It sounds pretty straightforward. You're right that there isn't any rake to the mast, she stands up pretty straight. I think I'll save a couple of nickels and do without the gauge.
New Orleans and Naval Architects? The names have a certain symmetry. But, it is where the work is predominantly. The oil patch, the shipyards, its all between Houston and Jacksonville, and New Orleans is smack dab in the middle. There are a couple of Naval Architecture firms left in New York, Gibbs & Cox, Sparkman & Stevens, Rosenblatt & Sons, and a couple of others, but not like in the heyday when the Brooklyn Naval Yard was still open and Gibbs was employing almost 2000 people to do the design and drafting work on its big projects. There are still quite a few around Newport, assuming you meant Newport News, VA, but not too many left in RI. Besides, the sailing season is longer.