My plan is to spend the first cruising season on the west coast (staying south of the Pacific hurricane belt for the summer) and then transiting the cannel. I want to spend the second season in the Caribbean, with its stronger trade winds.
Also, on the Pacific side, my first leg will take me outside of Guadalupe Island to pick up the fairly strong prevailing northwesterly winds. I'll also have to contend with the Gulf of Tehuanapec (southern Mexico) and the Papagallo winds (mostly off Nigeragua).
My last boat was a Mason 33, which was a heavy displacement boat, and it did fine on the Pacific Coast (Southern California and into Baja). The Valiant 42 is a moderate displacement vessel that should perform better in light winds than the Mason.
I've come to the conclusion, after a lot of boat shopping over the last twelve months, that the Valiant 42 is a good compromise that can be expected to do reasonably well in light air, and still be suited for the more challenging parts of the trip.