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You may find the Sea Sprite 23 pretty cozy for 4. My brother cruised an Alberg 22 for several years with a family of 4 and one of the reasons the sold it was it just wasn't big enough for 4 people to spend a week end on, especially at anchor. And it was slow by modern standards. Sea Sprite looks to be pretty similar to the Alberg 22, but 6 inches longer. At any rate, I would think there are bigger faster 22-23 footers, even from the 70s.

I am not sure what all is available in your area, so can't really recomend a different model.

What I can recomend is not waiting until your kids are bigger, you will miss out on some great years of cruising and sailing.

When my son was born we had him out sailing in about 3 months. When my daughter was born, my son was 3 and we had her sailing on a 21 ft boat by about 4 weeks. Those were great adventures, we stuck to mild conditions and protected waters while they were very small.
 

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On a mooring ball, you've got to get two toddlers safely into and out of the boat from a dinghy every time you get them on the boat. I'd defer to some parents on this (I just have to get a big dog on board) but with two very small kids I'd seriously think about splurging for a slip.
If you go the mooring route I think a walk through transom with swim platform will go a long way to making things easier.

I think Hunter started putting this feature on smaller boats in the 90s and many of their designs were family freindly. You might find one within your price range.

There are certainly good family boats well below 30 feet. I am just not sure a Sea Sprite 23 is one of the ideals. I would think, for example, both Catalina 22's and Tanzer 22's would be both more spacious and I would expect a Tanzer to be quicker as well.
 

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I think you should be more realistic with your expectations. While sometimes bargains may be found, for a safe accommodation, handling and reasonable performance with a family over weekends etc, a boat of 27-30' in a good and safe shape not to drag you into immediate $10-20K refit, under $10K is a unicorn or a project for years with a lot of misery.
You must be in an expensive area because there are loads of sub 30 ft sub $10k sailboats I would use for week enders for a family of 4. The boat he was looking at is a smallish 23. Most 21-22 ft + trailer sailers with pop tops are laid out for a family of 4, and sometimes can be had in reasonable shape for as little as a few grand. As the size gets closer to 30 feet, the $10k window starts to close, but in the 22-27 ft or so range there should be loads of options.
 
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