sails well in light air AND heavy weather?
I t actually seems that sailing well in heavier conditions is the more difficult part of the compromise. I agree with most of Jeff''s criteria, but not necessarily the D/L and SA/D target he''s suggesting.
There may be other ways to broaden the performance to get a more inclusive list of boats.
The low VCG and narrow hull (easily driven) give performance that is both
--stiff and able to carry sail better in snotty conditions;
--and able to slide through the water with minimal horsepower from the sails (and corespondingly better chance in bad conditins of not flogging the crew) .
The easily driven hull will also get you to moderate/low form stability (cause it''s just not that fat).
We found that minimizing the prop drag by installing a feathering prop was far more important than shopping for the lowest wetted surface in keel & rudder.
Getting a hull that is narrow enough, yet still broad enough aft for good reaching is tough. The J-boat cruising line 32, 40 42 are good examples, as is the Nordic 44 and some of the Peterson models. It was too small for our family, but the Olson 34 and Santa Cruz 27 could be other examples of the concept.
We didn''t want a cored hull but did want a cored deck, so our tradeoffs led us to a Newport 41 mk II (it''s a C&C design).
Most of the very pinched IOR sterns are more narrow than the goal Meanwhile the "let''s look good at the dock" boats are too fat. (aka "lets ventilate the rudder and lose all control while underway")
The place I have trouble with part of the other recommendation is the SA/D and D/L. Above 22 you have to be right on top of any reefing requirements, and that''s a handfull if you are using family as crew. 17 seemed right for us.
On the D/L aspect, ours comes in at 240 static and call it 190 when heeled underway. That tradeoff to get the solid hull was ok for us.