Here is a photo of our first sailboat. It was a Fantasia 35, hull #47, built in about 1974. We bought it and moved aboard with no blue water sailing experience, but planned to sail it to Mexico. We lived aboard, learned to sail it, outfitted it, and took off after about 18 months. We had a great time in Baja California for a few months, but discovered that the people who bought our house were not making the payments to us, so we came back and recovered what we could and sold the boat. We've never regretted all the valuable lessons we learned from that experience. And after we returned we did some skippering on other boats and learned even more about traveling on the ocean.
The lesson that seemed most important was that you need a boat that sails well for cruising. The Fantasia was comfortable and had plenty of tankage and storage space, but it had way too much freeboard, really full sections fore and aft, and was rather under powered. We added the little self tending staysail and that helped some, but none of our passages were anything to brag about. Some Fantasia owners have added bowsprits to balance the sailplan and been quite happy with the results.
So although we didn't end up keeping Skua, I still have a little soft spot in my heart for her and am thankful for all the lessons she taught us.