Jboat . you never went back to read the other thread you started.
Re: First boat for Delaware River
I'd stay 25ft or larger for the river. Your spouse and kids will need more room then you think. If money is an issue, consider joining one of the many Yacht clubs even though only a few have sailboat members in addition to the power boats. Philly marine center doesn't have lift or storage.. the closest for that would be Neshaminy state Marina in Croydon pa. allot of boats for sale there too.
Also, if your interested in racing, there is East Enders YC. a racing only club that saild from my club every Tuesday evening.
this is the link to ALL the YCs on the River. http://dryl.org/
Philly has liberty sailing club. Liberty Sailing Club - Penn's Landing - Philadelphia, PA
Essington is a good choice for clubs and marinas, NJ has winters sailing center in riverside, Speak to Don he can find you a boat if you wish to use a broker. He can find you top of the line as well as fixer uppers.
Ships, and barges although big and scary are way more predictable then the big sport fishing power boats that ply the river.
My club has mostly 30ft and larger but there are a couple of Pearson 26, and catalina 25, and a endeavor 32 is the only one for sale that I know of. .I know of a pearson 30 racing boat that may or may not be for sale.. I could ask.
I personally feel it's a mistake to buy a smaller boat for "learning" that's money that can go towards the boat you really want. I also feel larger boats are easier to learn on. Smaller boats will get you in touch with the water quite well... if you know what I mean. Your wife may not like that either. Your more then welcome to come visit my club and talk with the avid racers.
We say around here. "if you can sail the River you can sail anywhere, and this time of the year is bad. just like on the Chessy.. we are in the doldrums until late Sept give or take a few weeks.
There is sailing to be had on the River. and below Philly it's big water and still big up my way but not as intimidating as the Philly water front. watch out for ducs anchored in the channel with women and children screaming for the barge to stop! (recent tragedy)