After reading 22+ pages on the thread about Production Boats, I have a question. What type of boat do you have and how do you use it? Do you have a Bluewater cruiser and do you cross oceans or do you have a Coastal cruiser and cruise up and down the coast?
So how do you use your boat?
We have a great 51 year old(Alden Challenger) coastal cruising sailboat. We've been coastal sailing for decades from the Exumas to nearly Canada on the east coast mostly with 2 kids starting as babies, now both in college. We decided long ago, that's how we like to sail, so looked for a boat to do that well.
We have a huge cockpit(you can sleep 3 on the benches and bridgedeck), large ports that make you feel part of the surroundings and supply tons of light below. Stuff like this is a joy sailing and at anchor for the typical(approximate) 30 days per season we've been on board for the last dozen years.
Small for 38' by todays standards, it's all boat and not much apartment. The two fixed pilot berths have been great for two kids and with the typical settees in the saloon, it's a great boat for an overnight or two, offshore, on the coast of New England(something we do occasionally). A small seagoing galley easily keeps a family of four well fed and happy for what we do.
It has decks wide enough to lounge on, and the decks are also our only "shower" with a hand held(there's no shower below).
We're pretty lightly equipped with no life raft and not a lot of electronics or blue water safety gear. I find coastal sailing liberating in this regard and our amenities are pretty few(and ice box works fine for us), but all we really want. We have lots of lockers that are not even near full, I love that.
Bad weather is avoidable going offshore for a night or even two today, with all the weather info at your finger tips(I think it is anyway).
It's a very safe old boat for our use and I especially enjoy keeping it safely equipped for coastal sailing while keeping it a simple, light, easy to sail and a comfortable boat for an overnight, a few weeks, maybe,....a few months.
What makes our boat such a great coastal sailing boat for us would make it a not so great boat for crossing oceans.
I'd look for a completely different boat(even though these boats have crossed many oceans), to cross oceans, and a completely different one again, to live aboard.