Complete novice at all of this if asked question would probably get brushed aside.
I will ask just in case I could be wrong.
Wind power is good thing.
What is with this heated debate about different shape of sailboats?
Some are narow some are wide. Narow is slow, wide is fast. What is safe, what is not for ocean travel?
Wide (and flat)
- is slow in low winds
- is slower upwind (and usually isn't able to point as high as narrow boats)
- able to plan downwind (and then way faster)
- is more stable in what regards heel
- has more space inside
- is less harsh in wave movement
- has less wetted surface and therefore faster in the light
- points higher and faster
- heels a lot
If you concider ocean traveling with the tradewinds (most of the time downwind) and do not care of a light and simple interior, the wide french performance-cruisers are your choice. If you are going mainly upwind and looking for a traditional wodden interior you might look for a more traditional boat.
In neither case you should take a fat (but not wide&flat) cruiser like a Bavaria or a Beneteau: These are made for living, not for sailing...