Another boat which makes an excellent cruiser with a turn of speed (Same genre as a Valiant, only older & cheaper) is a Gulfstar. Generally a performance cruiser underbody (cruising fin design) but built heavy. Excellent upwind performance, a bit squirrley going down.
They also made a shoal draft long keel. One of that design, a 50' (s/v "Talion") just won the March Banderas Bay Regatta, passing many of the boats in faster classes, including multi hulls.
They are very solid, with more teak than some like, occasional blister problems, conservative rig and sail area. But surprisingly fast! A very good cruiser which will handle heavy weather (bow to the sea) is comfortable, dryer than most and will allow you to outsail the average storm.