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Catalina''s are designed for coastal work; but, ANY boat can be re-made to ''blue water" capability.
What one has to consider is strength of portlights, companionway, rigging, etc., .... will the cockpit be able to be completely flooded by a boarding wave and not ship soooooooooo much water that the trim would be so adversely and dangerously affected that the load in the cockpit would make the boat dangerously ''squat'' at the stern. .... would the companionway , seat lockers, ''windows'', etc. be strong enough to take such a horrendous and continual beating, etc. when the weather turns REAL nasty? Will the steering wheel and pedestal still be there after the flooded cockpit (quickly) drains??? Are there sufficient handholds INSIDE, and so spaced so that you dont have to let go and risk getting thrown accross the cabin and get seriously hurt. Has the designer removed all sharp edges and other interior in-port convenience ''designs'' upon which one would impale himself in a huge seaway. How do you stay secure in a double berth (bed, not berth) under the cockpit ... how do you fashion leecloths in a double ''walkaround'' BED?
For my personal tastes and safety concerns, OPEN interiors and huge cockpits can be downright dangerous offshore.
The obvious answer is that any ''lighweight'' CAN be strengthened by the addition of "storm shutters" or rebuild and modifications .... and the volume of the cockpit can be decreased, etc. by adding bridge decks, etc.
Sure, if you''re a super top-notch sailor, those weather anomalies will never happen to you ................ unless you decide to sleep every now and then.
If you''re intending long distance off-shore sailing, I''d suggest that you consider boats that have well established and well found historical RECORD of passagemaking (and not bet your life on an unproven designer''s daydream).
For short distance island hopping with a good weather eye, a BeneHuntaLina is FINE
........ (but in my opinion thay do "pound and hammer" when beating into high steep waves, etc. I personally think their cockpits are too BIG, the interiors tooooo open for offshore - just a personal matter of ''taste'' and safety).