The term "cutter" has not been very precise over the years; occasionally you even run across a sailing ship's long boat, set up either for sail or oars, referred to a cutter. It was frequently applied to any small, fast & handy boat, fore and aft rigged; pre-1900 they carried gaff rigged mainsails. Probably about the turn of the 20th century, the definition became more precise; today a cutter is fore and aft rigged, usually a Marconi but may still be gaff rigged, and has the single mast set about 40% of the LOD back from the bow stem, not the bowsprit, and is designed to fly two headsails both flown from deck level; it may, but does not have to have, a bowsprit.
The Friendship sloops may have been called cutters because they were small, fast and handy, but even though they fly multiple head sails, there is only one large headsail with a tack on deck and its head to the mast; the others are flown aloft and are thus called "flying jibs"
The foremost sail, technically known as the forestaysail but frequently today called the "jib" is a masthead sail flown from the bow stem or fore end of the bowsprit to the masthead; it is usually a 100 to a 135% sail. The staysail is a considerably smaller & fractionally rigged and flown from a second stay located approximately half way between the mast and the foresail tack on a boat with a bowsprit but further back if there is no bowsprit. Although generally not as fast as a similar sized sloop, the advantage of the cutter is that it is usually easier to sail as the sails are smaller (lighter) and in a blow there are more sail combinations available than on a standard sloop.
Not to pick an arguement with "Probablynot" the yawl was far from a useless rig; they were designed as "rule beaters" vs. ORC design limitations. There are many famous models in their ranks--the Hinkley 40 was a knock off of the Block Island 40, Alden, Sparkman & Stephens, and Rhodes all designed them as racers & cruisers. Although the rig has fallen out of favor, it is fast and a great bad weather & ocean boat as it can easily be reduced to a furled jib and mizzen thus balancing the center of effort making the boat more easily controllable, reducing the heel and not making the crew "walk on the walls"; that was called sailing on the "jib & jigger". I'd also point out that a yawl has the mizzen mast aft of the rudder post so it should not be "uncomfortably close" to where the helmsman/woman is standing or sitting. A ketch on the other hand may have the mizzen mast very close to the tiller.
Real boat: Island Packet 32 cutter
Billings Boats "Bluenose II" changed to look more like original
R/C Victoria Sailboat
Mamoli "Yacht America" - abandoned
Bluejacket "Grand Banks Dory" in process
Model Shipways Fishing Smack "Emma C. Berry" in process