Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Historically, boats of that era were typically designed with a 1/4" of rake per foot, and then tuned to provide a balanced helm. 5.5 meter class boats of that era (which is what the Sabre was) typically began life without a huge amount of rake or bend in lighter going and a bit more in heavier winds which seems counter intuitive but more backstay pressure meant more headstay pressure.
For the record, a boat designed for forward mast rake will point perfectly well with foreward mast rake. Some IOR era boats were designed that way. Went up wind just fine. Its all about the design of the boat.