As for the coastal cruiser vs. The blue water rig, could you elaborate? I'm not sure what "defines" a boat as blue water vs. a CC. I'm trying to get the right boat the first time and am not in a rush so if I need to increase my budget or look and wait for specific things I'm ok with that.
Welcome to Sailnet Madcat and also hopefully to the lifestyle that is cruising....
I would encourage you to poke around here abit more and get a firm grasp on the differences between Bluewater and Coastal before buying a boat...
Basically It is very much a case of horses for courses. Any sailboat is a compromise between competing requirements.
For example A 'Coastal' Boat might have a large spacious saloon below, great for guests, very liveable with a sense of space, also good for families however this space would make the same boat less than ideal, even dangerous if it was doing major ocean crossings as moving around an 'open' boat in a big sea is difficult.
Likewise Bluewater boats have lots of tankage......water/fuel etc. This takes considerable space....space you might otherwise use differently if you don't need to worry about carting a months worth of fuel/water around.
I do like a big useable cockpit at anchorage......nibblies and drinks on the table at happy hour...a swim platform at the back....so you can jump in and have a snorkel. Same design characteristics in a boat about to round Cape Horn though would again be less than ideal.
There is a lot of advice/discussion here about sailboat types and designs.....if you sift through it you will begin to get an idea.
IMHO I would suggest that a tried and true/capable/safe coastal cruiser is what you guys probably need to start with.
Again IMHO there seems to be little sense in getting a bluewater cape rounding boat and attempting to live on board at a Marina/on the hook in said boat, when there are far more liveable options out there.
Also you say you have chartered....and then go on to talk about fishing charters...have you chartered a sailboat?? If not then I would encourage you to do so. It is also a cheapish way of trying on different boat layouts and working out what you guys like living on.....
I bought my first sailboat at 22....I then bought my second at 23. At 30 I am now with my wife on the hunt for boat number 3.....the boat that will take us over that far horizon