Again all perfectly correct and very well put/researched.
In many ways we are saying same thing. Sail desugn is extremely complicated and has lots more variables than simply area,,,, but we chose to use area as our "guide". My point being that it is a very unreliable parameter to use to compare sails and becomes even less reliable if measured "inaccurately".
Your arguments re search; Zone; combat (and MC wave are spot on) but neverthe less; lay a 5 combat ontop of a 5 metre search and you will see one of them can not be 5 square metres. Its not rocket science (even if sail designers would like us to believe so) that the bigger is also the most powerful.(in this case)
I have yet to change down to a "bigger" sail when overpowered.
Surely its not much to ask for manufacturers to quote an actual "area" for the sail in question.
We agree that sail area in isolation is of limited use to quantify a sails performance;but an inaccurate measurement only compounds the problem.
Whilst we do not insist on accurate objective measurements iof products (not just in sail area) there is a the possibility of manufacturers manipulatring figures for marketing purposes.
Yes I agree the search is a damned good sail; powrful and stable through its design . It is also powerful because its "big".
As an industry and as consumers we should be insisting on far more objectivity.
Parameters capable of being measured should be done so accurately.