How many people are going on this extended trip? The best advice I've heard on buying a sailboat is that "the Primary use is primary." That means, if you're sailing singlehanded or as a couple, then you don't really need a boat with three cabins and two heads. Almost any boat larger than 20' is going to have two berths... A berth is where you can put a sleeping body... a CABIN is where you usually have a double berth and some additional privacy... Berths ≠ Cabins...
I, too would like to know what sailing experience you've got... given that you're looking for a boat that can do bluewater passages. What have you looked at, and why did you not like them? Saying what you don't like would help eliminate a lot of good suggestion that you will reject out of hand and save us from wasting our time.
Also, fast and comfortable generally don't go hand in hand on a sailboat. The faster the boat, generally the less comfortable it will be, unless you have a lot of money.
You could also do a search on the boat buying forum, since you've indicated that you like center cockpit boats, since there have been several threads on center cockpit boats.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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