Thanks for the feedback! And for the perspective on engine power--a topic I know next to nothing about.
I agree that the speed/performance the Sabre offers over some of the other boats we've considered (Island Packet, Bristol, etc) would be nice. I do like the fact that Sabre has the advantage of doing the kind of cruising we want to do while being lively enough to be some fun in light air -- and get us into to port in a timely manner, as someone noted.
For this and other reasons, we have just placed an offer on the Sabre! Even better, it looks as though the seller will accept. So if there's no change of heart we're a fax away from a contract.
Of course, we can't get too excited yet. We still have to see what the survey uncovers. The Sabre is good old boat age--1981. She's been sitting on the hard for a while too (2 or 3 yrs), except for a sea trial last year, and there is one known repair needed to the starboard chainplate. There was a tiny bit of water in the bilge. So... anything is possible.
Well, here's hoping!