YACHT CLASSES Yachts may be broadly divided into two classes, cruizers and racers, and although some of the larger ones endeavour to combine both quali ties in one vessel, I imagine that it is not gener ally attended with much success.
The principal racing classes are the five, ten, twenty, and forty toners ; all these are cutter rigged, and race together in their own classes ; but the larger yachts of whatever rig they may be, usually all race together, and allow each other time for tonnage, and time for rig ; thus cutters and yawls both allow schooners time, and cutters also allow yawls time ; in order to make these mixed races at all fair, it is usually arranged that schooners shall sail at and yawls at s of their actual tonnage. The necessity for handicapping the cutters, arises from the fact that they go to windward so much better than the schooners, and better than the yawls, and proves what I observed in a previous chapter (viz.) that the arrangement of having the principal part of the canvas disposed in one large sail, ensures going to wind ward better, than dividing it into several smaller sails ; and it is found in practice that a very small gain in working to windward is worth a very large gain in running before the wind, or " reaching " ; therefore in all ordinary races where there is a considerable amount of beating to windward, the cutters have the best of it ; but in some of the ocean races, when a leading wind is not uncommonly experienced, for the whole or greater part of a race, then the schooners often have it their own way, and win on their merits.
With regard to the size of yachts which can be conveniently rigged as cutters, I think that it is now pretty generally acknowledged that about 100 tons is the limit, even for racers, and that after that, the mainsail becomes too big a sail, and then yawls and schooners take their place, for all the larger yachts.