I know how a boat like that is sailed (I like tall ships) and that's why I have said that sailing a boat like this in stormy conditions is not a thing for amateurs but for a very athletic and qualified crew and not a small one. For stormy conditions I don't mean a hurricane.
I really think you guys are exaggerating in what regards the sailing potential of the boat and in what regards boat condition and design. The boat was designed according to plans and made bigger. I bet that those alterations were made by a qualified NA. That alteration of ballast don't seem to me to have a great importance in what regards boat seaworthiness. It was projected by a NA and was designed to give the same RM that the boat had before. The alteration on the water line was not significant.
The boat was completely renovated few years ago and nothing remained from the original boat in what regards hull and rigs. On the shipyard where the boat was repaired recently, the same that made in the last years all the boat renew work, they said that the boat was in good condition.
What seems wrong to me was not properly the boat but the wiring we saw on the photos, the condition of the Generators (that they did not review on this maintenance) and the nonexistence of independent water pumps, namely diesel driven ones. That has special importance in a boat that the shipyard acknowledges that leaked. Some leaking can be normal on a wooden ship of that size but that only make more necessary to have a very good pumping system with an independent back up system and of course, clean bilges not to clog the pumps.
This is a XVIII century designed ship, that has the performance of a boat of that time and requires an athletic expert professional crew to be sailed in anything less than fair weather. Not even with a top crew a XVIII century captain would have sailed this ship to the proximity of an hurricane, if he could have avoided that.
Regarding the maintenance of the boat and its condition:
BRIDGEWATER — The replica of HMS Bounty returned to the water after a month of scheduled repairs just one week before it set sail from Connecticut on Capt. Robin Walbridge’s birthday last Thursday.
Eric Graves, president of the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Maine, said his yard completed about four weeks of routine maintenance on the vessel. The yard has also carried out two major refits of the ship over the past 10 years,
The work that was just completed included scraping and painting the bottom of the vessel, refinishing some interior woodwork and making three new spars.
No planks needed to be replaced on the bottom part of the ship, but there was some “very minor” planking to do at the top of the hull, he said.
Graves said it was not included on the work order for his yard to check the generators, but he said the Bounty’s maintenance crew checked them and there were no problems.
There have also been reports that the ship’s hull leaked. Graves said while the shipyard did some caulking, it was “very minor; everything looked pretty good,” and there was no concern of excessive leaking.
...Boothbay Harbor Shipyard built a new hull in 2002, including replacing all the bottom planking, the rudder and 95 per cent of all the frames.
A yacht brokerage firm also said the ship’s John Deere engines were new in 2004 and that one of the 35-kilowatt John Deere generators was new in 2007 and the other was rebuilt that year.
The square sails and standing rigging were replaced at a boatyard in Alabama in 2005. In 2006, the Boothbay yard replaced much of the boat from the waterline up, including the ribs, the frames, bulwarks and planks on the deck. The interior was also changed, with four cabins and a new galley added.
Shipyard: Months of repairs on Bounty rang no alarms | The Chronicle Herald