Re: Boat Candidate options wanted
From the size perspective, I'll share our experience. We spent 12 years with a 40 footer that we shared with partners. When it came time to move on, neither couple really wanted to keep the boat, it was a big, brawny boat (will always be my 'favourite') and we all felt it would be more than one couple could handle, no windlass, no furler, no refrig, etc.... So we sold it, for more or less what we had paid 12 years earlier (which backs up your premise in another thread, David)
When my wife and I shopped for its replacement we thought, 30 feet should do nicely. But having lived with 40 it was very difficult to find a 30 that didn't feel cramped that was within budget, including the C30, one of the roomiest around. In the end we settled on a (admittedly smallish) 35 footer and still feel that's the 'right size'. We gained a lot of amenities, but a nicely proportioned sailplan that still, 8 years later, feels light and manageable with quite a nice amount of interior space and storage below.
I don't think you need to go to 40 feet, but also don't think you need/want to settle for 30 either. Of course a newer factor is that the more recent boats have much more space below per foot LOA than older 80s designs, so there is that... but beware the loss of good storage!
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)