Originally Posted by azguy
I was on a Catalina 27 yesterday and was amazed at how high it could point, It had a new main and head sails, well about 6 months old. The head was a 135. We had the traveler pretty well centered.
I bet we were only 30 degrees off the wind and she sailed fast and smooth...
Did you tack to check (by comparing compass directions). That won't demonstrate leeway, but at least gives you a ballpark number compared to true wind.
Apparent wind angle readings can be BS too if the boat is well heeled and the air is spilling off of the sails up to the wind instrument.
When I'm really curious I'll start a GPS track, tack, check the new track, then tack back and see what the angles look like. Of course this can be affected by tidal currents. It does feel great when you are short tacking with the current and have a GPS track that makes it seem like you are taking through 60 degrees.
I had a Catalina 25 that seemed to point better than most of them (based on the races that we entered), and we rarely had tacks much under 90 degrees. The Catalina 27s that I've raced against seemed to behave similarly.