catalina 30 cruising
You seem really torn. So were we. Our decision was made on the basis that we weekend on Lake St. Clair and cruise Lake Huron for about 10 days each summer. In our opinion, the C-30 is perfect for those needs, and we love the darn thing.
However, if we were to live aboard in ocean conditions, we would definately look hard for a more traditional cruising boat, even with the difference in goodies that will be available.
Living aboard takes a toll on a boat. Sometimes the simpler and sturdier a boat is, the easier it is maintain, with a resultant cost savings.
Also, even being as carefull as we can be, the weather has it''s own agenda, as you saw on your dive trip. In winter especially, you can expect a ''Norther'' roughly once every 7 to 10 days in the Bahamas and Florida.
From experience, I love the comforting feeling that a solid, seagoing boat gives me when it gets rough. This is so even at anchor.
I don''t know if any of this helps, but good luck.