I am no expert on sail trim but I have picked up a few things along the way and offer a few suggestions in good faith.
The poster is looking at tips for sailing hard into the wind so don't think the drifter is going to help him much there not that I have ever used one. Good sail to have for off the wind though.
+ 1 on assessing the condition of sails if the genoa is in good condition I would try it out first in the winds you are expecting. The yankee looses a lot of power with the cutaway in the lower part although it leaves lots of headroom
on your fordeck for getting around and dinghy storage
Do not pinch in light winds sail a few degrees off to get speed up and wind flow over you sails.
+ one on motor
sailing at lower winds if sails are not drawing well. If the jib won't set motor
sailing in light air pull it down and motor sail on main only. Motor sailing with the wind forward of the beam is going to be a lot more comfortable than motoring without sails and faster... see my last comment.
Forget the staysail for sailing into the wind, they usually will only work off the wind and reaching in my experience. Staysails are awesome when the wind gets big you furl your foresail and use the smaller staysail with a reefed main to get a more balanced sail plan in heavy conditions.
Back winding on the main is not usually experienced in lighter airs but can be fast in heavier wind.
Watch your tell tails get them streaming especially on the leach of the main and the outside of the sails, if the inside ones flick up occasionally that is ok. Make sure all telltales are streaming top to bottom use the jib cars for the foresail, probably move them slightly forward to get a slightly deeper draft
but no where near where you would have them for reaching which would be well forward for deep draft
- what Robert Sailor said. The deepest part of the draft should probably be about one third to one quarter back from the luff in main and jib. Use you traveller, mainsheet, cunningham and halyard
for main trim - the vang is for downwind to keep the boom down and should not be needed into the wind if you have a traveller. If you don't have a cunningham just use the halyard
for luff tension. Once you get your sails set up keep an eye on your tell tales and adjust your course slightly to keep them streaming.
The boom of the main could be at center or possibly slightly higher than center in very light air. Sometimes on the race
boat they even try some twist in the main to get air flowing in light air.
Don't let people hang out in the slot between the main and the jib cause it will create disturbed air flow.
with halyard tension easing them in lighter breeze to get slight horizontal wrinkles aka speed wrinkles.
To punch through chop and swells deeper sail draft is usually the way to go motor sailing can help keep your momentum too.
Watch for any weather helm
(slow) ease the traveller down if you have any. Be smooth on the helm
, if the rudder
is not straight you are creating drag (slow), anticipate the motion with swells and steer appropriately. Don't bash straight into a big wave if you can ease off a bit.
Steer up in gusts and down in lulls. Watch for lifts and knocks.
If your sails are blown out you will not get good windward performance.
Do not pinch and watch you vmg, speed through water and sog to access trim.
Every boat is different experiment
and asses what works for your boat.
Get on a race boat crew with knowledgeable people and learn all you can.
I just crewed on a boat where the skipper
is relatively new to sailing and self taught, he sure had some crazy ideas and it was very frustrating sailing sometimes.