If you don't mind I would like to suggest a few points which you may be fully aware of. The choice of a boat like the Explorer 44 definitely has plot implications. Since only you know what you are trying to accomplish in this portion of the plot only you will know if this is the message that you want to send.
Within the plot there may be reasons why you might chose this particular boat, or specific motavations embedded in the character of the person who picks the boat which might lead them to select the Explorer 44, but in chosing such a marginally suitable boat, if you wish the story to be believable, you will probably need to write a clear exposition of those motivations into the story.
From the viewpoint of a sailor, simply hearing this particular choice for that particular voyage suggests some mix of three possible impressions:
-A trip like this would 'use up' a boat like the Explorer, so author plans to destroy the boat by the end of the passage.
-The person who chose the boat, either knows nothing about distance voyaging or else sees the boat and the heroine as totally 'disposable'. If that person knew about distance voyaging and cared about either, they would chose a more purpose built vessel.
-The author of the book knows little or nothing about sailing.
So to summarise quickly, the extra load for such an itinerary on such a boat could end up making the experience uncomfortable.
Excellent, as I said before, the person who picks the boat wants to challenge the intending recipient on that journey.
Secondly, they may arrive a little thinner than they left and considerably dirtier. Not a problem either.
You need to understand that the mix of starting with extra load but not being able to carry enough to actually make it safely, is not about being uncomfortable, or losing weight (most sailors would toughen up and lose weight on a trip like this), its about about greatly reducing the chance of survival to the point that a skilled and talented sailor would not make this trip except under serious duress.
This falls in a category that reminds me of a quote from a colleague who went through architecture school with me. He quoted an Art Institute of Chicago professor that he had before entering the university as saying, "Only a genius can do great work with bad tools, and a genius wouldn't [chose to work with bad tools]." Its just not believable that a skilled and talented sailor simply would chose this particular boat unless there was unique and compelling reasons to do so. And unless you set up those reasons believably, the sense of authentcity and credibility would be lost.
To explain why I say this, if we start with Ockham's razor on this choice of boat and consider the points in yesterdays's post, a boat like the Explorer 44 starts with a comparatively tiny carrying capacity.
When you start out with that kind of deficit of carrying capacity, there is a Sophie's Choice on how you adapt to that small capacity. If you overload the boat, you also over stress it; thereby reducing its safety margins, shortening its lifespan, and increasing the likelihood of not being able to complete the trip in one piece.
If you decide to beef the boat up to withstand these additional loads, you are adding weight and thereby reducing the already minimal carrying capacity available for consumables, and/or slowing the speed of the trip, resulting in needing more consumables. In other words, this quickly becomes a viscious design loop with one decision compromising the other possible choices.
Even simple decision points embody this kind of lose-lose decision making process. Take sails, conventional dacron is too stretchy to be used for both the light and heavy air sails so you end up carrying more sails than you would with high tech cloth, and dacron weighs more than high tech. The right high tech cloth to get a broad wind range lacks the robustness for a trip like this, and ideally would be replaced at somepoint along the way. If reinforced to make the trip, the sail gets heavier and so increases rigging loads.
If you want to get an authentic sense of what that kind of a survival voyage might be like, I would suggest that you might want to read Alain Gerbault's book, "The Fight of the Firecrest". Gerbault was an adventurer who in the 1920's, completed the third sole circumnavigation ever completed in history. This book describes his trans-Atlantic crossing as he is running out of food and water and the boat is failing.
The other book that I usually suggest to authors who are not life long sailors but who are writing sailing episodes is the book, "Shipkiller' by Justin Scott. While Scott's characters are a bit cartoon like, he absolutely understands sailing and the way that boats behave and that comes through unequivocally in his vivid sailing scenes.