IF you want a truly seaworthy
that can take you most anywhere, AND go to windward, even in a gale, without eventually incurring structural damage:
You need the beam determined by optimal stability, rather than what fits into a marina slip.
You need REALLY good wing clearance... (More than 2' is a minimum).
You need relatively low windage, relatively low height, relatively small cabin
structures, with good walkways forward and a low COG. This usually means less accommodations on smaller boats.
You need more netting over "open sections" on the bow, and less solid wing deck.
You need to minimize weight on the boat, and especially the bow.
You need a balanced, easily controlled/reefed sail plan, with full 360 degree visibility from the helm
... even with the jib
And, you certainly need to see the four corners of the boat when docking!
People do have successful cruises on less seaworthy
boats than described above, but NOT year in year out, without taking their boat's shortcomings into account. Getting lucky doesn't hold up forever, as "Murphy" takes no prisoners!
If one has a boat that doesn't have these basic "common sense" requirements, then I suggest that they take this into account in deciding their destinations, time of year, weather
, "running room" to deal with squalls, safety equipment
, marina options, etc.
What you can NOT do is pound a "low wing clearance" multihull
hard to windward, in 40 knots of wind
and chaotic seas, over a long period of time. That horrendous pounding is more than a matter of aesthetics, it's the sound of your boat eventually coming apart. I have seen and/or worked on dozens of multis that were damaged from NOT taking this seriously enough.
Match the design of your boat to the conditions you will encounter, or sail and plan VERY prudently. (Fall off, run, wait out bad weather