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The "no go" zone will depend from boat to boat. Modern racing boats can sail closer to the wind. perhaps as close as 30 degrees...other designs such as cruisers and older boats not so much. 40-45 degrees is typical (i.e. 90 degrees of the 360 you cannot sail). All your sails will be in very tight, and it will take experience to "feel" the sweet spot; get to close to where the wind comes from and you stall; go further off and you are not "pointing as high" as you could be.

So overall it sounds like your boat was performing as it should have done, and as a novice sailor, you did a great job! Keep reading and asking questions. Setting a sail trim correctly is something sailors always work to improve, as there is always more to learn!
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