is there any reason there get so little press with the blue-water crowd?
Not really. They are tough enough for the most part and the 42 has lots of tanks
with a decent engine
and accommodations. As for being quick, they are a fast boat but after you load 4 tons of stuff on them they slow down more than a bit. It really takes about 4 tons to be comfortable without going overboard
(fuel and water
count). So if the goal is to be fast then the requirement is you need more water line and more displacement. If you are in less of a hurry a lot of options open up.
In your price
range you could look at a lot of other boats and it may be worthwhile to do so. Just to get the ideas about all the features for cruising. You can nose around here and look at all the boat threads about various boats too. 42 ft is a common size as far as manageability goes.
Storing the Scuba gear
means you sort of have a problem so you really might want to look at bigger boats not so much for length but volume. Friends that have been out 7 years have about 26,000 lbs displacement Nordic
44 and that boat is packed solid. That is "normal storage". They carry two sets of scuba gear too. They like to sleep in the V berth at anchor
but they travel sleeping in the aft cabin
. Takes them 2 days to move the stuff around to get in and out of sail mode. Coming to terms with all the stuff is perhaps the bigger task you have at hand. After that it's just a boat to stuff it into.
While the "blue water" boats have a lot of quality aspects to them they also have a lot of pickup truck qualities too. Many boats can take the trip but not with all the stuff loaded on it. It makes the dynamic loads soar out of sight.