Many of the early fiberglass yawls were very poorly engineered
Jeff I was with you on the pros and con’s of Sloop’s vs Yawl’s and Ketches until you made note that “Many of the early fiberglass yawls were very poorly engineered”. I believe you are “kind of” right if you had stated that they where so darn over built that, that could be perceived as poor engineering. While the early Bristol’s may had a problem like many new boats of today. The Block Island 40’s, Bermuda 40’s and many other where built like tanks. Now I’m bias, I’m an owner of a BI 40. She has turned 50 the boat has not had on signal structural issue, the biggest problem we have with her is trying to get deck fittings and through hull fittings long enough to make it through. As for a back stay going around the mizzen mast, I would argue this point as well. Many slops have split back stays for a number of reason, some for racing and some just to get to the swim platform. I have seen many Ketches with a stay from the mizzen mast to the main mast but many not yawls. Our mizzen mast has no back stay or fore stay and relies on being a stiff keel step mast. All the rigging on our mizzen is original, stays, turnbuckles extra with out any failure. I suspect the people at Hinckley knew what they where doing as well.
Every aspect of sailing is a trade off, and finding the right boat for you can be a long journey in its self. If I had the chance to meet the late Bill Tripp JR. I would thank him for his poor engineering. Our BI 40 loves a stiff 20 knot on the beam with only about 10 degrees of heel under jib and jigger averaging 8 knots. For myself I wouldn’t trade my old yawl for any other boat on the market.