For the longest time, reading up on everything imaginable, on cruising, and the best offshore
yacht, and going over plan after plan, spec after spec, till I was so confused... and I found my self with a older production boat
I would never have dreamed of having....
What I have learned in that time is that many experts have opinions, and maybe they are right, but there are a lot of people cruising out there in boats no one would consider off shore boats but they do it time after time.
Fastnet and the like are out side the realm of cruising, to discuss it like it matters to a typical cruising family
Ask Dave and Jaja Martin if you need a large offshore boat.
There are many who have done what you want to do in all sorts of boats. And done well.
I think its not the brand or the keel
or the draft
that is important, but the equipment
, the readiness of the humans on board, and the maintaince of the systems aboard that determine the sucess of the cruise
Buy the smalles boat you can, get it for a really good price
, then replace everything that is onboard you can with new, simple, uncomplicat ed gear
that you can maintain, and go. Start slow, learn as you go, be ready for adventures, and have a good sense of humor
. There will be days when you will laugh, days when you will cry, and days when you want to give up. Keep at it until you are safe in a good anchorage, secure on the hook, and then reevaluate.
The sea is not a place for many people. But that doesn't stop us from going anyway.
My wife like to say, its not the destination
, but the journey, while I like to say, its not either, but my ability to face hardship and come out on top. To be sucessful, know your self, know your boat, its limitations, and know the weather
Steve Dashew says there are more days out there where the wind
is light, then heavy. Storms and heavy weather
come, but mostly its the boredom of not moving much at all. To me, a well found yacht needs to be able to take care of its sailors when its slow going as much as when the wind
picks up and it starts to blow hard.
These are my opinions only. And I am sure you have your own.
But there are many boats that are "seaworthy" that "experts" don't think are.
And that ok. Just do your reasearch, look at tons of boats, sail as many of them as you can. And one day, one will call out to you and it will be yours.
And it will be your job to make it ready.
Good luck and fair winds.