During a race last Saturday, we were trailing the pack (as usual) on an upwind leg of the course, so we had a good view of how the other boats were sailing. The course was around Hart Island, just east of City Island in western Long Island Sound. Virtually the entire fleet was able to sail to the north end of the course on a single tack. One or two other boats had to tack maybe once or twice; we had to tack nine times! Needless to say, DFL was ours for the taking!
We had the genoa (a 160) sheeted in so as to touch the forward shroud, then we'd ease a tad. The boat was aimed so that the telltales on both sides of the jib were streaming nicely, the uppers as well as the lowers. The telltales on the leech of the main were also streaming straight back, so I think she was trimmed properly. But we still need maybe 110 degrees to tack, and can only think about sailing less than 45 degrees off the wind. And maybe this is all she can do, as designed.
At the post-race raft-up, with a few coldies under our belts, one of our club members, the one who perpetually has a firm hold on 1st place, says, "There's lots of things you can do to make your boat point better." But I couldn't get any specifics out of him. Or at least, I don't remember any.
So I thought I'd throw it out to the message board. Any tips on how to make a cruiser go to weather better?
As always, TIA for any advice.
This strikes me as a bit odd. A Pearson 323 should be pointing better than that. The two must likely culprits are your sails and riggging. Maybe you ought to offer Mr. Know-it-all (the guy you spoke to after the race) a drink or three to come out for a daysail and give you his thoughts. Another alternative is to take a respected sailmaker out, as they tend to be very good and experienced sailors and might have some good tips (although I wouldn't recommend this alternative if you are not thinking about buying new sails).