WESTSAIL 32 and similar
Let''s not wax too poetic about the W32.
I think the W32 is all image and little boat.
Another way to look at the Perfect Storm story is that the W32 was so un-manageable and uncomrfotable in the storm that the crew demanded to get off, even thought he boat was in no danger of sinking.
My best recollection of a W32 was joining tacks with one on Narragansett Bay in 20-25 mph winds. She had all these neat brown sails up, a Yankee and a staysail and a full main as I recall. However we quickly left her behind in my friend''s old Cal 25, going a few degrees higher and 1-2 knots faster.
Boats are all about tradeoffs of performance versus seakeeping ability versus robust construction, but a some point there is no excuse for just plain slow. The W 32 may look shipley on a calendar cover, but the boat is a dog.