There is a terrific article written in the '30s by a guy called Uffa Fox, where he reviews staysail and wishbone schooners - then the next big thing.
For him the main issue was the downwind leg, as a lot of the sail area would back itself, or wouldn't be able to be poled out enough. Nowadays though a good cruising shute would see you right
To windward they are supposed to be good - better than a normal schooner and certainly better than gaff. Not quite as good as bermudan, but you have the advantage of smaller sails, so a more flexible arrangement and more easily managed short handed.... don't reef, just drop a sail!
Good luck with the steel yacht - given the finances I'd be doing the same.