S-2s are well made coastal cruisers as are Pearsons, and I would say both are comparable for consturction with S-2 having better finishing. My last purchase was almost a S-2 10.3 and I've always lusted for a 9.1. However, these boats like most Pearsons were not designed for offshore use. You can roll the dice and try taking one anywhere and its likely to get your there, but how gracefully, certainly or comfortably is a different question.
I always offer the story http://www.equipped.com/0698rescue.htm
as demonstrating how a boat that may be capable of offshore sailing may not be suitable. Now some Catalina owners reading that article come back and say, well the owner didn't prep enough, he missed a recall, he this-or-that. The truth is that boats designed to be compentent coastal cruisers are not suitable for offshore use.