Jim how does your helm feel when it breezes up? Can you get the boat to balance with sail trim alone? You should be able to balance your boat where it will practicly steer its self. If you can't then your sails are fighting your keel.
your center of effort and your center of resistance are not lined up.
In Dedekams book there is a methode of tensioning stays by elongation of the wire It was too big of a pain for me and I bought a loose gauge insted. Tell moma that if she likes your cheerful disposition that you can afford one.
It will save you a hell of a lot of time.
I think its critical that booth sides be as equal as you can possibly make them or you will continue to fight this problem.
Follow the instructions That Ivar lays out to a tee and in order. I tried to cheat and do it all static at the dock. It doesn't work. the final bit will have to be done under sail in moerate to heavy air close hauled. It took me abought five times through the whole rig. over three months to get Our boat where it is now.
The net results were;
1 no more excesive weather helm Boat will almost self steer
2 cut 10 degees off of our over all tacking angle
3 gained almost a full knot by not having the keel and sails doing battle
4 upped our enjoyment sailing the boat by ten fold. It is way easier to balance and depower now we don't get that over powered feel to the boat untill about 20+knts. She stays on her feet better which makes Joni really happy
5 We did all this with ten year old tiered sails. Then bought a new head sail and it just got even better.
If you get your rig perfect the rest of the sail trim issues will fall into line. and you will see much faster responses in the boat when you start tweeking.
Your track wont look any thing like a Z it will look more like a straight line with fire coming off of it.
Hope this helps