Yes, that First 40.7 is their boat of choice and yes it is a fast boat and yes they travel light and yes, they are circumnavigating.
You insist in not understanding that other sailors can have an idea different of yours in what regards a cruising boat. Yes there are many sailors to whom sailing pleasure is a very important part of cruising.
What I think or not is irrelevant to the way other sailors like to cruise and the sailboat they chose according with that. Believe me like you I know very well the boat I want and you can be sure that is not the boat you would want and vice-verse. There is not a perfect cruising boat but many different types of cruising boats for cruisers with different tastes, even for circumnavigating.
You prefer to sail a relatively slow boat (by modern standards) full of stuff inside. Ok, that's your type of pleasure, your type of cruising but I am amazed at your incapacity to understand that some would prefer a slower and heavier boat (some would even prefer an heavy old design) but others will prefer a faster and more enjoyable boat to sail.
On the interesting sailboat we have been following the circumnavigation of Capado, a small and very light cruiser boat. The crew is a young couple, they are top sailors, much better than you or I and I am quite sure that was the boat they wanted. They have the hull made and finish the rest but for the money they spend on a new boat they would have enough money to buy a used 40ft Catalina.
I am quite sure if I would suggest such a boat to them they would laugh at me, the same way you would laugh if I had suggested such boat to you for doing a circumnavigation.
Here some pictures of their boat:
Paulo, my friend, with all due respect, I wonder if we are having a translational issue here. To be perfectly clear, I understand (completely) that what I consider to be a good ccruising boat and wht others like may be very different. On that, we most certainly boat agree. What we do not seem to be communicating well on is that a J122, or First, or similar boat will have what I consider considerable issues for long distance cruising.
I will go back to reality. Here is reality:
In order for a person to live, they must breathe, eat, drink, and crap. Period. You don't do one of those for a long enough period of time and you will die. I don't care if you are in a Tayana, a First, a TP52, a Catalina, etc. Anything outside of that is luxury.
A person will create, with MINIMAL flushing, 1-3 gallons of waste a day. I know because I am measuring all of these for our book on living aboard. Now there are ways to decrease this (pee off the side, bucket, go to town, etc), but there are also a lot of ways to increase this (sea sick, bad food, too much beer, etc). Let's just say the typical, cautious cruiser will go through 2 gallons on average a day/person. The holding tanks of many of these boats are what... 18g or 22? I cannot remember. They may be less that that, but that seems about right. So two people on that boat have maybe 5 days (if they are lucky) before they have a full tank. Where does that go? Now if you are offshore, you can dump. But in the US, it is 7 miles off in the gulf, no discharge in the keys at all, and no discharge in many other areas (and none anywhere withing 3 miles). That is a real restriction with these boats. Can you increase tankage? Yes. But as we have both bween on these boats, where are you going to put it and at what cost in space? It is alreaedy at a premium.
Where do you put the gas cans on this boat?
Where do you put the tender or do you swim to shore? Without a tender, how do you do laundry in port, refill your water, get groceries, spare parts, etc? In many areas, you have to go via tender to do this.
WHat is the draft on these boats? Any boat with a draft over 6' on the west coast of FL will have to be very careful. at 7', you will likely have entire coves and entrances you cannot get into. I bumped on the ICW (in the channel) at 6. Anything over 7 is rediculous for this area at least, much of the keys, and many other areas I have sailed.
The J122 for example has a 45g water tank and a 35g fuel tank. I think you can increase the water, but where and at what cost in space?
You prefer to sail a relatively slow boat (by modern standards) full of stuff inside.
You have no idea what I have on my boat, but let me tell you. Now I will leave off the toys and children's related stuff. That is unfair to the discussion. But here is a list of some of the "full of stuff" I carry:
Tools and spare parts:
I carry a full complement of tools, including a wide variety of electrical, screw drivers, jig saw, drill, bolt cuttters, plumbing, etc. I have a complete list (yes, complete) I wrote for my book. It is very long. Everything (everything) in that tool kit has been used at one time or another. When you have done this for as long as I have (cruising since circa 2000), you learn things you should have and the ones you can make do without and leave along the way.
I also carry a wide variety of filters, extra belts, strainers, hoses, lots of extra clamps, spare pumps, etc. I can list thouse out too. It is not nearly as long as my other list, but hopefully extensive enough.
I assume you agree that cruising without a full complement of tools and spare parts is foolish? You must be self sufficient. In fact, the reason I am just now writing to you is that my bilge pump swith failed yesterday (and I blew a valve on my propane tank) - both of which are immediate fixes. It just happens. That's why you carry spares or have a variety of other things for emergency break-fix.
All these items take space. On my boat, stuffed and tightly fitting, they take up a 5x2x3 space. In reality, they take larger than that as some things (like a wet vac) are too large to fit in my tool compartment. All these things must go below the waterline, but not in the bilge. Where are you going to put them on that boat? Well, under the settee, of course. You just lost that space for other things.
My other settee is filled with a pressure cooker, rice, vacuseal machine, lots of galley stuff (flour, sugar, etc). It is also where I put my large and heavy cast iron skillet - to keep weight low.
In the bilge I keep my canned goods (lots of veges, soups, tuna, etc) which are heavy. THis also takes up the rest of my low dry storage. WIth that, my boat is filled below the waterline. We keep enough reserves for a comfortable month. We do not drink colas, incidentally, but I do enjoy beer which is having to be tapered because of space.
THe galley is filled with pots and pans, toaster, plates, glassware, and my dry storage is completely filled with dry goods (pasta, beans, some breads, etc).
THe salon and nav station is filled with charts and all navigational items. The salon is filled with paper items (paper towels, some paper plates, kleenex, etc). I do carry DVD's and a PS3 for the kids that takes up a cabinet, but outside of that, everything we have is what we need for basic living.
In each stateroom, all we have are clothes and many paper items (USCG docs, technical parts information, Yanmar manual, personal checking items), a small printer/scanner, a very small radio, several marine related books that are critical to me for reference, my guitar and a keyboard. THat's it.
I have a complete list of every item on this boat for the book. I wrote all of these out because I felt it was important for others to know what we carry, what works, and what doesn't. THe concept of going lean and mean just isn't reality because most people will look at my list and say, "well, I never thought about that and I will have to make a spot for it." This is information I have gathered over doing this since 1995, and cruising on/off since 2000 (really 1999). I would LOVE to know which of these things you feel is "all this stuff" that you are going to do without?
All these items take up space. Where are you going to put them on these boats? I will tell you: YOu will fill up every crevice, you will toss them into the quarter berths, and you will stuff that boat from bow to stern. Have you ever been on a F/T cruisers, liveaboard boat? Not a weekender or a vacationer - a fulltime cruisers boat? They are typically spilling over with all this junk. Believe me, as live aboards, we dump everything we can that is not essential (within reason)!!!! WHat you consider a performance cruiser (and I consider a weekend racer) simple is very short on cabinetry and places to stuff these things. That is for a good thing for a racing boat (your performance cruiser): it takes up weight and costs momey where most people would not use it. You fill a BF40 with the same cabinetry as a Tayana, for example, I bet you just lost a LOT of its compeitivness. But quite candidly, that is a silly discussion because that much cabinetry would never even fit on a BF40.
Now, once again, am I saying you cannot make a j122 or BF40 work as a cruiser? Absolutely not. You most certainly can MAKE it work. But unless cruising is marina hopping and short jaunts, to populated areas, these are the realities you have to deal with. You CAN make a J122 work... but it comes at a cost. And when you have loaded that boat "with all that stuff", you may find the great sailing charachteristics you bought that boat for are quickly lost. You may find your first storm offshore that those things that are not in cabinets are flying around like bullets (or you are slipping on them). How stiff is that boat now? WHat is its NEW RM? Because everyone of those items you stick above the waterline decreases it AVS, if not countered with an equally heavy item below.
You CAN make those boats work. Your friends in Antarctica are a prime example. There was a family I think that sailed on their First 40 around the world, IIRC. You CAN make it work. But, for the reasons I explained, I believe there are better boats for that use.