I'm hoping this is ok to post here, but since there is no vested interest in this project yet, I think it probably is. There is a website I stumbled on (although I can't remember how), and they had an idea of how to bring off-shore cruising and voyaging to more people by making a purpose-built boat for that purpose. Here is their idea: Adventure 40 Mail List Sign Up
You can read the full history of how this came about by reading the threads linked in the article (and all the commentary that follows). I think this is something many on this forum are thinking about, so maybe it might help.
Also- let me know what you guys think about this project. I've signed up. I think it's fairly safe, since there's no obligation on either party, but we are seriously looking at spending a good hunk of change on a boat, and this one seems to fit most of what we'd like in a cruising design.