You may want to check out the boat evaluations done by Good Old boat magazine. They also occasionally have boat comparison articles written by Ted Brewer where he compares 3 older class boats of a similar type. these articles are right up you alley for the question you asked. Critical to light air prefoprmance appears to be the sail area to displacement ratio. It's also critical that the boat suitable light air/racing sails. Often you have a roller furl which is a comprimise.
From my very limited experience in Penobscott Bay I'd look for a boat with a radar and possibly a class 2 AIS set although the latter is new and I don't have expereince with them.