FWIW, I think that the answer to CD's original question lies with his orginal post:
Next, lets define racer/performance/HD. My idea of a performance boat is a boat that meets or slightly exceeds hull speed in normal wind conditions. These are the typical conditions a cruiser will set off in, not necessarily the conditions they will see. Lets say these conditions are 15-20 kts sustained. A boat that cannot reach hull speed at these numbers is what I would define as a HD (heavy displacement cruiser... though I can think of a few more metaphors!). A boat that goes well over hull speed in 15-20, or in less than 15 sustained, I would define as a racer.
With that definition in mind, the difference between "cruising" and "racing" in any boat of any size you care to mention is nothing other than: weight
. ie. Safe, comfortable, long-term cruising requires being able to carry lots of "stuff". High-performance, short-term racing requires getting rid of lots of "stuff".
Therefore, to work out whether or not a particular boat will work for you requires first off, working out the weight of all the "stuff" (people, food, bikes, tvs, laptops, coffee mugs, etc.) you intend to take along with you and, with that number, working out precisely how large a boat you need to carry that weight whilst still maintaining whatever performance you're wanting for where you're going. This is exactly the way ancient explorers like Cook tackled the same problem.
Crunching the numbers, you'll quickly find that the reason why so many typical cruising yachts are HD is simply because they are designed to carry the maximum amount of stuff in the minimum size (capital cost)... and that to maintain greater-than-hull-speed performance from a racer whilst carrying the same amount of stuff requires something looking very much like a superyacht.