I am going to caution against downsizing the engine. We have a 43 ft, 20,000 plus pound boat
with a 55 horsepower. I have used all 55 horsepower on multiple occasions. Note that we are aggressively distance cruisers, covering a total of 7,000 NM over 8 months between 2021 and 22. While the boat
is a wonderful sailboat and we love to sail, those kinds of distances don't allow much time for sitting around or sailing slowly. We've motored in conditions where a sail would be pleasant, and we have motored and conditions were a sail would not be pleasant!
There are several types of conditions where having all those horses are nice.
* Motoring up at or above hull speed
where you have a lot of miles to cover. We had no wind
as we transited the hundred plus miles between Port aux Basque NL and the Bra d'Ors In Nova Scotia
. Most of that trip was above hull speed. It would have been a night time entrance if we were any slower.
* Motoring against significant current
. The port of Montreal is a mile up River with over six knots of current
* Motoring in unpleasant adverse see states. If you need to go up wind
in really snotty conditions, sometimes motoring is preferable.
* A big one, which the EP advocates often miss, is maneuvering. When you are making a difficult landing in really bad conditions, it is really nice to make a high speed approach, knowing that you can stop the boat in half a boat length. Equally nice is putting the helm
hard over and going from 0 to full throttle for 10 seconds and have the boat spin.
I wouldn't give up a single
one of my 55 horses!