Re: Pointing Ability
With GPS you should be abe torun acourse and see the actual track made good over the bottom. This is far more accurate than trying to estimate VMG by looking at masthead flies, compass headings and so on. It is very easy to be optimistic when feeling the wind in your face, but the GPS (usually) tells you the truth. (Bob Dylan song)
Another technique I used, long before GPS was to sail to windward in a relatively narrow channel (the Oakland Estuary) and carefully plot the location of each tack by some identifiable landmarks on the shores. The plot of your course will give you an accurate measure of your real pointing ability. Do this Or the GPS method on open water numerous times with different sail sets and trims, wind and sea conditions, and so on.
Yeah, it will take a lifetime ... you got something better to do?