Jessica Watson only missed West Cape (Stewart Island, NZ):
Thanks, I was recalling that she had experienced the worst weather on her trip in the vicinity of the Bass Strait, and had mistakenly presumed she passed N of Tasmania...
Also take a look at the boat she used, S&S 34. Now if you were to send your 16 year old daughter on a non stop circumnavigation via 4 great capes, what is the safest boat you could choose?
No question, the S&S 34 is a great boat in that size range... But, I think it's a bit silly to suggest that it, or any other particular boat, is unquestionably 'safer' than any other - there are simply way too many variables...
A couple of comparable boats off the top of my head, would be the Contessa 32, and the Camper-Nicholson 35... I'd probably favor the latter, it would be a much drier boat, and probably the best build quality of all 3... The C-N 35 would appear to be the least vulnerable to being pooped, and has a deeper, more secure cockpit, as well...
But if I did have a young daughter, and I was gonna let her take off around the world in a production boat, it would definitely be modified to have the vee-berth ripped out, and replaced with a collision bulkhead and watertight door :-)
NICHOLSON 35-1 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com