I own a Columbia 41, a boat similar to the 45 with many of the same issues that concern you about off shore passage
making. You may need to make some basic modifications too. Since the asking price
of Columbias makes them affordable, in the end you may have a boat that will do what you want within your budget
. Some of the things I did to my boat are as follows.
I removed the original plexi windows and replaced them with 3/8" lexan
. I also had 1/8" stainless steel
trim rings cut and pre-drilled. the new windows were mounted with fasteners through drilled. Same basic thing with the forward looking windows except I reduced the size of the windows by 2 inches all around. This was done with multiple layers of marine
and a lot of epoxy
. The exact process was too complicated to discribe here.
I also replace the large foredeck hatch
and aft cabin hatch
hatches. New hatch combings were built, again, with multiple layers of marine
. The old combings were cut out with a sawsall. The new combins were epoxied into the deck
I also replaced the accessible keel bolts
with new stainless steel
I built a new nav station and added a new panel board and assorted electronics
I did a lot of other stuff but will not bore you with that.