Maddata - We reviewed the Catalina 309 for "Latitudes & Attitudes TV". The video is posted on YouTube if you are interested in watching it:
YouTube - Catalina 309 Test Sail
Keeping in mind Bob and I like older cruising boats (yes, even Taiwan boats), we do know what the 309 was built for and we think Frank Butler and Gerry Douglas have succeeded in meeting those design parameters. I was on the test sail, and having sailed previously on Catalina 30s, 36s, and a 350, the 309 performed quite nicely in the semi-blustery conditions on Puget Sound that day. I sailed a Catalina 30 for a week on Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay (including running from a summer storm), and always felt the boat was sound. So I think a new 309 would be fine for your intended use.