You mentioned the Pacific Cup and the Coastal Cup...and you want to do them on a channel cutter...and wondering what speed you plan on averageing.. something about 6 knots..
There's something you have to understand... San Francisco has spoiled you.. Once you head south the winds start to drop to the point you wish you had that "J Boat" back under your belt.
You need to step back and think outside the box.. Sea worthyness isnt in the boat, its in the person behind the wheel..
At one time, yes, the choice would be a Hans Christian, a Lord Nelson,
or as you say, A channel cutter.
But take a look at the boats on the Ha Ha, or the Puddle Jump.. They are well built boats and very few are in the class of heavy weights you are looking at. It isnt that weather patterns have changed.. its that we know more about them, when the right time to cross and when its not time..
I cruise with a First 42 from Beneteau.. I know Beneteau has a bad name with many folk but the First series is built for open ocean racing
and would see more action in one season than I would put it through over the five year trip the wife and I are about to do.
And the First 42 was my second choice..My first was a First 38..
I look at it this way, with the way information is avalable today, I'll know 24 to 48 hours before a big one hits, and with the boat I have, I can be a couple hundred miles out of the way when it comes through.. and if I get caught, I heave to and wait it out..
I've been caught in the North West in some pretty nasty weather and my 42 came out just fine...
A good friend of mine had in his mind to buy a steel hull because he figured he could be pulled off a reef without damage to his boat. Well I'm not one to say he's wrong but when we both headed south for the Lats & Atts party last year on Catalina Island, I got there Two days before him.
By the way, he missed the party...
What I'm saying is that we like to get where we're going and injoy the time we have, not to set out there bobing around waiting around for 20 knots of wind so we can get on our way.......