Paulo's analysis is very accurate and explains perfectly the behavior of the Pogo 12.50. Meanwhile, we keep on learning about the optimal sail trim (especially the big, fat-headed main) and boat handling (especially upwind in steep waves). Also maneuvering in close quarters and sailing solo become easier with gaining experience.
So one of the major drawbacks of such a light and beamy design is a very large wet surface, especially when the boat is upright and motoring, and little inertia to overcome head seas.
Changing the original two-blade folding propeller for a larger three blade version didn't help, the 30 HP engine just couldn't cope with it except in perfect conditions.
So we took the drastic measure by changing the (still almost new) 30 HP Volvo Penta for a (brand new) 40 HP. Even with compatible peripherals and accessories (saildrive, exhaust etc.) a major extra investment, but I feel security has no price.
In good conditions we could now motor in semi-planing mode (of course completely useless) but at least I'm sure that the engine will be able to help us out of a difficult situation. A feature I consider essential on a boat that is nothing more, but also nothing less than a family cruiser.
As a circumnavigator told us last Friday during his presentation at our Koninklijke Liberty Yacht Club: if you can sail these tricky waters (tide, sandbanks, weather, traffic), you can perfectly sail around the whole world.
So with gaining experience and increasing confidence, our cruising area will extend to Brittany, Scotland, ... And our boys (two of the "TriMen") are already dreaming of an Atlantic crossing...
Thanks for the complement on your previous information. Yes, your waters with big tides and strong tidal currents are not easy to navigate. So the "kids" are thinking in racing the ARC? That means you will take a sabbatical year to cruise the Caribbean? or are you thinking in retirement?