I have been up and down the West coast and it has been memorable. First in an old wooden boat and later in a modern 50 footer. Both times were cold and miserable, but we always felt safe. I have been offshore in my last boat, a lightweight 30 footer and we also felt safe. I have always found 30 foot boats to feel big, yet be easy to handle and are quite affordable. I have finally decided to go larger but only because I want comfort.
It wouldn't hurt to look at some of the late 70s early 80s 30 ft Catalina's, Newport's, Ericson's to see if you can live with them for a few years sailing/cruising locally. You will both learn a lot and have some fun in the process. You will be in a much better position later to select your offshore boat.