I read Ted Brewer's Primer on Yacht Design
and found it very educational. In it he discusses numerous factors of boat design and includes formulas he uses. Two of those formulas I had never heard of before: Comfort Ratio (CR) and Capsize Screening Formula (CSF). The first is to gauge crew comfort and the second to gauge how a boat will do in open water (basically).
For grins, I built an Excel spreadsheet that would determine those factors, as well as other factors, and took a sampling of 37'-40' sailboats and used Sailboat Data figures to plug in the numbers. Here's what I came up with:
Of course you shouldn't buy a boat based solely on these numbers but they can provide a different perspective that one may or may not want to consider.
If you want a very seaworthy boat that can handle heavy weather and speed doesn't matter, the CR38 could be the boat. For all around, the Swan and the Sabre 38-1 seem to be the better choices. For pure speed, it could be the Jeanneau or the Ericson.
Of course there's so many factors involved when buying a boat, but I thought it might be interesting to take a look at boats from a numbers perspective.
FWIW, the three boats on the right are recent models, the rest are designs from the 80's.