I saw Dorade a few months ago in a San Diego Harbor. We had a famous sailor on board that told us her story. I have always had an admiration for Sparkman and Stephens designs.
Let's hear from those who say new, modern sailboats are faster in all respects!
BTW, Dorade, at 52' in length, has a beam of only 10'3", about the same as a modern 30' boat-show sailboat (no sugar scoop transom, aft shower or double berth under the cockpit!).
Same beam and half as comfortable as a modern 30'.
No doubt Dorade is a beautiful boat and fast but the reason it won was on corrected time. If you really want to get the best bang for your buck on a S&S design I would suggest the Classic Plastic Dolphin 24 which won the Transpac Overall a few decades ago.
I think the previous discussion had some valid points in terms of being able to be competitive on a plastic classic. I doubt the purchase price, upkeep, comfort or cost to race of the Dorade is going to be any less than a TP52. Ar least with a Hobie 33 or J24 you are saving money on the purchase price with the ability to still be competitive.
While sailboat designs may come in slow increments over the last 80 years those small steps have added up to a huge leap. James if you have not been on a modern racing boat in 15 knots of wind, you owe it to yourself to at least experience it. You can then come here and say "eh, its not for me", but at least you might have a better understanding what 80 years of progress, carbon fiber and 10 or 100s of thousands of dollars gets you.
Given the once in a lifetime opportunity to race the Transpac I would be hard pressed to decide between racing on Dorade or a TP52. While either would be a great experience I would regret not having experienced the other.