My one suggestion would be to avoid the IOR influenced boats that were common in late 70s and early 80s. Their pinched sterns really cut down on cockpit space.
Not a blanket statement about IOR influenced boats , it depends on the builder and and size.
Our C&C 35 has room for 8 easily in the cockpit. Build quality is important also. One of the real differences between many production boats and non is the older ones and how they have held up. Definitely exposes build quality.
Tartans, C&C s , Erickson’s, Sabre’s seem to have many available. Catalina has brand loyalty. Making a brand overall statement might limit you. Look for the best quality boat for the money.
There are many factors. Type of engine and hours, . Quality of equipment ( winches, sterling etc. ) . Ease of movement around the wheel / tiller. Headroom, save wide gunwales. Lead vs iron keel.
I also think you’ll find a large difference in IOR sail profile compared to. On IOR, you don’t want the slowest, wettest, bobbing boat.
Take you time , shop carefully. The right one will speak to you, but make sure it’s not a huge project.