I have been sailing since 1961 and at one time I studied yacht design and at various times in my life I worked as a yacht designer. I am actually an architect (buildings).
I grew up sailing boats like the Vanguard, Alberg 30, and Triton. These were the race boats of that era. I have continued to sail on them since. Then as now, I aways considered these designs as being compromised by the racing rule of the day in ways that hurt their abilities as cruisers.
If you contrast these boats with better cruising boats of that era, say something like a Folkboat, Seawind, or even a Tartan 27 of that same era, you can see some of the compromises in terms of hull form and rig. Of course, there have been huge improvements in boat building and yacht design in the years since these boats were built,
Now then, when you talk about a less than $15,000 cruising boat for a offshore work, I would say there is no boat that is ideal for a offshore cruising in that price range. Which is not to say, that you cannot buy a boat for $15,000 and with huge amounts of sailing skill and boat maintenance and rebuilding skill, enormous care, vast amounts of luck, and huge efforts at rebuilding along the way, that you can't find some older boat that permits you to go offshore.
If I were in your shoes, and wanted to go offshore in a less than $15,000 boat, some of the boats that personally would look at in that prioce range might include the Allied Seawind, C&C Corvette, Cal 2-30, Morgan 30, Bristol 29 (1960's era and not the 29.9), H-28, Tartan 27
(With the Tartan 27 and Bristol 29 as my first choices on the list).
Of course any of these boat that were actually available in your price range are likely to require a lot of work (and money) to make them robust enough, properly equipped, with adequate consumable capaciuties, and in the necessary shape to reliably make the kinds of passages implied when you talk about safely and reliably doing long distance, off-shore cruising.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies