Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
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It would also be useful to ask other owners of that hull form what they find the optimal heel is on your boat. Asking someone with a lot of racing experience out for an afternoon to put your boat through the paces will help. When I first started sailing keelboats, I was in the same situation as you. Going out with someone I knew to be experienced and competent in the class of boat I was sailing on a breezey day showed me just what was possible.
I've seen water to the windows on the racer/cruisers I've been on, but as others have mentioned, that's probably not super efficient. You might try crewing for a year of weeknights on a racer of similar size. Then you won't put the stress on your rig, but will see boats being pushed for optimal performance - it's a great way to learn beyond the basics.