I have just sailed half way round the world
in my Roberts 44, a large and heavy(ish) boat. She proved a fantastic sea boat when we got into a couple of strong blows. One of which had heavy breaking seas all night (steady force 9), the other was topping out at 55 knots (force 10) for two days, several yachts in the same area had their sea anchors out. Our Roberts took it all in her stride, a very sturdy and capable boat. The boats with sea anchors were light weight boats.
On the other hand we sailed thousands of miles in trade
winds from light upwards, her average speed in lighter conditions was 5.5 knots, not fast but she was very comfortable and we knew she would look after us in a blow.
Her performance was not stunning, max of 7.5 knots under normal brisk conditions, but she was chosen as a good and reliable ocean cruiser, and she proved herself over thousands of miles.
As they say, horses for courses. I have sailed light fast boats, and heavier ones on ocean passages, by far the safest and most comfortable in bad weather
was the Roberts above. I would choose a medium to heavy boat for long hauls when short handed (just the 2 off us on our circumnavigation).
See the Roberts and brief write up here www.onpassage.com/Admin_pages/About_us.htm
At the end of the day you can sail long distance in just about anything, we have cruised with such a huge variety of dissimilar boats that I was not entirely surprised when a boat not much bigger than a dinghy
sailed with us up the Red Sea at the end of a circumnavigation
with 3 people onboard, one of them 5 years old! (It was a dayboat with a very small cabin).
We all have different tasts in the boats we sail, the most important thing is to be out there doing it.