I think it was more the poor preparation on a poorly maintained boat that resulted in this situation. The boat was recovered some time later still afloat (as is usually the case). You can get into the same situation in a Valiant, Sabre, Swan, -enter your favorite 'blue water" boat here-. It all comes down to ensuring the vessel is properly equipped, properly maintained, and properly sailed. A Catalina 36 is more than capable of making that trip given the right weather window and given the right preparation of both boat and crew. If you were going to undertake a trip like this is that preparation something you want to get into? THAT's really where you're going to see a difference with the more traditional "blue water" manufacturers; there will be fewer mods required to affect their safe passage, but the same rules for sound maintenance, and weather window's apply.
One other observation: The majority of successful voyagers don't make webpages to discuss the hows or whys of their success. People who survive a life threatening ordeal are MUCH more likely to publicize lessons learned. While this is a very interesting read, and offers a number of really good considerations, this I don't think this can be viewed as representative of Catalina 36's or production boats. I think it is more representative of this specific Catalina 36, and this particular sailor.
A couple more counterpoints:
Our Life At Sea - Cruising in 2009