Clansman is a nice boat. IMHO a better choice than the similar Compass 28/29 and on par with the Duncanson 29. My second keel boat was a Northerner 28 which was the predecessor to the Compas 28 so I have a little experience with them.
Objections ? To be frank it is going to be pretty cramped for four people. Yes they can sleep four but that dinette is going to somewhat cosy for eating and the head is not really enclosed. Lousy tankage, lack of stowage space.
Positives include a boat with few vices that can be easily handled by one and if called upon to do so can handle the rough stuff. They are well regarded so tend to hold value reasonably well.
Must say though that I'd be inclined to check this out. Newer, OK so only three permanent berths but nicer galley, looks to be more spacious dinette and underwater suggests a more nimble performer.
Brett, how's the East Coast going ? Great little boats. Bit past their prime nowadays but in their day a well performed racer/cruiser with quite a few examples having gone to Hobart. As Brett said, more expensive but probably worth it. btw ... I thought the East Coast was a Peter Cole design ??? (I confess I am a fan and that may colour my judgement. Almost from the day I bought it I wished I had stumped up the extra cash to buy an East Coast rather than the Northerner. Nothing in the interim has made me change my mind though the East Coast would be less forgiving of operator error.
Hey Bent .... I lost my phone last week and my backup address book didn't restore properly to the new one. Could you give me a call sometime so I can get your numbers again.