Agree completely... But, the bulk of what I've been posting in this thread, has been in response to the blanket assertion that "today's production boats are far better... than the stick built boats of the 80's"...
And that is true if we take that as a generalization. Regarding production boats in the 80's the quality was a lot less homogeneous than today, in what regards control quality and in what regards design quality.
Today only American mass production builders insist in designing the boats in the house and having the owner a definitive way regarding how the boats should be designed.
In Europe all the mass production builders have the best NA and the best interior designers working for them and the owner just wants to provide what sailors want and not sell to them his idea of what a sailboat should be. This have put boat design on the hands of the best professional and the results are clear in what regards top quality.
That does not mean that there was not great boats made in the 80's or great designs just that the global quality of design and control quality was average when compared with today.
Another issue is that the market today is a lot more diversified than in the 80's and the choice of type of boats is much wider than what was before. Some boats, not to say many, even if they can sail pretty well, have prioritized interior spaces over sailing functionality and have higher freeboards or small deck passages than what should be convenient for a better sailing functionality. I have to say that on that Hunter 49 the space is really very small for a 49ft boat
There are also boats that are good overall sailboats with an adequate stability, easy to sail, with great storage space and a great interior at a price, that comparatively with the boats from the 80s is low. These boats sail better than the boats from the 80's have more interior space, more light and storage. Eventually upwind they can be a bit less comfortable but it is a small price to pay for an overall better performance.
When you deliver a Jeanneau 409 or a Hanse 415 I would like to have your opinion. The rigging is very simple and they are not made for the ones that like to trim perfectly the boat, they are made for the ones that buy point and shot cameras, but as with some of those, they can get very good results without knowing much of anything.
Not all modern cruisers, even if they look alike are the same. The main difference many times has to do with the ability to sail upwind with waves, that is something that most of the sailors don't do these days and the builders and designers know that