A production model is the right type of boat for your purposes. We had similar intentions when we bought our last boat, a Beneteau 36 Center Cockpit. We have used her extensively for cruising the Chesapeake and finally made our dream trip down the ICW to the Bahamas last winter.
On the way down, we were limited to the ICW because of the weather. On the return, we had an excellent weather window and sailed her offshore from Florida to North Carolina.
It was a wonderful trip that we made just in time as health issues make a repeat trip unlikely and the boat is up for sale. For those interested here is a link to a photo record of our trip: Split Decision
Don't wait too long or the opportunity may pass you by. There are plenty of boats in your size and price range out there.