I am new to Sailnet but not new to sailing. I have raced for 20 years and owned a J-22 and J-29 as well as several Hobie 20's. I have crewed on several larger boats like J-35's and a Cal 40. I have always wanted to live aboard if I could find the right boat. I like the Dufour 455 and the Grand Soleil's and have decided to make this work, I would need at least a 40 footer to be comfortable and a more performance oriented boat to be happy. I have spoken with several couples that have cruised and have been live aboards, and they have confirmed that size does matter. I would be sharing the boat with my girlfriend and we are both professionals and over the age of 40. We are in the process of liquidating our possessions and selling three homes to finance the boat. My budget is around $300K and we are not looking to make any ocean passages, just do some cruising because retirement is another 10 years or so away.
Anyone have any input on the Dufour 455 or the Performance 40 or the Grand Soleil or any other suggestions?