People who find very large boats not suited to short handed sailing are not envious. They are not necessarily poor planners either. They are not necessarily short of funds. The OP actually asks about the challenges of mid 40s boats for short handed for an around the world journey.
Such a journey would likely include sailing in populated areas which support marine
services and area well off the beaten track which don't.
Obviously cruising around southern New England
... one is never more than 10 miles (if that) from virtually any marine service
one might need. In the popular to sail Caribbean
you won't find much support on many of the Islands. You will find virtually no marine services on the entire Amazon north coast of SA aside from Venezuela
to perhaps Forteleza over a thousand miles. When I sailed this coast, the country of Suriname had a single
facility with a floating dock
which a small boat could tie up to. No West Marine nor Home Depot. The demands for reliability
is not the same depending on where you sail when you are a round the world
is not directly correlated to complexity as Mike points out in something like a modern GPS
. Because of the nature of electronics
and micro processors... they are not serviceable by the end user. One needs spares to replace them or redundancy.
Sail handling and anchoring
are mechanical "things"... actually primitive/basic ones and those systems do fail and you usually need "brute" strength to do a work around. Low tech large ships sailed the world... with large crews for this reason.
My sense is the OP believed that a mid 40s boat had the volume, stowage, and speed for the round the world cruise
but was more concerned at what happens when things go south... ie how manageable are the work arounds. And how do these issues change as size increases.
Age is clearly a factor here as well. You might have worked until retirement
with a decent stash of cash only to find you have less strength, agility, balance, stamina, diminished hearing and sight and so on that makes dealing with physical challenges more difficult that one had as a younger person. And these "handicaps" are mitigated by the complex mechanical systems.
Joe Harris who is not a spring chicken nor a retired slow moving senior attempted a round the world solo record
. He had sponsors and lots of support. He had all manner of problems and difficult conditions and had to "pull in" to repair his electrical system
because the charge regulator
... or some part which he could not service
failed. He waited for weeks to get it. This illustrates a failure and the solution that people can and do face when they get off the beaten track. Seems as if have spares for the mission critical electrical charging
system would have been smart. But his team believed, I suppose that this was a component unlikely to fail.
It seems that the thrust of the OP was to get at the size which was reliable enough, and repairable enough alone when off the beaten track. A boat that he could sail, anchor
, etc. when systems had failed for whatever reason... This sounds to me like mostly a question of mechanics... strength.