I dealt with this exact dilemma when I was trying to decide between a brand new CB model V/S an older non CB model. I remember having a conversation with Woodie at ComPac about it. He asked me what I was using the boat for... Was I racing it? I told him that I just wanted to sail around our local lake and perhaps take it coastal cruising in the Gulf. I wasn't trying to hit a mark or particular point in the water. He said that he owned an older 16 and they sailed just fine... and they raced them regularly against each other in Fla. He also mentioned something that really hit home with me... "something else to break... something else to possibly leak or have to maintain". After reading several posts on the Seward forum about centerboards falling out, flapping or knocking in their slots... and nightmare cable replacement stories... I decided on the simpler design of the older boat. I bought an '88 and absolutely love it.
It sails upwing fine for me... I've never had any trouble making it back to the harbor... it is a lot of fun and very little worry.