That's what I thought. And you did your circ in a production boat...and didn't die? And I think you're actually still sailing it because it hasn't fallen apart yet?
Yep, I'd definitely consider you one of the experts.
Smack, expert regarding what? To show that an Oceanis 39 is well capable of circumnavigate if one chose carefully the right seasons and evade high latitudes?
I have a fellow countryman that had circumnavigate solo 2 times with the same boat, a Bavaria 36, I know of at least another guy that had solo circumnavigated solo on another one, heard about a Frenchman that was doing it and have a friend that had crossed the Atlantic several times and sailed extensively with one.
Sure, production boats, even smaller ones that the one Mark has can do it with a reasonable safety margin but that does not mean that they are the most appropriated, comfortable or safe boats to do that, even in that length class.
I know very well the Bavaria 36, had made about 15 000nm in one and I know also Mark's boat since a fiend had one on my marina and I used to sail in it and also sailed together with them.
I know for instance that the Bavaria 36 can go closer to the wind and faster than the Oceanis 39 in fair weather (we sailed many times together) but I also know that kind of boats (with a low B/D ratio) have problems going against a lot of sea close to the wind even with a lot of wind and they slam if keep too close to the wind. Both boats have the same kind of hull, with not much rocker and entries that cannot be considered fine.
Of course as Mark says his does not slam sailed by him, and for that you have just to go away from the wind and have a more open course but that will translate in a worst performance, meaning a worse velocity made good against the wind.
Both boats have similar keels and the Oceanis 393 has a better D/B ratio (27% and 29%) even if both boats cannot compare for instance regarding that and particularly stifness with Elan 400 that I posted before. This will make the Bavaria a more tender boat and in fact one of the Bavaria characteristics was that he sailed with a lot of heel, at least if one wanted to go fast. With a lot of waves I doubted that the Bavaria could be faster upwind. Pretty sure that it would be slower.
Anyway I can assure you that a boat like the Elan 400, or my own boat will pound less and sail faster against the wind than the Bavaria 36 or the Oceanis 393.
Bottom point, I believe that Mark is a very experienced sailor but that does not make him necessarily an expert about the best boats to circumnavigate. Any boat designer with a lot of experience in sailing and designing boats will have a more expert opinion about that.
Anyway I don't believe that there is only a type of boat suited for bluewater cruising and that's why very experienced NA come with very different solutions. I believe that almost all mass produced boats with over 33ft can do it with an adequate margin of safety (if rigged and prepared for that) I believe also that there are better boats to do that then others, even considering the several personal options regarding sailing style and living lifestyle.