When we were in the early part of deciding which boat to buy last year, we mulled with the idea of buying a racer/cruiser like a C&C, a J Boat or something of that ilk. In the end, we decided that we would not do enough racing to justify the compromise in cruising comfort.
Most of the racer/cruisers we looked at were a little too spartan for our tastes and seemed to skimp on robustness compared to the cruisers we were looking at.
A friend turned me on to this web site, that tells the story of the Wilson family who have converted their J42 Ceol Mor, to sail around the world. I especially loved this page on how they converted her for the task. Some of the modifications are not surprising like the addition of a water-maker and new communications equipment. In the main it seems to more about an ounce (or a ton) of prevention by increasing the weight and size of the anchor, amount of chain and an awful lot about better ways to manage power.
It's the constant frustration about sailing. You spend a lot more time and effort worrying about the non-wind-related means of power and propulsion than you do about actuall sailing.