I don't know if you remember the movie, "The Flight of the Phoenix." It was about a plane crash in the African Wilderness and how a Toy Airplane Designer modifies the plane wreck's remnants into a flighable contraption(no more, no less).
The tension/denounement comes from Jimmy Stewart, who is a seasoned pilot because he just doesn't get the theory of aerodynamics: Flight is about weight, lift and drag whether a toy or a C5A(much less the new Airbus: super plane).
Macgregor floats because of buoyancy. How she handles seems acceptable to good from what I've read and she can make "incredible" speed for a a sailboat. It can't do everything, but it's comfortable and sailable and in a "perfect storm" it can get you the hell out of there.
She can sail to Catalina or the Bahamas from Florida as long as you sail intelligently, which would seem to apply anytime you are in a boat whether sail or motorized.
Not perfect, but an acceptable compromise, which seems especially acceptible to a novice earning their water-wings.