Originally Posted by JulieMor
It really only matters to me in that the boat will take us from point A to point B a bit faster. Most of my sailing was done on a Columbia 45 that needs a small hurricane to get her up to speed.
That is why performance matters to me.
Sailing is so much more fun than motoring. In my part of the world (Seattle) we often have winds under 10 knots. A boat that can go 5 to 6 knots in a 7 to 8 knot breeze will get a lot more sailing time than one that can't.
Pointing also matters to me for the same reason. This is also why I really like good sails, blown out sails really kill your tacking angles.
A boat that points well and handles light air well is also one that usually gets a good PHRF around here. My Pearson could do better in light air (the Catalina 25 that I used to own is faster in <5 knots of wind, I often sail side by side with the new owner), but does pretty well on pointing and was the right compromise for me on LOA (matters for moorage payments), performance, and cruising comfort.
Since little sailing up here is a beam reach I'm not sure that a Catamaran would be any faster. It would scream down wind, but only half of my sailing ends up being downwind. The other half is upwind, a tiny portion is a beam reach.