First post greetings!

I've long planned to build a boat (or two) when I retire, and since that date is now less than a year away, the planning process is ramping up.

I've spent hours reading threads here and elsewhere, and based on my SOR (including size of shop, size of storage area, size of tow vehicle, target use, visual aesthetics, construction technique, etc.), Tom Lathrop's Bluejacket 24 seems to check the most boxes. (Others under consideration include the Devlin Surf Scoter 22, Tolman Jumbo, Redwing 24, Bluejacket 25.5, and a few others).

Somewhere along the line, a light went on when a thread discussed the value of designing to the 80% solution, rather than the 100% solution (an impossible task), and just learning to live with the occasional challenges on the margin. However, that last 20% does bring up some questions.

1. Since the BJ24 is designed for two people, how easy is it to accommodate a few guests on a day trip? Are the stern seats suitable for use underway in good weather? Or would guests be relegated to the berth?
2. Since the BJ24 does not have a dinette, what's the customary solution for eating, chatting, playing games, etc? Tom's website mentions the installation of a table that can be placed in different locations, but I haven't seen anything like that in drawings or photos. (I know that the BJ25.5 includes a dinette).
3. While the vast majority of my use will be in the Puget Sound, I hope to gradually expand my range to the Gulf Islands, and eventually make it through the Inside Passage to SE Alaska. Trips like this would be planned for good weather, with the ability to sit out unexpected bad weather in harbor, so I'm not concerned about any BJ24 limitations (real or imagined) with regards to rough water. But I am a bit concerned with limitations in terms of storage (extra clothing, foul weather gear, food and water, etc.), as well as ability to heat the cabin (solution might include a Dickenson or Wallas stove, or Esper-type heater).

Suggestions or comments appreciated! Looking to join the completed boat club in a few years!

Poulsbo, Washington, USA

PS: For context, I should probably mention that I have a 28 foot fiberglas sailboat (Spirit 28) that I keep in a slip. I love it, but between slow speed and inability to trailer, my range is very limited, at least without commitments of weeks or months.