Im going to suggest a boat that you likely have never seen recomended before,the Lindenberg 26, why? because it has a lot of good features and not many bad ones.
1/ it is huge,one of the biggest 26ft boats i have seen.
2/ 6ft headroom
throughout the accomodation.
3/ awesome layout,similar to the Cape Dory 25D,no vee berth so the mast
b/head moves foreward giving a main cabin
that is longer from the companionway
to the b/head than an Ericson 35 or J35.
4/ Huge quarter berths,36" wide at the top of the cushion and you can sit up under the deck
even at the foot end.
5/ plenty of displacement
, about the same as the Contessa or Albin Vega
6/ Lots of freeboard,this is a good thing as when you are loaded down as a liveaboard
it is not going to be awash like the Contessa and should be reasonably dry on deck
7/ Good load carrying ability, lbs/inch immersion is 795lbs.
8/ High ballast/disp ratio of 50%.
9/Huge deck space,the sidedecks are 20" wide for the length of the trunk cabin
and the foredeck is flush from the mast
fwd,you could carry an 8ft dinghy
on the foredeck.
10/ quite well built,foam cored hull
above the waterline from the bow to about amidships where compound curvature takes over and it is solid glass from there back and below the waterline,this is engineering rather than the brute force and ignorance approach of many small offshore
boats. Decks are foam cored also.
The chainplates bolt to a massive ,properly tabbed in fore and aft settee back 3/4" ply plus about 1/4" of glass,this is as strong as i have ever seen on anything under 40ft.All furniture is stout molded glass and well glassed in and the hull
to deck joint is also glassed which is not common.
11/ This boat is fast, about,over a minute per mile faster than most other boats that always get recomended on these threads.
and available,usually go for well under 10k,often under 5k.
Ok,thats a dozen good points so whats the bad, well,no bridge deck but then neither does the Contessa but folks always tend to ignore that for some reason, i think its dangerous and would need addressing. Fin keel and spade rudder but the keel is moderate and the rudder is huge and very well built,mine is a 1977 boat and the rudder is perfect and quite light,mind you,if i were to go long distance cruising i would change it out for a skeg rudder, i just like them better.Some people may not like the lack of any decent cockpit
lockers but the area under the cockpit
is easily accessed from inside.Lack of tankage.
All boats unless built specifically for long distance cruising will need a lot of mods to be suitable.