OK, here's how I see it:
Bigger MAY be better!
The Vertue is a pretty sea worthy design, and I believe our pals are safe, but they are (as of last info) drifting NE at about 30 mpd, dragging their 'chute with them. If this goes on for another day or two, they will be poorly situated to get to a sheltered anchorage in Tassie before the next frontal system comes through with more bad wx. The Adams and a Catalina
42 which left Eden at the same time both were able to press onward when the wx deteriorated, and have been sitting comfortably in Wineglass Bay whilst the Vertue is going slowly the wrong way.
The Pardeys, who have much to admire in their accomplishments, advise going small. In such cases as this, I reckon I'd rather be in the larger, faster boat. YMMV. We're not talking about ultimate survival here, but the ability to make useful passages under stiff, but not dire circumstances. I think that it is a matter of both speed (read LWL) and power to drive onward with poor conditions. Both factors are important to me.
The Adams (Ann advises that it is a Naught 40, not a Knot 40!) is around 30 years old, has completed one circumnavigation
in the hands of the PO, and a Oz-Alaska-Oz cruise
plus many other shorter Pacific cruises in the hands of her current
owners. I think that her seaworthyness is well established, despite not being as small as Boatie likes!
And Phil, not sure about your statistics, but if true, perhaps it is because there are far more >30 foot boats out in harms way than those <30 these days! I dunno myself, and I surely agree that it seems like too many >30 foot boats are being lost
I have a lot of respect for those that voyage in smaller boats, folks like our friends and Phil and the Pardeys. I don't personally want to join them in their endeavours (though I did do so in the past) .