I"m just wondering Jeff, What boat do you own?You have the absolute wrong boat if you would "like to be able to take a 120 foot breaking wave broadside and survive". My family owned a Contest of the same era as your boat. While Contests were beautifully finished inside, from a build quality standpoint and mopre specifically from a structural viewpoint, they were very poorly engineered and constructed. While some of the built in defects may have been corrected by prior owners, and some of the could be corrected with a massive rebuilding effort, there is no work around for the poor handling characteristics of these boats.
And while this is true of many boats of this era, structurally, the internal framing of the Contests consisted of softwood framing poorly glassed into the hull. These elements included ncluded the tranverse frames which transfered the keel loads out to the hull.
Another questionable structural element was the mast support. On our boat, the mast would compress the deck to the point that if you chose to close the door to the forward cabin, the deck would compress making it impossible re-open the door again until sheets were eased and the point of sail altered sufficiently to take the strain off of the mast support.
Other build quality issues which may have been corrected by now, included a dubious electrical system which would cut out, and short out at random, black iron fuel tanks and iron engine exhaust systems.
During the time that we owned our boat, my father remedied as many of these built-in defects. The rest we lived with.
But the sailing characteristics was the worst thing about these boats. These were early fin keel-spade rudder boats. The hull forms were such that as these boats heeled over, they would jack up out of the water, and suddenly and unpredictably reach a point where they would aerate their rudders and round up without any warning. I have been on other boats with this same issue, but these were the worst that I have ever experienced. In many boats with this problem, there was some kind of clue that this was about to occur, and you would learn to watch for that clue such as limiting the heel to a maximum heel angle that was safe to prevent the round-up. In the case of the Contest in gusty conditions, this happened so suddenly, and without a 'tell', that you could not play the sails quickly enough to prevent the round up, and the round up could be so quick that it can throw you onto the other tack.
In constant wind and wave conditions this was not much of a problem, you could tweak and feather, but in the larger waves encountered offshore, and with the difference in wind strength between the trough and the crest, these boats would quickly wear down a crew.
For that reason, while these boats might make reasonable coastal cruisers, they would be somewhere near the bottom of a list of boats that I would ever think of making an offshore passage in.