*sigh* I just got back from my third trip to the Toronto boat show. The smallest cruiser was a "gigantic" and spacious 28' TES... I don't count the Mini Transat boat that was there (6.5M). They had small dinghy's and a 22' Hunter day sailer, but nothing like what we love. Lots of Beneteau's, Jeanneau's, Hunters and Catalina's... all 30-45'.
Nothing with character like the Contessa 26 or a Nordica/Halman 20' or a Falmouth Cutter or a folk boat ... You get the idea.
It's funny, I just wrote up a quick review of the Magnam 28 on my blog. It is one impressive package. As far as the smallest cruiser, TES had a 27 footer there as well, and there was a Hunter Edge.
I think the challenge from a builder's standpoint is that the tooling, labour and hardware costs are pretty damn close for a 25' boat and a 32' boat- the only real sizable difference is raw material cost which is often one of the smallest costs. So, you can build an opulent and character -filled 25' boat that has damn little profit at $70K, or a 32' that will sell twice as many with a decent profit, at $100-$150K.
And then once you build it you need to find dealers willing to devote some square footage to selling it, and bigger boats mean bigger returns.
From a buyer's standpoint, in this age of monthly payments, the difference between a $75K boat and a $120K boat over 240 months isn't that big... and if you can't raise the downpayment for a $75K boat you sure as hell can't make the nut on anything bigger, so you start looking at the used market, and, instead of buying a new 25' boat, you discover that you can buy a well used 30' boat for the downpayment on that new 25 footer.
And everything is just plain bigger today, and what the "wants" of a generation ago are now considered "needs".