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It's always so hard to make this suggestion to another. You really need to get out there and start crawling around boats for sale. You'll get better input, if you come back with a specific make/model/year and ask about it's pros/cons.

The only thing I can add is that you should be mindful of where the control lines are, if you're going to feel like you're singlehanding often. Although, on the ICW, you'll like motor more often than sail. I prefer all control lines to run to the cockpit. But this is an example of my point. Some will argue the main halyard should be at the mast, even for a single hander.

I do have a question. What do you expect to do with the boat, when these few years pass. You can assume that you loved it or didn't. Will you need to sell the boat then. That could have a serious impact on what you buy. I would never buy a newer boat that I felt I would want to sell in the next 5 years, as the depreciation curve would take a huge toll. I would buy something older, at the bottom of its depreciation curve and take good care of it.

Keep in mind, your kids only get bigger from here, even if you think you might stay aboard longer. :)
 
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