Pearson 323 or else?
I owned a 1982 Pearson 323 for 5 or 6 years in the early 1990s. I sailed in the Gulf of Mexico. I have had it out in 30knot winds and 12'' seas with no worries. I consider them stronger than most boats ( Catalinas, Hunters, Irwins ect). An older boat like this will be under canvased and slow compared to a more modern design in light winds. It had plenty of room, even enough to live aboard. I would think it would be wise to own a boat for a couple of years before you went cruising just to learn its systems, weaknesses and strengths.