Correct, you still need to steer the boat. But if you can sacrifice 10% of effective steering to gain 5% of lift, and safely design around it, you might change the structure and nature of the boat and risk the rules to put the rudders in the middle.
See VO70 angled daggerboards (although not a...
This is the way. As Zinker said make sure you get a bent spike to carve out some foam right at the underside of the carbon.
Also be wary of the allen key trick with thin laminates and dense-ish foam, as sometimes the laminate is not strong enough to keep the key centred and you wind up marring...
You know I have to keep talking to keep the voices in my head quiet!
Good point on the halyards, we had to step ours down to a 4mm tip to get the lock working reliably. Discovering that over-hoisting is problematic as well.
Hope the racing is as good as always in Newport
Hoist: normal grind, if need be attach a velcro 'hooker' to keep head close to forestay/chicken stay.
Drop: pull sail off lock, 1-2 wraps on winch, run halyard through carabiner to redirect to foredeck, and ease sail to yourself.
Vendee and Class40 sailors use halyard locks for plenty.
The Karver locks are good if sized appropriately and maintained. Make sure your halyard is skinny enough (too thick and will bind in the spigot) and avoid overhoisting/overloading.
Don't have experience with Facnors, but Wichard...
Best on the market, there's a reason all the Volvo guys use them. Pricey but worth it if you do anything wet.
Survived (easily) 2yr of offshorebow on a vo65. Only lost it foolishly overboard.
The boats are all still basically "one design" except for extraneous additions or repairs that will maybe not be measured in for next race (rope supplier, canvas, medical/safety spares, etc).
As for rating differences, this is still a mystery.