Though I'm still far from an expert cat sailor, here are a few things I've learned (or guessed) about sailing my Getaway...
Yes, it's tough to make it point--or more generally to make upwind progress--especially when the wind is light. It's even tougher to get it to come about, especially when the water is choppy. The chop often kills my momentum before I can get the bows through the wind.
Here's where I think these problems stem from, and what I've found will help. (I doubt my diagnosis is rigorous enough for a naval architect, but the symptoms/treatments are what I've empirically observed.) It seems the skegs don't become effective at countering leeway until you've got a pretty good head of steam--they are decidely very low-aspect foils! Also, I'm guessing their center of lateral resistance (CLR) is somewhat aft of where a daggerboard's would be. If you sit too far aft, as on any catamaran you'll drag your butt and go slower. While you might think you're giving your skegs more bite (and maybe you are), this doesn't make up for the fact you're also moving the center of gravity (CG) aft and raising your bows, thus creating more freeboard. This, coupled with the aft CLR of the skegs/rudders, really lets the wind pivot your nose around to leeward.
To make better upwind progress, and to successfully come about in the chop, you need to get your weight as far forward as you can for the conditions. This moves the CG of the boat forward and allows the wind and rudders to more easily pivot you to weather. I've followed the advice of my Rick White Upwind/Roll-Tacking video as much as possible in this regard (including staying on the downwind side until through the wind), and it seems to help. The one thing there seems to be a lot of debate about, though, is whether to backwind the jib. I agree with Rick White that this will slow you down following the tack--no question it'll do that in a keelboat!--but I often find it's the only way I can bring the Getaway about. I've tried releasing (and even furling) the jib to theoretically increase weather helm, but so far no luck. Maybe it's just a matter of timing and crew coordination--admittedly I haven't thoroughly tested these methods with a seasoned crew--but I do suspect there's one thing we'll just have to live with: because I would expect the skegs to resist yawing (i.e. pivoting the boat), even with a forward CG I doubt the Getaway will ever be a "tacking machine," regardless of technique.
Of course, when you're smokin' along, you'll want to shift your weight aft. This is self-critiquing. I've caught up to a wave on a broad reach, buried both bows, levered up to 45-deg, and tossed my crewman right into the water. Closest I've come to pitchpoling.
I've also capsized twice--oddly with my reefed sails bent on (see my other posts or web page)--and it happened very suddenly. Still not sure what I did wrong--have survived rougher conditions with the larger sail--but it was a very gusty day. You'll find out a few things very quickly when this happens. Happily, the mast bob works as advertised, which is the good news. But even 350# of dudes pulling on the righting line will NOT get you upright with a 20-mph wind at your back... duh! Only problem is, the suggested method of "swimming" the mast around into the wind just won't cut it--no apparent progress made when I tried (maybe if I'd had fins on). The key is to USE the wind, rather than fight it. After releasing your sheets, get both crewmembers up to the bow of the hull in the water, and stand there until the stern lifts and pivots downwind. NOW shuffle over and grab the righting lines and you'll get the desired result. But after experiencing this, I wouldn't recommend going out there alone in any kind of wind without a righting bag. No way could I (185#) have righted that thing on my own.
Regarding stepping the mast, I'd be interested to hear what you come up with to do it solo. I agree it's not too hard to lift, but stabilizing it and pinning the forestay to the bridle require some technique. Currently I'm using an extra roller on my trailer's mast support that lets my crew use the winch to help me raise the mast. Then I have them hold the mast in place using the halyard while I struggle with the ring-ding... not optimum! I'm going to experiment with using dual quick pins, inserted from opposite directions, to provide both convenience and security via redundancy. Yes, most experienced sailors I know grimace at the idea of using quick pins for standing rigging, but I need to give my wife a break with that halyard! I'm hoping I won't have a catastrophic failure right off the bat, but the day the first pin pops out is the day I go right back to ring-dings.
No advice yet on cleaning things--I've kept my boat covered by a tarp, wash it ocassionally with car soap, and so far haven't had any "tough stains" to deal with. I did buy some marine vinyl cleaner for the tramp, but haven't tried it yet. I'll let you know how it works when I do.
Check out my web page for some "tricking-out" ideas for boat and trailer. Nothing is so cool that it can't be made even cooler by tinkering!