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· Closet Powerboater
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An experienced friend of mine who has been part-way 'round the world and has done many deliveries up and down the US west coast with friends says that the Morgan OI with the shoal draft off the Oregon/Washington coast was the "scariest experience of his life." He's been in worse conditions, but he found the boat unstable and unsteerable [edit] in anything above moderate conditions. YMMV.

My recommendation? A Nauticat 40. :D Even the motor-sailor line of Nauticats can be found sailing all over the world. The motor-sailors are usually much more affordable than their S&S designed cousins (though mine was a rare exception of a very motivated seller), and even the 33footer would do very well for a family of 4 with it's layout. The pilothouse doors and windows of the older models can be a liability, but the windows can be replaced/reinforced and plexiglass storm shutters can be made cheaply.

MedSailor
 

· Closet Powerboater
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Here ya' go mate.

Used 38' Nauticat Ketch for Sale | Yachts For Sale | Yachthub
A Nauticat 38 in your neck of the woods under 100K. The NC38 is the boat we were originally going to buy. It is a FANTASTIC family boat. Selling points include having 2 big separate seating areas with tables so the kids can spread out projects on one, and you can eat on the other. Separation of space is good too with kids up front and parents in the aft cabin (2 heads). The teak rail all the way around helps keep the kiddos aboard.

Other Nauticats in your area including a NC40 (which doesn't have a sauna. I checked. :D ):
Used Nauticat Boats for Sale | Yachthub

MedSailor (Nauticat evangelist)
 

· Closet Powerboater
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For the sake of a guide let's say 40 - 55ft.
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Oops, didn't read close enough what your size range was, nor did I see the Amel Super Maru. That's a big budget boat. In that case, in my role as "Nauticat Evangalist" I shall point you towards the S&S designed NC 521. It's the bigger brother to my boat.

Used Nauticat 521 for Sale | Yachts For Sale | Yachthub

Though, it'd be hard to pass up the Super Maru, especially if you don't desire a true pilothouse. I like what they did with the Super Maru though, where they located the wheel tucked well under the integral hard dodger. Check out the youtube videos for S/V Delos. I believe their boat used to be my slip neighbor in Seattle and now they've left Australia and are cruising SE Asia.

MedSailor
 

· Closet Powerboater
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Thanks all,

Yes our size and budget range is unhelpfully broad at the moment!
Always been told go in the smallest boat you can, but after realizing the Roberts isn't right, I am trying to be realistic about it.

I really like the Amels, they are at the top of size/money scale however and we would be looking at 10+ year old models. They seem to complex boats with maybe more bells and whistles than we need? I worry about time spent in port trying to source parts and keep up with maintenance.

Not necessarily after a speed machine, just acknowledging that after buying a heavier boat we have been frustrated at times with slow passage times.
if you can afford an amel and have bern frustrated with slow passage times and want a good family boat then you should seriously look at catamarans

Brevity and typos are courtesy of my Samsung S4 Active.
 

· Closet Powerboater
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Nauticat 40 or 43? :D I assure you, unless you guys are part rabbit, the 43 with it's extra stateroom that sleeps 3 will never get too small!

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