If you've been trying to pinch up in an effort to point as high as some other boats, you may be finding out that that is slow. The Catalina 28 isn't exactly a weatherly boat - so you need to focus on what's fast. There's a relationship between how high you go and how fast you go; finding the best combination is the key.
While rig tune is important on any boat, it's probably not going to make a profound difference on a C28. Until you find someone that definitively knows - just make sure the mast is in column and that shrouds are about equally tensioned (see if you can borrow a Loos gauge from a racing buddy). Don't necessarily worry about the tension numbers, just try to get the shrouds about equally tensioned with the mast in column. After that, you can adjust by counting the number of turns you take on or off your turnbuckles. You're going for middle of the road here. Upwind in moderate breeze, your leeward shrouds should have noticeably less tension but should not be flapping around.
You'll find other things make big differences. How are your sails? If you really want to race, you may want to get at least a #1 and a main that you use only for regattas. You can use your cruising set for the beer can racing. It can make a phenomenal difference. Use a good local loft and get the sailmaker out to show you how to trim the new sails.
Also, how's the bottom? It should be very clean -certainly free of any hard growth. If you have an ablative bottom paint, don't scrub it every week, but keep it as clean as possible. If it's time for a new bottom job, go ahead and get one; that's good maintenance even if you're not racing.
A folding prop is nice. However, if you have a fixed two blade, then have someone hop in the water and position the blades vertically. Mark the shaft clearly at that location. Then, when racing, position that shaft at the proper location and lock the shaft by putting the transmission in gear while the motor is off. This will reduce drag.
If you have a three blade prop, then good luck.
Originally Posted by rcibul/Bob
My question is, for my boat, what can I do to point higher? How close to the wind should a boat like mine be able to perform? Should I use the motor? I am willing to invest time and some money, but I really don't have any idea where to start... any suggestions would be appreciated!
Use the motor???