I am somewhat new to sailing - I have been sailing as a guest and recently as crew but have never owned a boat. I am 60 and am thinking of buying a Sense 50. My wife and I would be the captn and crew so single-handed sailing capability would be important. Some people I have spoken to think I am crazy and others say that there should be no problem with the proper preparation and at least a one week sail and learn cruise with an instructor. I have completed a coastal navigation course and have my power craft operators card. My rationalization is based on an analogy - if my father had taught me to drive a transport truck rather than a car when I was sixteen there would be no fear of a big truck - so most of the cautionary comments have come from sailors that have moved up from a 25 ft boat to a 35 - hence my analogy above. Notwithstanding my view, I would appreciate any opinions and comments.
With today's boat, the manufacture will appropriately make their bigger boat andeasier to sail, it is their goal to make every successful couple to sail without going to hell of learning the hard way.
Sense 50, Jeaneau 409 and 473 are the good examples. With the furling jib and boom furling main, reversible electric wrench, bow thruster and rotational sail drive, we can learn it in half day and good at it than those take years to develop there skills.
It looks like that you are successful in life not by luck but by your intelligence, I am sure you can learn it faster then others.
Go ahead get your boat and start enjoying it. Take some ASA courses and slowly work up your confidence. Not all humans are created equal. Some are smarter than others.
I jumped into the big boat (37 ft) just about year, I singled handed the 3rd time I sailed. It is not about how big the boat is, it is about how the boat is set up and understand how the boat moves upon from the external force.
Obviously, some people need to spoon fed from 22, 30, 37, 43, 57 and 60 foot. If 60 meets your need, go with the 60. However, just be practical on what you really need and what areas you will sail her.
Take your time to buy the one you need and want. Walk out if they give you the high pressure sale talk. Let them know you are in control and it is not their call.
Good Luck and have fun.