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Scott, i think you will find that there is not much difference in cockpit size for boats in the 16'' - 20'' with 22'' being slightly longer and wider. We have a 17'' daysailor and and have had four adults on it and it was ok. We also have a 19'' typhoon and the cockpit size seems to be the same. Maybe a little wider. You could easily find either type of boat, used for under 5,000. Maybe even buy both for that price. I have seen other types like the Rhodes 19 which the cockpit seems huge and you could probably fit six people. I''ve never sailed one but I heard they are great performance boats and also have some weight to them (They have a fleet of them near me on Boston Harbor) This type may suit your needs for performance, taking out friends and for budget (used).
Will you be sailing on an inland lake or the ocean? What is your definition of performance? For some its speed others its stability under heavy weather. That might make a difference in which boat you choose. With all the different types of boats out there in that range you will be able to find one that exactly fits your needs.
 
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