Originally Posted by bobperry
I would warn you against lumping all full keel boats into the same performance basket.
In light air wetted surface is your enemy and pretty much any full keel boat is going to have more wetted surface than a modern split appendage design. But the term "full keel" is used to describe a wide range of boats and there are full keels and all variations on that theme and some will have less wetted surface and more artfully shaped keel foils.
You should pay attention to the SA/D of the boats you consider. Horsepower is a huge help in light air as is overall height of the rig.
I've owned two full keel older designs and one is a much better sailer in light air. The former had a SA/D of around 15, the later, nearly 18. Night and day in light air.
Another thing I learned from Bob, "Weight is the enemy". That one I use to advantage to get the most out of my full keeler in light air(I overloaded my first boat which made it even less of a light air boat).
Thanks Bob for these tips over the years, and you give your design experience in refreshingly few words, a real plus on the these forums.