I bought my Jeanneau
sun odyssey 51 1991 for the purpose of living aboard
and eventually sailing to far-off ports
of interest and adventure. The mast
is a rolling furler
, and massive. The winches are ST 66's and ST44's etc., as are the blocks big and worthy. There is alot of contraversy about whether production Beneteaus or Sun Odysseys and even the modern Hunters can handle Bluewater sailing. OK, fair question for any boat. Ask yourself this, "When was the last time you heard of one being lost
in the middle of a circumnavigation
?" YES, WE HERE OF BOATS BEING LOST
TO THE SEA all the time, but they are all makes and models and for many differing reasons , not which the least of may be sailor experience or a lack there of.
This question is a bit like asking "car" guys who makes the most worthy 4x4 truck. You even suggest a Nissan
or "other" traditionally unacceptable "man's" truck and you get an ear full.
For a better opinion(s) You need to always go back to the statistics you can find through the costguard records and all the online stats and owners groups as well as company reputations. Also important, the guys who actually own and have to live on them or deal with the law suits if something fails or has a habit of failing.
There are alot of "old-timers" out there two who will never buy a Toyota over a Chevy or Ford! Or a Range Rover over a Cadillac Esalade.
Here are some facts and some ideas to keep in mind while being bombarted with both traditional views and staunchy ..."don't rock the boat" kind of guys. And , of course, the ..." Leave well enough alone" guys who subscribe to the.. . "Change is bad! We don't like change"!!!
Most of the bigger Beneteaus and Jeanneaus( just as an example of a reasonablly priced mass produced sailboat) are sailed across the Atlantic every year by factory- paid delivery
crews to be sold here in the USA or chartered etc. That is "Blue water
sailing" Not a day sail near a coast When was the last time you heard of one being lost??? . Just recently a 203 or 4 ??? Hunter
completed a circumnavigation
of the world and was well documented by Latitude 38 magazine. The owner had the time of his life! And saild in comfort, I might add. One issue with a broken rudder
that he fixed when hauled out, but nothing else and it didn't stop him from completing. Todays liability issues make manufactures try harder to produce safer boats. Latest technology allows for better designs and at cheaper manufacturing cost by mass producing the design over and over again. Most production boat use name brand, tried and tested hardware
Laminations are better and modern yacht designs allow for better comfort and even , dare I suggest...luxery aboard? If you plan well and watch the weather, the truth is that being out-there in the middle of the ocean is only as scary as you let it be. Most circumnavigaters will never run into a huricane and the silly fact is most cruisers spend 90% of their time either on the hook, in a marina or day sailing
from one island to the next once you get across the ocean to the area you intended to get to. let's see, thats three weeks across a lot of nothingness then months of isalnd hopping and sitting on a hook, until you have to cross again.
I love my boat and it is a compromise, sure. But I am not racing
, want my comfort, not afreid of the ocean and I know the dangers of a lowering ones standard of comfort and living, and what effect it can have over time.
Are there stronger boats more suitable for scary seas? Sure. But I could choose to buy and drive an armoured car to and from work every day just so I couldn't get shot at, crashed into or die if run off the road. But it would SUCK 90% of the time! Hey, how many cruisers are out there right now, and then calcualte how many have died or will be lost due to JUST their boat design?