View Full Version : Correcting Weather Helm

10-27-2002, 06:13 PM
Assuming a centerboard hull and balanced lug main + mizzen sail, if weather helm is excessive, how would it be corrected? In simple terms, please. I read all the literature on the subject 30 odd years ago and the library doesn't have the books anymore.

The easiest thing to do would be to move the main mast. Which direction?

30N, 90W

10-27-2002, 06:42 PM
Move it foreward. But, before that I would try raising the centerboard a little. I don't know the design of your centerboard, but with some which are nearly vertical when down, they swing aft, before raising up much.

You also might think about changing the rudder to a more balanced configuration.

10-27-2002, 06:49 PM
A tired sail tends to be baggy in just the right places to move the center of effort aft.
if the sails are old (especially mainsail) make sure they have a few years life in them before you go moving the mast

Ian McColgin
10-28-2002, 08:59 AM
Both ahp and Russel bring along points often overlooked.

In addition to CB trim, it may be that you can trim her down at the stern a little. Once you think you have the best foreandaft trim for the lines and you can't do more with CB and your sail is at least ok, then and only then try raking the mast a bit.

I just re-read your question. What happens if you strike the mizzin? If she sails in balance then, you may simply have a rig with the need for two steps for the main - one more forward when flying the mizzen.


Todd Bradshaw
10-28-2002, 10:34 AM
Before I started moving masts, etc. I'd try sailing with the mizzen eased a bit. Continually overtrimming the mizzen could give you a lot of helm. Playing with the fore and aft trim as Ian suggested is also a good idea, even if you have to take on a passenger and simply have them move from place to place in the boat to see what effect it has on the helm.