Provided they are professionally built or built to a professional standard most Van de Stadts are great boats.
We have a 34' steel, built late 80's and have never had any cause to regret the purchase. While a 34' steeler is never going to be the fastest thing on the water she still sails quite well enough though she needs a bit of wind to get going. Reality is that's a feature of most small(ish) steel boats. We didn't set out to buy a steel boat, indeed we bought her despite that fact.
It's true some Stadt's have odd interior arrangements but in the main they are comfortable boats for long term cruising or liveaboard.
While we'd like to go a bit bigger in the long term, I'd happily sail our old girl anywhere.
If you like, let me know which designs you are looking at and if I am able I'll comment on the specific designs.
Cheers (and welcome to the forum)
ps - Van de Stads have been built as production boats, e.g The early model Dehler 34 was a Van de Stadt but most are built from plans. There are also a number of them in cold moulded, aluminium and plywood (older boats).
Evans Starzinger & Beth Leonard (Beth & Evans
) sail a particularly lovely example of a VdS and if you can find a copy there is an article by an Australian couple cruising an older model VdS in the current issue of the Australian mag, Cruising Helmsman.