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post #15 of Old 12-04-2003
FloridaWriter
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heeling, weather helm and rudder control

mdougan,

Hauling the gaff to windward will only increase your weather helm. The fact that the gaff natrually falls off the wind helps reduce weather helm. To reduce it further, add fore sails; don''t reef them first. If you have done that, tighten them further to flatten them and let your main out a little, even if it starts luffing--that will reduce your helm. A further reduction would be to pinch up closer to the wind if you have to. If the tiller is far over and there is lots if weather helm, than it''s time to reef the main first. That should ease the weather helm and reduce heeling. A second reef scenario would be to then reduce the fore sail (s) to some extent.
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