You can still go downwind without a kite. I must admit though, I do miss flying a cruising chute. I enjoyed it.
True, but not nearly as well...
Furthermore, the working sailplan of most production sailboats is sized to drive the boat in the condition you see it at the boat show... By the time the massive amount of additional crap that most of us cruisers carry is brought aboard, and the additional windage created by the addition of canvas and jungle gyms, with all the assorted gear is factored in, most boats will be woefully underpowered under their working sails alone... Hence, the reason why cruising sailors need a good light air sail inventory even more than any other type of sailor - if they'd prefer to sail instead of motor, that is... Why more cruisers don't appear to appreciate that, I'll just never understand...
Besides, it is now obvious to me that you have NEVER cruised. I am shocked, given all the great advice you have shown here. Want to know how I came to this conclusion? Because no matter where you plan to go, you inevitably are always heading the exact direction of the wind. Thus, the spi would be worthless!!!
Nah, I think you're overstating that to a degree, I'd say the breeze is only on the nose a mere 90% of the time, or thereabouts... :-)
Actually, if you sail with the seasons, one can improve those odds considerably... One of the reasons the trip south and back north along the East coast makes for such a ideal winter's cruise, the prevalence of good NW-NE sailing breezes on the way down, and then SW-SE on the way back up... Sometimes one has to wait a bit for them to materialize, but when you're able to hitch a ride behind the passage of a cold front headed south in the fall, for example, sailing generally doesn't get much better than that...