Originally Posted by deltaten
I figger it's better ta get there in one piece than get there FAST and chance breaking something!
Am I wrong??
You are not "wrong" but its a puerile statement. Unless you make good boat speed to weather the leeway will push you backwards so you will never get to where you are going.... Unless, like old sailing ships your turn and go round the world.
Beating to weather in a cruising boat built poorly is hell to take cruising to weather. You don't make anywhere near a 90 degree tack. With waves slowing the boat, leeway, current, unusable gusts, a good cruising boat may be quite lucky to get 110 degrees. A poor boat 130 degrees.
When I say unusable gusts I mean because we are not hand steering we can't take advantage that a helmsman would of gusts, minor variations in direction "lifts" etc. a racing boat going well up wind is using them all. I spose too that every "knock" on a cruising boat on autopilot will slow the boat down more and for longer than hand steering.
In my idea of cruising I try to do the upwind bits in a block. I am not interested in sailing them in day hops, give me the bad stuff and lets get it over with.