i see many sailing boats motoring instead of sailing--i do not understand how folks can actually say they SAILED from one place to another--i motor sail, much of the time, but, puleeeze...is a lot more comfortable not trying to emulate a 747....
btw--i do not sail up wind nor up hill. i sail with the seas and winds usually, here on west coast. the trick--never sail north. north is a no no--uncomfortable and bashing type of travel--nasty.
seems no one tacks anymore???? why not just buy a motor boat and cruise on that....
Well if you are just playing around with the boat you can chose never go against the wind but if you are cruising and want to go from point A to B and if they are at a considerable distance (some thousands of miles), sooner or later you will have head winds. then you can chose to motor, to motor sail or to sail. Sailing, as it was pointed out, is less fast but more comfortable and then pointing ability will make all the difference regarding VMG.
There are only two ways to cruise considerable distances avoiding upwind winds: One is circumnavigating following the trade winds, the other to be totally dependent of seasonal winds, many times months apart.
Regarding being uncomfortable normally boats with a good pointing ability are good sailboats that can sail with light winds and you can make good speed upwind in almost flat water with 6K winds and go at almost hull speed in 8/9K, with very small waves and that is just great fun.
I sail a lo upwind and that's why I have choose a boat with a good pointing ability.