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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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The questions I am left with about which I would invite enlightenment are:
1. Will replacing the battenless, roachless mainsail with a full-batten main with roach likely increase weather helm?
Logically it should; you are adding area aft of the current center of effort. However this may be offset with a newer sail that should have a flatter more efficient shape that may in fact contribute a bit more drive and less helm. (though to be honest if this will in fact apply to a full keel boat I'm not sure)
2. Are there any good reasons for having no battens and no roach on the mainsail of a cruising boat? None of the reasons I have heard seem very persuasive to me.
No reason I can think of unless it's a furling main (ugh)
3. Is a cutter-designed boat, with the mast positioned further aft, inevitably going to have some weather helm when sailed as a sloop.
Others can say better, but I wouldn't expect the staysail to significantly change the C of E of the overall sailplan.
You should look into mast rake as a way to try to alleviate the helm if indeed it's a problem.. a little is a good thing on most boats, but not, I suppose, if you expect it to steer itself on its own.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)