I think there is a significant difference between the once in a lifetime '79 Fastnet storm and the relatively benign waters between California and Hawaii this past October.
The book I referred to makes one hell of a case Re attributing much of the Fastnet disaster to the lack of seaworthiness of IOR and IOR-influenced designs. (If I'm remembering correctly, Marchaj kept comparing the IOR and IOR-influenced designs to the Contessa 32 that was out there that day, noting that the Contessa and her crew faired far, far better.)
So while we assume that the Catalina didn't find itself bopping around in 1979 Fastnet conditions, if we accept Marchaj's solid argument(s), seaworthiness hasn't been a priority for most designs for some time.
Who cares how far an unmanned, dismasted hull got? In the interest of speed and volume boats are becoming less and less able. That's fine if these limitations are respected, but we all know that that's not the case.
(The issue of Yachting World
that's on US mag racks right now (the US gets YW
a month late) discusses all these lost keels we keep hearing about. Scary stuff, in that not only are designers streamlining for speed and lightness like never before, but, apparently, life and death corners are being cut with creative interpretations of ABS and Lloyds standards when they're applied to current technologies. Add a swarm of keel lost cases that involve corner cutting during manufacture, keel modifications to suit Rules every time there's an edit, and we are living in "interesting" times.)