Do not underestimate the importance of sailing well. You can't carry enough fuel to motor across the Atlantic. And better performing (sailing) boats have a huge safety aspect to them. Case in point might be when we came across the gulf. We got caught in a gale. I was hooking across at 8.5 - 9.5 kts. It minimized my exposure (and absolute discomfort). Now when the seas hit 10+ feet, I don't care what boat you are on, it gets uncomfortable with some baots worse than others. But if you are making best time across, you will be much happier. Plus, better sailing boats will use less fuel. You will be in light winds all the time (we are). Bobbing around at 3 knots stinks and you will get real tired of it real quick and turn on the iron ginny. There goes your fuel. Better sialing boats can get away with less fuel because they sail... a novel idea on a sailboat, I know.
I sail CIRCLES around IPs and Valiants - and my boat is grossly overloaded with everything from legos and books to a very large solar array. The wind has to really start blowing for the IP's of the world to catch up and when the wind is howling like that, you aren't going to want to go out in the first place because the seas stink. Now if you are in the middle of the ocean, you have no choice. I understand that. But all the better time to have a good performing boat that can make the most of the light wind days and have superior control when it is not so light (like being able to point and being sure footed).
I have (duck and cover) always felt that Sabres were over priced Catalinas and IP's were overpriced (and over hyped) tankers. ...
I could not agree more. Brian, there is still hope for you, I mean that you'll come to sail on a really fast cruiser boat
No kidding, the Island Packet was my favorite boat. Really was I swear... but that was 30 years ago
. Well I have changed as a sailor, but the IP has not changed that much.
On the ARC you will not be able to catch up with almost any-boat and will be left far behind. If you like to sail alone, that's fine, but then why do you want to make the ARC? You could go alone and save the inscription rates