I plan on living aboard, and for the first year exploring the west coast (my family live in Oregon, and I've got friends in Seattle and Portland who have made me promise to stop by. Puget Sound and Galapagos are on the list (I'm a scuba diver). Then at some point I'll just. . .take off. Work my way round the world.
I think I'm mostly fixated on the C42 because of spending a day on one, and remembering how gorgeous it was. I also heard they can be managed single-handed, which is probably most of the sailing I intend to do (although people are already booking themselves on board for a week or two, even though this is five years distant). I've done a little research into the cost of the C42s, which is why I'm giving myself five years to get to the point I can do all this! Five years to sell a couple of books, save up, and learn what I can about sailing and boat repairs.
The ongoing scratch will all depend on how good a writer I am!
Thanks for the welcome, and sorry in advance if I ask any silly questions in the next year or two while I getting into this (I'm already on my second reading of David Seidman's 'The Complete Sailor,' best I can do until I get out to the coast next year).
If you plan on going "around the world" like this, then I'd strongly suggest not going the route of the Catalina 42...or any "production" large boat. As has been said in other parts of this thread, yes...the C42 *can* make passages across oceans. But she'll certainly let you know that she doesn't like it.
The C42 wasn't designed for this kind of voyaging. She's a boat designed to sail within easy reach of safe harbor. Now if you'd said sailing the West Coast, Puget Sound, etc,etc...then *great* boat for that purpose. In fact, dare I say it, a perfect boat for that purpose.
But you say you want to make the passage to the Galapagos and then go across the world. This means weeks and weeks at sea...open ocean well out of range of weather forecasts. The very features that probably endear you to the C42 would be a liability on such a passage...things like lots of big ports and open/airy interior.
For the kind of cruising you wish to do, it would likely be recommended that you choose a true bluewater cruiser...such as one from this (non-comprehensive) list.
Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction
Modern makers of bluewater boats (brand new boats)
Norstar (Nordic reincarnated)
Expect to re-evaluate your plans or your budget or your means of acquiring budget after searching yachtworld for the pricing on new boats of the previously mentioned makers. Of these, I think the Caliber is the only one in my budget range!