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Depends a lot on wind strenght too. On a light day slack in the rig, sheets, halyards etc is desirable. Don't point the boat to high when going uphill.
As the breeze gets stronger you need more tension on all. You can also point a bit higher into the breeze in particular if your in fairly flat water. If you've got big waves it can pay to bear away just a bit to give the boat the power to get through chop.
I don't know your class of boat but if you can't adjust rig tension while you are sailing then set it up for the strongest wind you anticipate. If in doubt over tight is probably better than to loose.
All of the above is rule of thumb stuff. It will vary with type of boat, wind and wave conditions and the experience of the helmsman/crew.Trial and error will tell you whats right for you and your boat.
Do keep at it. There is no other sport like it.
 
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