal....
Anyway, what we're really wondering is ...is one of these a more reputable, solid, respectable boat? We're new to sailing and we have little knowledge about different brands of boats. We will be using it to cruise with our kids (2 boys, one, 9 and a very disabled little guy who's 7) in the Northern Great Lakes area. We are upsizing from a 22ft Spirit trailerable. We want to upsize in order to be able to sail more safely in the Great Lakes with my disabled son. (He's unable to walk or even support his head well) Both of the interiors would work for our son,...he could be comfortably lodged in a quarter berth with padding. He loves to go everywhere with us!
Any advice would be appreciated.