Originally Posted by Ninefingers
Every boat is designed with a purpose. I think the OP wants a boat designed to be a coastal cruiser. Therefore, isn't assessing the racing qualities of a Hunter a moot point?
I was merely pointing out that although I have seen plenty of Catalinas on the race course, I have never seen a Hunter. That was not to say that the OP should be concerned with weather he could race a Hunter. The comment speaks directly to sailing qualities that make a good sailboat. While it is true that there are some "qualities" desireable in a race boat that may not be desireable in a cruising boat, the fact remains that performance boats are such because they have more good sailing qualities. They tend to have better sail plans, better weight distribution, better keel design, better hull form, better ergonomics etc. Keep in mind that I am not just talking about race boats, I am talking about performance cruisers, racer-cruisers and just well designed cruisers.
In my mind even a coastal cruiser should be a good sailer. I still want to get where I am going in decent time. The better a boat sails the more likely it is you will spend more time sailing and less time motoring. We have friends that have a Hunter 45, and they don't even bother with the sails unless it is blowing over 10kts, because they are hopelessly under powered.