Plug in your boat's waterline length in feet, and this page calculates your theoretical maximum hull speed in knots.
The authors give detailed, wide-ranging and savvy advice on choosing a boat for serious cruising, including comments on the real costs of a used boat, geographic pricing differences, design aspects to be avoided, construction details. Includes an annotated list of boat candidates.
Nothing here for today's cruiser, but a good place to see the cutting edge in sail (read wings and foils) and hull design is going. Scroll down the Sail Craft section
Ultra Light Displacement Boats can weigh half what a conventional displacement hull does, exhibit twice the cruising speed , are easier to handle and less expensive for their size. The author talks about the downside to all this and his ideas for curing them.
Water ballast is very rare in cruising boats, but for those who want to race or who like extreme performance cruisers, this article gives some idea of what advantages in speed and seaworthiness can come with water ballast.