Many owners of Mason 43's and 44's have done some serious offshore
cruising. You can join our owners group and seek more direct input.
A number of owners (some with kids/some without) have sailed the California
coast to Mexico
, then jumped off to the South Pacific
, others have crossed to the Med or to the Eastern Caribbean
. George Day (Blue Water
Sailing mag editor) circumnavigated with his wife and 2 children
. I have not heard of any horror stories involving the offset companionway. The only time its really ever come up is when Joe Minick's M43 Southern Cross got knocked down by a meltemi while at anchor
in the eastern Med. Think his companionway was open (no drop boards in place) and that allowed water into the interior
. He had an article about this event in Practical Sailor.
I think that if you are sailing offshore
on any sailboat and conditions are challenging with waves that could break into the cockpit
, you should have the drop boards securely in place. And you should have a spot to clip in your tether/harness for transitioning from down below to on deck
Have sailed our M44 for the past 26 years, I've never had any issues with the offset companionway.
By the way, a Mason 43 won the Cruisers division in the 2016 Newport-Bermuda race