You can make ANY cutter 'point' as well as if she were 'sloop rigged'.
There are two common problems that prevent a cutter rig from pointing as efficiently as a sloop rig:
1. Headstay tension
2. The aerodynamic ineffectiveness of of a staysail 'under' a topsail when beating .... mostly due to the SHAPE of the staysail.
Headstay tension -
a. ANY headsail/jib/genoa is designed to be flown from a stay THAT HAS A SPECIFIC TENSION. Here a direct link: to an article I wrote concering matching stay tension to any headsail - topsail, staysail or simple jib/genoa.
you may have to copy and then 'zoom' to properly read it. http://i1086.photobucket.com/albums/...LuffHollow.gif
b. On a cutter there are TWO stays in front of the mast .... and only ONE backstay .... both the forward stays SHARE the reaction force of the BACKSTAY. Worse, since the topsail/headsail usually has more effective surface area than the staysail .... the headstay will UNLOAD tension into the FORESTAY (the backstay remaining at relatively unchanged tension) and the resultant is that the headstay will then GREATLY sag off to leeward
, and the headsail will go draft aft with a closed and 'hooked-up' leech ... which forces the boat into a sideways skid to leeward when beating. ..... all due to the now 'sloppy' headstay. The stronger the wind and windloading on the sails the worse the effect.
1. Have the headsail 'recut' with a deeper 'luff hoillow' to MATCH the typical headstay sag when pointing (target for 15kts. windstrength) to match the 'automatically loosening headstay' - do tension measurements during trials with a gage.
2. When pointing
, loosen the forestay tension to almost 'slack' (5% tension) which will correspondingly increase tension in the headstay OR .....
2a. ... use running backstay tension to get the headstay tension adjusted correctly (but dont 'bust' a cranse collar on the mast head or bowsprit end when doing so).
Virtually NO LIVING sailmaker understands the shape needed for a staysail flown 'under' a 'topsail' when beating. A staysail used 'under' a topsail when beating needs to have a very 'rounded' luff entry shape. Unfortunately with a sail cut for a 'sloop' (flat luff entry) the only way to get an aggressive 'rounded' luff entry is to put in extreme halyard tension ... and that 'unloads' the headstay tension which causes 'all sorts of aerodynamic problems' with the headsail. The solution (expensive) is to have the staysail recut (re-broadseamed) for a 'rounded entry' & 'draft forward' FLAT leech staysail. An approximation of the this proper cut staysail can be attained IF the sail has a boltrope and cunningham cringle at near the tack --- put in LOTs of cunningham tension (draft goes forward and luff entry becomes 'rounded') but use an almost SLACK forestay tension!!!!!! .... all the 'halyard', etc. load is held solely by the 'boltrope' (totally slacked/loose forestay).
Probably the ONLY correct aerodymanic 'hint' of how to fly a staysail 'under' a topsail ever written: http://www.arvelgentry.com/magaz/The...e_Head_Rig.pdf
Your rig is a 'true' cutter, with the mast at approx. 50% back from the bow (a sloop will have its mast at 30%) so, being double headed with the mast 'amidships' the combined CE will be IN the headsails
not the mainsail and therefore the headsails trim/shape will have to be 'perfect' if you want to 'point' well.
hope this helps .... but if youve only sailed 'sloops' before, your 'learning curve' will now be 'drastic' if you want to make your cutter 'point well' .... but surprisingly once you arrive at the proper sail shape and right tensions youll be able to 'roll over' many 'sloops' when pointing.
Once properly set up (and corrections made to 'sail SHAPING') and rig tensions .... Magazine Articles
----> (a 'sequence of 4 articles) .... Checking Trim on the Wind, ---> Achieving Proper Balance ----> Sailing to Windward, ----> Are You at Optimum Trim?
OR the other choice: ... when pointing, drop the staysail, disconnect the forestay, put up a BIG deck sweeping genoa on the headstay and 'sail it like a sloop'.
More 'other' ..... Once you get the right tensions and sail shapes, sail the boat with nearly a 'dead fish' helm (nearly zero weather helm) ... hints for 'shaping' the main to get a neutral helm: How to properly RAISE a woven dacron mainsail - SailboatOwners.com
and this should help the boat become a 'pocket rocket'.
hope this helps.