Too bad... if they are coastal cruisers they are probably getting to port too late for that last mooring buoy, the last spot on the dock, or the last table at their favourite restaurant.
One of the joys of sailing for me is all the tweaking and trimming striving for the best speed/VMG whether racing or not. - Catching that distant boat on the horizon in the next 10 or 20 miles...
I hate to see/hear newbies with Cat 22s and such without a vang "don't need it"... "don't know how to use it"... "doesn't really matter, does it??".. "we're not racing"
Beginning sailors are much more likely to experience a higher occurrence of accidental gybes and arguably 'need' a vang even more for that reason alone.
All of that is exactly right. In addition, even if speed has less than zero importance to you, proper use of outhaul, vang, and halyard tension results in less heeling, less weather helm, better course holding with less steering input changes, less wear and tear on the sails, which are all useful to sailors of all kinds, but especially to cruisers.
In the discussion about setting the vang and topping lift when raising and lowering sails, probably the one control line that almost never adjust in my topping lift. It remains set at a length which is sufficiently slack when under sail and coincidentally does not create problems with headroom in the cockpit when the sail is dropped.
Outbound's comment about the toping lift setting during a reef effecting the shape of his sail has me curoius since I have not seen that myself. In my case, there is no relationship between the topping lift settings and shape of my sail when reefed.
Before raising the sail, I typically preset my vang and outhaul to the positions that I typically use for light air, which are pretty slack. Both are led back to stoppers at the cockpit which are adjacent to the halyard so as the boat bears away I make final adjustments of the outhaul and vang, adjusting the outhaul first and then the vang.