It's nice to cast off the dock lines and set off on a trip without spending a ton on fuel, if you take advantage of the wind and use your sails. I understand that most people prefer to furl their sails and crank on the iron genoa when going to windward as tacking can be tedious and time consuming. But when sailing along on a beam reach, you never need to tack and you will be able to achieve really good speeds through the water.
Another feature of flying the sails is they help steady the boat as the waves are typically also going to be striking the hull on the beam. With the sails down, the vessel will begin to roll as it is repeatedly struck by waves on the beam. With the sails set, the vessel will fall into a groove and hold steady as it punches through the waves and rides steadily and comfortably towards your destination
While sailing on the Chesapeake, I came across and subsequently passed this fellow motoring along while being tossed around.
He was motoring along when he could be sailing on a beam reach. We were under sail and passed him as he was being tossed around by the seas since he had no sails up to steady him Full story at www.riggingdoctor.com