Beating to windward
Can some sailboats point higher than others? I have heard that the Olympic class Star and Flying Dutchman sailboats can point higher (sail closer to the wind) than most other sailboats. I have also heard that catboats and catamarans usually do not point very well to windward.
Are these statements true? If so, is a boat’s pointing ability, or lack thereof, significant? (Is it a matter of just a degree or two, or ten to fifteen degrees?) Does good pointing ability mean good speed to windward, or are some boats faster to windward than others with only average pointing ability?
Can someone explain this to me?