Cardude's experience mirrors my own. Twenty years ago my wife and I at the age of 42/53 quit our jobs and bought a very nice blue water capable sailboat- 43' and new. We sailed from Annapolis to LI Sound with the expectations of doing the Caribbean in a year or so but there she said no.
So we regrouped, downsized a bit to save a hundred k$ or so and started again, this time with no blue water illusions. We sailed from Tampa where we bought the next boat down to the keys, to the Abacos for three months then up the coast to Maine eventually. We had a great time. She wasn't always comfortable- hated overnights but tolerated them and hated beating to windward in 25 kts, but we didn't do that very often.
After a year or so of this we reentered the working life and finally became trawler owners. But the same story could be told starting with a Nordhavn and downsizing to a little smaller Mainship. BTW from my experience a 43' Nordhavn has about the same living space as a Mainship 40.