I read your post a few times, but somehow keep missing your point. You would like to keep your new boat with a draft around 5 ft, but J-boat is not know for shallow draft.As many of you know, our boat is in Grenada awaiting our return in latish November. We will say to New England in the spring and then we have to figure out what is next. We have decided against another circumnavigation and talked ourselves (quite easily) out of the Northwest Passage or going to Antarctica. When we were coming up the Atlantic from South Africa the Admiral made a couple of interesting comments about us never having been to Europe and how she wanted to go to Greenland (she hates cold). So we have to figure out whether we do those. If so, Ainia would be just fine.
If we want to have a boat back on Lake Ontario, the big Bristol seems less than ideal. Many of the small harbours and yacht clubs do not have docks for a 45' and we are not great at fine manoeuvring - we can turn right really well and left - not so much. Also once we import her we must pay sales tax (13%).
As a result we are thinking about a new boat. A few summers ago we crewed for a friend on a cruise around Lake Ontario and we ended up motoring most of the time - summer winds are very light here. This got us thinking about a much more performance-oriented boat. At this point in my life I don't want to spend my sailing time motoring. One other constraint, many harbours are very shallow so we would like to keep draft to about five feet. A boat that seems to touch the bases is a J37c. haven't actually seen one, but did meet some people on a J40 (with a Monitor vane on the back) in the BVI who had had a terrific 1500 in windy conditions. Is there anything I am missing about this boat that I should know. Generally it would only be two of us sailing, does the boat need rail meat? The Admiral would not sit on the rail and is not very big to boot. The PHRF looks outstanding. Does a fast boat necessarily mean a boat that is good in light air or are we looking at a wider range of sails onboard? I know there is J34c and 35c. Other than the obvious, how much different would they be than the 37c? Similar boats we should consider (less than $80k would be nice)?
Anyway, good luck with your next big thing in sailing.