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The Catalina 30 will have a lot more space/volume than the Cascade.. but the Cascades have done some serious voyaging and though a tad uninspired design wise they have a fairly good rep. Many were owner-finished, though, so you'll need to be careful about that.

If you envision mostly inside passages and picking weather windows then the C30 would probably do the job for you quite well.. she's a stiff, stable boat with good volume, reasonable speed and excellent builder/owner support still today. For spending 6-8 weeks aboard per year I think it's far more liveable, esp if a couple or more.

I imagine the Alaskan market is somewhat limited, however in general it's a buyer's market and neither the C30 nor the Cascade should gobble up your entire budget - meaning some money for upgrades, or perhaps opportunity to look at something slightly larger. We're on our 5th boat in 30+ years, made it up to 40 feet and now happily settled into a 35 footer as a nice couple's compromise for the type of coastal sailing we do, like you are planning, 6-8 weeks aboard every summer and occasional weekends throughout the year.
 
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