boat check - to Jeff H and others
First of all I apologize to everyone for the three copies of my submission. I am not exactly sure what happened there.
I do think that this is a wonderful discussion because it demonstrates how individual sailing styles can result in very different ideal boat sellections. Bob and I clearly have differing sailing styles. I really have no problem with the concept of beating, and in fact on a lighter air day prefer to beat because of the higher apparent wind across the deck.
While I too prefer not to cruise to a schedule, when you cruise in places like the banks in the Bahamas where it is important that you have vertical light to slide through skinner places means that you either make sail longer routes around these areas, motor to maintain speed, sail shorter legs perhaps bouncing on the anchor, anchored out over the banks or else having a boat that can be sailed at speeds that allow a quicker passage under sail. None of these are the wrong answer and cruisers elect to do all of these things but for specaking strictly for myself, I would prefer to have a boat that makes the last option posible.
I do want to touch on Bob''s point about adding the weight of supplies and ggear to a boat. While it is true that a substantially heavier boat can often tollerate more gear with a minimal loss of performance, a lighter boat even with a greater loss will often still out perform the heavier boat with the same added weight.
But again this comes back to my earlier point. If we consider two boats of equal displacement, the longer boat will generally have a substantially larger waterplane. It is the water plane that controls the amount of submersion inches that occur with a additional loads and it is submersion inches that have the biggest effect on increased drag. In other words, the longer boat of the same displacement (light L/D) will actually tolerate more weight than a shorter boat (Higher L/D) of the same displacement. Again if speed is not important than of course this is not as important a consideration.
I want to come back to the original post here. The boat in question is intended as a single-hander going offshore. I have pushed 22,000 lbs boats around single-handed. It can be done, but boy does it take a lot more physical energy. While winches give you the mechanical advantage to deal with the higher loads, it takes a lot more turns of the winch handle to actually pull in the same amount of line and with the larger sail plans of a 60% heavier boat, there is a lot more line to haul.
As anyone who has followed this boards has probably noticed, I like being able to push a boat at speed whether I am single-handing or with crew. To me, keeping a boat at speed is one of the more challenging aspects of sailing and it is the challenges of voyaging under sail with the least amount of engine time that gives me a lot of pleasure. But as this discussion points out, we all come at this sport with our own goals, pleasures and experience and for the most part there is no one right answr here.