Well I just can’t resist jumping in on this topic. My boat, a 22 ft Bluenose sloop, is an older universal rule type boat that wouldn’t make Jeff’s list of performance boats in this day and age. But I sail it three or four days a week in the San Juan Islands without an engine. What surprises me is that I can catch almost any cruising boat that has decided to set sail and there aren’t many. Even though my boat was considered a race boat in its day I am only 16 feet on the waterline. So I shouldn’t be able to catch boat 10 to 15 feet or longer than me. By definition I sail on and off my mooring and I anchor under sail and although I am not on a specific time frame, if I get caught out in light wind I get to row home. And rowing has been a great teacher. With every stroke I think about ways to get better light air performance out of my boat. This is what I think the engine takes away from sailing. I really think that the auxiliary engine has become necessary for most modern cruising sailboats. So for me it is less about speed than it is about being able to sail when I want in the widest of wind conditions. So I guess I lean in a similar direction to Jeff on performance. Now if I could only get over my gosh darn love of old skinny boats with large overhangs.
Fun Topic Jeff.