Brent- I hope to be voyaging soon. Seriously looked at wood/epoxy,Fe,Al,grp,and exotics. Took years of research before making final decision. Listened to others experiences and chatted up as many people as I could. Knew I wasn't going to do high latitude sailing (would choose Al in that case). Issue you face is until you accept the performance penalty your designs impose and speak honestly about this you will continue to have a limited audience. Please post PHRF or sailing polars or attested ships logs or something so folks can make informed decisions. I believe below approximately 50ft. the penalty is too high for steel. above that very reasonable performance can be achieved. Paulo has stated he thinks I pay too high a penalty given I opted for a solid glass hull. I'm very happy with my decision. Some folks may be very happy in steel below 50 ft. but please generate some facts so they can make an informed decision.
Do a search under Silas Crosby the first brentboat to round Cape Horn, now cruising SE Alaska. He gives his passage times, which are about average for most plastic cruising boats in the 36 ft size range. Paul Wilson gives his brentboat speeds on the origamiboats site. There he mentions a Bruce Bingham designed Fantasia leaving Fanning four days before him. Paul said he quickly caught up with and passed the Fantasia. Read Moitessier's book "The Long Way " which blows the myth that a 40 ft steel boat is slow. There are many small steel cruisers out cruising, down to 30 feet or less, which make the same passage times as most plastic boats in that size range. You will mete a lot of them when you head out cruising. Ask them about their passage times. Most wouldn't want to be in anything but steel . Few would change to plastic. The huge weight of gear and personal effects most cruisers take, makes the hull material weight irrelevant. There are plenty of plastic boats in the same weight range, or much heavier than my boats. ( Westsails ,Aleuelas, Ingrids, Hereshcoffs, Cape George cutters, etc., etc.)
The myth that steel is impractical for boats under 50 feet is entirely made up by those trying to sell you plastic. Everyone doing a good passage time in a steel boat under 50 feet, puts a lie to this myth, every time they do.
You may eventually want a steel boat. According to Jimmy Cornell's book "Modern Ocean Cruising" most do, once they get a bit more long term ocean cruising experience.