Originally Posted by danielgoldberg
In what way? Not picking a fight at all, just curious about your perspective.
OK, so here's my take and I admit it is perhaps tainted by all the blue water boat babbling on these forums. It's a condensed view/summary.
In the US and UK you still have a significant design trend for moderate LWL vs. LOA, narrower beam/LOA/LWL ratios, and only moderate transom width. You find few if any true "planing designs". Big premium on the creature comforts under deck leading to higher displacement ratios. That doesn't even include the likes of an IP that is really a design of another age. I'm not suggesting these boats don't work, and I do like the Rustler 42 as an example, but the sailing qualities are overrated for the vast majority of sailing in these parts (and I think on the East coast US as well)
Over here you have a much broader and generally available set of designs where planing hulls, whether aggressive like the Pogo, JPK, Bongo, etc, or the more moderate designs like the First classes, X, Dehler, Comets, ets. The boats typically have a near even LOA/LWL ratio, larger beam/LOA ratio and larger transoms. Displacement is lower but the Keel/ overall Displacement ratio is pretty good. Even the more recent HR's, Najad, etc are following this trend. I won't get into the sail plans and rigging as it really depends on who you buy from but you don't see those big 135% foresails anymore over here.
I tend to find that the argument (at least on these boards) for what's a safe, sturdy well found boat always comes back to some roundabout justification of why the narrower, non-planing, heavy, and non fin-keeled boats are better than the lighter, faster, wider and high keel/disp ratio boats. With todays manufacturing methods and materials there is really no reason to state one is better than another as a fact, just take a look at a Pogo 6.50 on the transat or almost any of the Transquadra boats. Any well manufactured design these days is capable of taking you from A to B in safety. Some may prefer to take longer to get there and there may be greater comfort depending upon the seas and wind, but I do not think one can state that those are the "safer" designs.
And no worries, all boats... well almost, are beautiful so no reason to fight over'em!