Any deck sweeper is a racing sail and requires deck track that is easily adjusted for clew position to tweak headsail camber. They trim inside the lifelines when on the wind which requires another crew member to skirt the jib when tacking. If you're doing serious racing, this stuff is worthwhile. I've seen boats with multiple deck tracks to sheet the deck sweeper to different trim angles depending on wind and sea conditions.
If you're just cruising, other things become more important. You like to see where you're going - think high clew and perhaps the tack on a short pennant. For ease of tacking, think less overlap - maybe a 120?
Hope this helps..
I’ve been racing my Benetau for the last 7 years and now am going into cruising. I have my gerhauer traveling cars and do want to place a secondary track in for proper shape. Eventually I want to recut the old headsail for a staysail setup. That’s one goal. You’re right though about visibility. The other option is to leave the headsail as is and put a code zero on. The trade winds will limit my angle of attack though. I miss my Benetau but really like the layout of the 456. I’d like to go faster though. You can never take the racer out of the equation when cruising though. Your thoughts?
I've done racing too, taking home a good variety of trinkets! Cruising is a different game. My cruising has been local coastal stuff involving one (at most two) nights at sea. When cruising, you really don't want to go upwind. Helped bring a boat back from Bermuda and after 3 days on port tack, you start to develop one short leg! Weather legs are hard on the boat and harder on the crew.
The book 'Cruising Routes of the World' is oriented to time your passages so they're off the wind and avoid stormy seasons. Do you intend doing long distance trade wind crossings? Some friends did this (Round the World thing) and started off as a couple, but found the routine very demanding and tiring. Their later legs were done as a trio with a pickup crew member.
For cruising, I'd suggest you give boat speed low priority. The boat will get you there. Think crew comfort - sleeping well and being able to work in the galley become much more important than an extra knot. Boats that look fast (fin keel, spade rudder) will slow down a LOT when you move another ton of provisions aboard.
So what are your plans? Rather than ask if you have a Code 0, I'd be more interested in whether you have solar refrigeration and a water maker.
I have my boat in Puerto Rico for the summer. I’m planning on spending 5-6 months on board exploring the Caribbean. Unfortunately with the trade winds you’re on a close haul going south. It’s nice pinching but I really lack the drive in the head sail. Winds are usually 18 kts or so so I’m reluctant to use a code zero. I was thinking of recutting installing a stay sail instead for heavier air with reefing. And using a headsail with more drive. Distances are usually less than 60 nm. I’m retired so time is not important. I like sailing with good weather windows and enjoying anchorages between. All this is down the line. I just purchased a Village water maker and am getting solar panels installed after Christmas. Anyway, those are my thoughts and plans for winter.