Dream of Sailing as a living
I concur with just about everything Jeff wrote. I think he articulated the conundrum between good off shore vessel and good coastal cruiser. Lets face it, sooner or later you are going to end up somewhere after crossing an ocean and when you do, you''ll want some of those coastal cruiser features when you get there. That "romper room" area I can make out of the port settee is great at anchor with kids on board, but would I want that at 30 Deg and 15 foot seas? What might makes my boat (C36) a great coastal cruiser may be a liability when on the open ocean for a long time. I understand that the big saloon and cockpit could be a liability, but that doesn''t mean one can''t blue water sail with it (as many have) You just have to be prepared and maybe make a few modifications, like easy access handholds & braces below. Also If I was blue water sailing for any length of time a smallish pilot berth would be great. It would allow you to sleep like a bug in a rug, even in heavy seas. In general Catalinas don''t come with Pilot berths (just like many boats) but you could easily rig up bunk lee cloths and make something work. Different features for different cruising.
A few other points you mention a C420 and C470. Do you mean C42? Catalina doesn''t make a C420 model, the C42 is a traditionally designed boat with lots of space and has quite a few people cruising on them. In fact, they are a decent "value priced" (hate that term) cruising type boat, with a good track record. I would think this nears the average upper limit size on what I think would be ideal for 2 people cruising. The C470 (and this is just my personal feeling) is just a big overgrown Coastal Cruiser thats more aimed at luxury Coastal Cruising than true blue water passagemaking. Don''t get me wrong, it can make a passage. And it has more amenities and luxuries than most Americans live with (it can even come with a washer and dryer). But I think if I had that kind of money there would be many other boats I would chose from.
Plus if you are even considering a C470, then I am amazed that you are even concerned about easy ways to make a living while cruising. My feeling is if you can afford a C470 then skip it and purchase a well founded C42 (or similar boat) and take the extra $150 and go cruising for years !