Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale
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I'm no expert, but I venture to say that when the mucky-mucks do respond to this thread, it will go something like this in summary form. Forewarning - I own a coastal cruiser (Beneteau 343) and I bought it because my cruising will be Florida, The Keys, Bahamas and maybe a down island poke in the next 5-10 years. But mostly, it will be used on weekends and for the occasional longer cruise.
1) No one feature makes a boat offshore capable or not, but a combination of features or lack thereof coupled with the capabilities of the skipper
2) The Jeanneau you mention here is designed primarily to be a coastal cruiser but can make an offshore passage if you properly prepare yourself and the boat
3) This big Jeanneau wouldn't be the first boat someone would go offshore in...because it doesn't have enough tankage, the cockpit is too wide open and there aren't enough hand-holds.
4) Its very tough to get a boat with lots of space (in the cockpit and down below) and be a boat that can handle offshore conditions for an extended period of time. The same features that make a boat airy and open cut down storage and tankage. That queen center island berth is beautiful, but it comes at the expense of a good sea/pilot berth that can be used for a relief captain on a passage where you'll do shifts 24x7. The same feature that make a cockpit comfortable at anchor mean it can be treacherous underway. Have you ever been at the helm in a wide open cockpit when there are steep and big rollers hitting you? Its very tough to brace yourself in at the helm, even with dual helms. Its like doing the splits for hours on end to get enough foot bracing!
5) This Jeanneau could be made offshore worthy capable...but you'll spend a fortune on modifying things like the rig and safety gear and tankage. And the time spend modifying the boat will hold you back from the real goal which is to GET OUT THERE! At that point, you might as well have paid for one of the boats on that offshore list and have been cruising right away...many people lose the dream in the way of prepping the boat.
I think the soundest advice someone can give is to buy the boat that is designed for the sailing you intend to do. If your plans are to island hop and be able to make some longer passages offshore, then my perspective is that Jeanneau is a great boat. Its perfect at anchor...and you'll make a lot of friends with all the nice features on the boat.
If you're looking to cross oceans or go into rough waters in the higher latitudes, you could do it...but be prepard for rapid degradation of the equipment you have on board and for uncomfortable ride.
With regards to why the Jeanneau isn't on the offshore list...here's my take. That list is just the analysis of various critics. There are probably Jeanneaus out there that do make the occasional Atlantic crossing.