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everyone's made some great points.The biggest point I would keep in mind would be if the wife isn't happy and comfortable it won't work, she won't want to go out and everyone will be miserable. I speak from experience as my situation was very similar to yours. I was doing some racing(not as serious) and bought an older Ericson 26. After a few trips the admiral didn't seem interested. Not enough room down below and did not like the tiller. She wasn't comfortable with the boat. We stated looking around and talking with friends with other boats and found what she needed to be comfortable. Long story short we fell in love with the Catalina 30. We bought an 1988 model and would highly recommend it. It has more interior room than most 34-36 foot boats we looked at. Most important my wife looks forward to the weekend and getting to the boat. What more could a man want. Best of luck in your search.