Somebody here is telling fibs! We say we want performance, but when we vote with cash, we say something different. There are only enough true performance aficionados around to (barely) support a tiny handful of builders. True performance implies sacrificing the mod-cons. If you can get great performance and luxury out of a very expensive boat, you could get even better performance out of the same boat after unloading some of the luxury!
So we are really just paying lip service
to performance. Like Dodge Viper owners, we want the reputation of high performance, but we still drive within 10% of the speed limit 99% of the time, or we would lose the privilege
to drive at all in all English
So its the image
of performance we want. Filling up a nice performing boat with lots of heavy stuff does not compromise the image
Do any of the races mentioned here have relevance? Probably not. Luck plays a bigger role in sailing than in any other competition. Witness the America's Cup. And while we think of a closed course race
as the true measure for comparison, it is probably the least relevant to the type of sailing cruisers are interested in.
But still, and for no other reason than bragging rights, we need to decide what is truly a good measure of sailing performance. My question is this: can we come up with a set of objective parameters and RANK THEM in order of relevance? This assumes, unreasonably, that true numbers are available, based on precisely equal configurations, from scrupulously objective manufacturers, that Santa really exists, and the check is truly in the mail:
Is Sail Area to Displacement
ratio more important than prismatic coefficient? Where does hull
length to hull
beam width fit into a hierarchy of measurements? Which measures provide clear distinctions rather than fractions of percentage differences?
Now I'll close with a last biased jab: If you wanted performance FIRST, would you choose stubby keels?