I just posted on Facebook a bit, about my 1976, "new" Challenger, 35' Ketch, which I owned, loved, trusted completely, and lived aboard from April 1, 1977, to November 1, every year until I sold her in 1994.
At some point, I made the acquaintance of another New Challenger Ketch owner that was and did go ocean sailing. He told me he had covered the big saloon windows with I think it was either 1/2" or 5/8" plexiglass. He also increased his water capacity quite a bit as it was only 40 gallons. Further he increased his fuel capacity quite a bit as it was only 40 gallons.
After he had gone ocean sailing I again spoke with him and he said that he had been caught on the outer edge of a hurricane. Short of being quite scared he, his crew, and his Challenger came through some rather incredible weather. He was eternally grateful for the upgrades that he had made.
I have been caught out in some mountainous waves and extremely high winds from time to time. Howard Stern, the owner of Challenger Yachts had once told me to sail my Challenger, 35' Ketch no more than 7% for maximum performance. He was right. But sometimes things happen. My Challenger has been healed over till the lake water rushed past, about 10 or 12 or so inches high on the main saloon windows. I never experienced a problem of any kind because of those experiences, which gratefully, were very few.
I never doubted the ability of my Challenger to "bring us back" as long as I kept her far off every lee shore. She would come about in huge waves with short intervals as long as I always looked for a flat spot, brought her up on that flat spot, and very quickly came about before connecting with the next wave.
She was beautiful and sweet to sail. We almost never used 40 gallons of diesel fuel in an entire season. We needed only 4.5' to stay afloat. We got to go to almost every harbor, river, and island in and around the entire Lake Ontario. She was "a one-finger steer", How sweet. I loved her for every minute that I owned her.
Good luck and fair sailing with your wonderful, Challenger 35' ketch. Stay in touch. I'm 85 and don't do any sailing anymore.