Lots of reading
The book Frank refers to above is "Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts" written by the Technical Committee of the Cruising Club of America and edited by John Rousmaniere. My copy is from 1987. The different chapters are written by renowned experts including Olin Stephens, Richard McCurdy, and William Lapworth, among others. It gives you a LOT to think about. Steve & Linda Dashew's "The Circumnavigator's Handbook" also provides interesting ideas and advice that might be helpful. Books by people who've sailed extensively like Knox-Johnston, Hiscock, Roth, Moitessier and the Pardeys can also provide insight. They each have different approaches that might suit what you want to do and the way you want to do it. The more it snows this winter, the more time you'll have to read.