Cool is right on. Fractional boats allow for jibs to be sheeted closer to the centerline giving the boat more pointing ability. These boats are also often rigged with runners allowing for “chicken head” tops and roached out leaches. Instead of shifting through the gears by making headsail changes, these boats to a lot of main trimming and reefing. All those extra head sails on a mast head boat become a problem when trying store them on board for longer races/voyages. Mrs B. only allows me to take two when we do our summer cruises.
Symmetric Spinnakers project a greater sail area per a given “J” than A-kites. To take advantage of an A-kit the boat must be an effective surfer or planer at those hotter wind angles. Our heavier Catalinas and other cruiser boats are better served with symmetrics. I’m planning on retiring our A-kite from racing next year as I am frustrated with it’s relatively poor performance and I’m experimenting with doublehanding the symmetric. I’m a bit surprised (and a little disapointed) that the new C354 is going A-kite and sprit. They take time off your PHRF number out here for a max girth larger than 180% * “J".