Not necessarily referring specifically to Swiftsure, just meaning the ocean in general. I've personally never bottom fished at Swiftsure, but have targeted a lot of other water closer to the coast.
There are so many variables that its hard to give a black and white answer. Ultimately it comes down mostly to your boat, your confidence in it and it's various systems (Arimas being non self bailing, what's your bilge pump situation? Backups? GPS? Radio? Backups? Motor condition and maintenance up to date? Etc etc), and most of all your experience level on the ocean. In the right hands, and on the right day, a 16' Arima is certainly capable of playing out there. Chris Bellows used to have some awesome videos on this site of his adventures fly fishing out there in what I believe was a 16' Arima. That said, Chris guided out there for many years and had a ton of experience. I believe Swiftsure is like 13 miles or something from the whistle buoy...stuff can change drastically during that kind of distance. So many variables. For me personally, if the boat and motor were in good shape, all the safety equipment was covered, and I was confident in the weather/water conditions, I would have no problem running that boat out there. But only you can decide if you feel you have adequate experience and comfort doing so. Everyone is different. Ultimately I recommend erring on the side of caution at all times when talking about fishing on the ocean. Just so many things that you can't account for, and things change so quickly. Not at all trying to be a Debbie downer, or talk you out of it, just trying to be as realistic as possible. From what I've seen I am much more willing to take a small boat out to places than many others, so I'm the last one to lecture anyone lol.
The ocean is a different world, and running a boat on the ocean requires a different skill set. Again, variables. Does the boat have trim tabs? How comfortable and experienced are you running in a following sea? To get to Swiftsure you have to cross the north bound shipping lane.. I'm guessing you don't have radar, are you familiar with AIS? Many things to consider out there.
All that said, there is a TON of good bottom fishing much closer than Swiftsure. The reason I never targeted bottomfish out there was I simply didn't have any need to. Between NB and Skagway alone there is enough good fishing to keep a guys freezer full quite easily. I know Swiftsure is a popular halibut area, but I'm really not even sure how great the lingcod fishing is out there. And certainly no need to run that far for rockfish. I guess that's what I was getting at with my previous post....at NB you don't necessarily have to run way out into the open ocean to find good fishing, it's one the things I love about the area. Hell, you'll run past a lot of bottomfishing before you even get to NB when running from Sekiu.
Yea, I get that. The hard part for me is that I am new trying to figure this out on my own by research on the web before committing to go out there. Really its the same thing as fishing cutts and figuring that out. Spend time on the water and put the money to getting there and trying it out; there just could be a bit more risk if I make the wrong judgment call out there. Either that or I need to find some new fishing friends. hint... hint...