Join Date: Jul 2000
Thanked 184 Times in 173 Posts
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Re: Weather Helm
"centerboard stuck UP" --- results in pretty obvious 'high index of suspicion'
Most probably your cause of 'heavy helm' ... the boat was probably skidding off to leewards, and the side forces on the rudder due to the skid are mimicking 'weather helm'.
Next time, or anytime, you have heavy helm, and before you blame 'weather helm' ... FIRST thing to do is to look at the turbulence wake (from keel and rudder) coming off the stern. If that turbulence wake coming off the stern is not almost 'dead straight off the stern', about 4-5° MAXIMUM or less, the boat should be considered to be skidding to leeward.
Causes of a skid: 1. too loose forestay (luff of head sail is operating too far to leewards) 2. in a center-boarder - not enough board down. 3. too much sail up vs. the 'projected' underwater shape.- boat is heeling over too far.
That you added mainsail luff tension (shifts the point of maximum draft forward ... the #1 correction for 'weather helm') and with no positive results .... by elimination, strongly suggests a SKID and NOT a 'weather helm' problem.
Last edited by RichH; 08-31-2013 at 11:59 PM.