You certainly are fortunate to be in a place where the wind blows strong and consistent! Not everyone is so lucky! I wonder how you would feel about sail only, "come what may" when it is only blowing under 10 knots, or 5 knots! That is what we sometimes get, and believe me, it takes some skill and patience to get some decent boatspeed.
If it took me over 12 hours to go 79 miles with up to 18kts windspeed and favorable current, I would be diving my boat to figure out what I was dragging on my keel! 6.5kts average boatspeed on a 53ft boat is well under hull speed!
I get that you are a heavy cruiser, and that you are in no hurry, but for many people, learning to get the most out of their boat is part of the joy of sailing! Many, perhaps most of us are stuck on shore earning our living, and when we get away on our boats we want to make the most of our vacation days. For me that means being able to cover a lot of ground under sail so I can get to farther destinations in a limited time.
But you are right, you don't have to race to become a good sailor, but it certainly helps, and it will likely raise your standards around your boat's performance potential!
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Obviously, you haven't much experience with the island lees. Almost half of that trip was spent sailing the 18 miles in the lee of St Lucia. Winds in the lee can do 360's for a good bit of the trip, which is a whole lot of sail handling if you actually want to get anywhere. When I say a max wind around 16, that doesn't mean a steady 16 knots, but at times less than 10 knots with the current setting us toward the reefs of St Vincent for several hours.
I guess my post means little to those who haven't done that kind of sailing, so perhaps it wasn't a good example.
Personally, racing was very poor preparation for out of the harbor, real-world ocean sailing in the days before GPS and weather satellites. As I said, in 7 seasons we never once reefed the boat.
In 6 to 12-foot ocean seas with the current setting you to leeward, one doesn't get the kind of windward performance one is used to in harbor sailing.
And, as I said, I love racing, but I also want to win, and to me, that means going all out, even if it means taking risks. And I just won't do that with this boat.
There are lots of times when I have to sail this boat hard in unpleasant conditions because I have a schedule to keep. Few, if any, ever see it and even fewer care, I'm sure. We do it because it is our job, not to boost my ego or for some sort of glory or trophy. I think we do just fine with our boat's performance potential!