There are many coastal boats - of which Hunters, O'Days and Catalinas are only 3 examples - and there is nothing wrong with them, if you understand what they are, and what they are not.
They are not offshore
boats, although some, with experianced skippers, have made successful offshore
Conversely, there are relatively few offshore boats because they are both expensive to build and difficult to sell at 2, 3 or more times the price
of the same size coastal boat.
Few sailors plan to across an ocean, let alone around the world, so why build a boat for that purpose, if 95 out of 100 sailors have no such plans?
Give me a coastal boat and an experienced skipper
over an offshore boat and inexperianced skipper
, any day. All boat and personal preperation needs to be done before you leave the dock
. Experiance comes after you leave.
Any properly prepared coastal boat, intelligently sailed by a relatively inexperianced skipper, should have no problems coastal hopping down the east US coast, thru the Bahamas
and down to the eastern Caribbean
. Carefully planned, it can be mostly daysailing with a few overnight passages.
Read, listen and understand all the good and not so good advice, then make your own decisions. Be cautious of the barroom expert and especially the herd instinct.
Good advice: "Gentlemens Guide ... the Thorney Path ..."
Not so good: "Sail 600nm due east of the Bahamas, turn right and and reach down to the islands.
Fair winds and following seas.