Since this is Cruising Anarchy, cruise on over to this article by Starzinger. It was published in Cruising awhile back and he makes a pretty good case that average speeds over long periods can be explained by two numbers: SA/D and LWL. Vastly simplifying, LWL says how fast you can go and SA/D says how often you do that in real world weather.
One point raised in the article is that rigging stresses (loads), when high, cause cruisers to slow down.
I think this is exactly on target. When I was young, it seemed I could do anything, load was wonderful, it meant we were sailing fast. And when things went wrong, it was just the owner's ample checkbook taking the hit, us young buck crew would quickly heal, casts were cool.
Now, Its my money, and I don't want to keep earning more to replace money spent on a blown up chute. Now, I get hurt easily, and heal slowly, and sometimes, people my age don't heal at all.
So load has become something to avoid. I mean, really, really avoid.
So low D/L becomes important for a cruising boat. Really, really important. Its the primary driver for loads (therefore injury) and cost. For a given budget, and everyone has a budget, you can afford a certain amount of load, a certain amount of material (mass).
To go cruising, I want to carry along 5500 lbs of stuff, including full tanks, dinghys, food, clothes, rode, sails, tools, etc. I want a certain amount of volume for living spaces.
So what I have been doing is coming up with the lightest floating container for that stuff and volume, that has the lowest loads on every element.
Its different. That is for sure. Working structural details, so maybe this is the last design spiral, but I have sad that before. I will post pictures only when construction starts.