Wide (and flat)
- is slow in low winds
- is slower upwind (and usually isn't able to point as high as narrow boats)
- able to plan downwind (and then way faster)
- is more stable in what regards heel
- has more space inside
- is less harsh in wave movement
- has less wetted surface and therefore faster in the light
- points higher and faster
- heels a lot
If you concider ocean traveling with the tradewinds (most of the time downwind) and do not care of a light and simple interior, the wide french performance-cruisers are your choice. If you are going mainly upwind and looking for a traditional wodden interior you might look for a more traditional boat.
In neither case you should take a fat (but not wide&flat) cruiser like a Bavaria or a Beneteau: These are made for living, not for sailing...
This I do not agree with. Sweeping generalizations, as I see it. Robelz view is the rather old fashion view that many "old salts" (who owns narrow boats) use to claim.
Any meaningful comparision must have some common ground, point of reference. Otherwise one compares apples with bananas.
My personal experience defies RobelZ statements:
My boat is about the size of 12 m x 4 m, quite fat then. In the area we are sailing there are many long and narrow boats, as Safir, Smaragd, Wasa 55, Omega 42 and so on. In light winds we are usually faster, maybe with an exception for light downwinds. We usually can point higher, still go faster than the narrow ones (a bit of a chock for the Safirs, I can tell you, these are famous for very high pointing ability).
When the wind increase, speeds start to approach hull speed, then the longest waterline usually dominates, as expected.
What regards heeling stability, one usually talks about
- initial stability
- final stability
Initial stability is stems mainly from form stability, ie the shape of the boat where a fat boat has an advantage. On the other hand, many narrow boats are more or less intended to sail heeling, and has often a pronounced final stability, which is not as pronounced on a fat boat. Fat boats are often intended to be sailed with just a minor heeling.
In neither case you should take a fat (but not wide&flat) cruiser like a Bavaria or a Beneteau: These are made for living, not for sailing
is often used in the debate in one or the other form, usually naming some mass produced boats (but I have heard it about many other boats as HR elder generations, Vindö, and so on).
It is of course incorrect. In the case of Bavaria and Bene, they have both models that are fast and can compete with many others, both manufacturer also produces slower boats.