Probably the most telling ratio to look at would be your sail area/displacement ratio. On the US Sailing calculator, cruising boats range from 10-15, racer/cruisers from 16-20, racers 20-23, and sportboats/high performance racers 24 and above. The B 45.5 rates 14.94, so just at the high end of a cruising boat
Two other ratios that will tell something about performance are ballast/displacement, which for your boat
is a very stable 43.28%, and displacement/length, which comes out at 299.37, which puts you in the category of moderate displacement
. (I believe an earlier post put you in the mid/heavy displacement
category; this was incorrect.)
What does this all say? Well, first of all it says that your boat was designed in 1979. By the standards of the day it was right on the numbers. By today's standards it's a bit sluggish, but certainly not in the same way that the full-keelers of the days of yore were.
So if I were tactician on your boat, I'd go into a race
knowing to avoid tacking duels since it won't accelerate well out of a tack. I'd want to carry a bit more sail than most of the competition because it's stable enough to carry it well. I'd look for race
courses with a lot of reaching, because I'm going to do better there than on a windward/leeward course. I'd love chop and steep waves, because she'll carry through it better than lighter weight boats.
I'd know better than to bet pink slips with recently built boats in the same size range like the Catalina
47, the Hunter
460, or the Beneteau
463, especially in light air. Your SA/D of 14.93, for example, compares to the Hunter's 18.22. In light air, with its greater waterline, it's going to run away from you upwind and down. Your best chance in such a race would be to hope it blows at least gale force and that the skipper
doesn't quite understand how to reef.
We're not racers, however--we're cruisers, right? You've got a boat that was built at the end of an era when cruisers were cruisers, racers were racers, and there was little thought of making something try to do both. If a fellow wanted a fast cruiser, there wasn't anything built better than a Bristol 45.5.
Is your boat a dog? Well, if it is, it's no greyhound. Not even an Irish setter. Think of it more as a seasoned Labrador retriever. Steady, reliable, loyal to its owner, and not at all afraid of getting wet.