Well you may be correct but the fact is that its boats like the old westsail that are used as examples of the best of the blue water cruisers made, not any of the modern designs. New designs of current manufacture may claim to be superior but where's the proof?
Please understand my knowledge and experience with sail is almost zero and I aplojize for my poor wording of my posts. I'm learning a lot from reading these forums and wish to thank you all.
Britt, with all due respect, for the most part amongst knowledgeable sailors and cruisers, few would still say that the old Westsail 32's are still the best of the blue water cruisers made. They were good boats in their day, and if your goal is to go small and simple, they still may be a good choice for some folks. But there has been a century of design and seaworthiness research since the basic design was penned by Atkins.
If you take a long view of yacht design history, there has been a progressive understanding of what makes a seaworthy boat, a boat with a comfortable motion, an easily handled boat, and so on. In each generation, there have been better and worse type forms. In Atkin's day, the 'Eric', from which the Westsail derived, was a super design given the state of art materials and methods. The reason that boats like the Westsails and Ingrids are still revered is that they were spectacularly good distance cruisers as compared to the boats that people like Adlard Coles was sailing and writing about.
And there is no doubt that there were periods in yacht design history where the run of the mill boat was a pretty lousy design to take offshore. But in almost all periods there have been cruising designs which have advanced the collective understanding of what makes a good offshore cruiser.
You say, "Please understand my knowledge and experience with sail is almost zero." There is nothing wrong with that, we all started somewhere. But whether you know it or not, you are debating with Bob Perry, who is the designer whose Valiant design progressed cruising yacht thinking a giant leap past the thinking which generated the Eric and Ingrid. Bob's Tayana 37, out Ingrid-ed the Ingrid, meaning it started from the same basic 19th century Colin Archer design concepts as the Ingrid but tweaked tweaked the design for the better as only a designer who lived 70 years later could.
But as good as Bob's Valiant 40 and Tayana 37 were in their day, it has been roughly 40 years since those designs first made waves. And I doubt that Bob would disagree that there has been a lot learned even in those 40 years and that if given a similar brief today, those designs would not look as they did. And the new designs would be more seaworthy, faster, easier to handle, have a better motion, but equally as sturdy, capable of carrying supplies, and bringing its crew back home.
These 40 years have been amazing in terms of what yacht designers and theorsists have learned about motion and seaworthiness, structural loading and the behavior of small boats underway. There has been a giant leap forward in terms of the design tools which exist. There have been huge advances in the materials and methods which are readily available. And collectively these have allowed inventive advances in the ways to make boats work better than they ever have in the past.
And so while not all new boats take advanage of these lessons, and its easy to point at some modern coastal cruiser and to try to make a case that a modern coastal cruiser is not as good a boat as some purpose built offshore cruiser from the past, as someone who has sailed for over 50 years on boat designs that date from the late 1880's through comparatively modern boats, I can tell you that comparing designs purposefully developed for the same specific purposes but from each period of time, the newer designs are truly safer, faster, more easily handled boats to sail in all conditions.
And that is the point being made.