tried it out
I took the Lightning out Monday and got to try a few of the things posted to balance the helm and what a difference! Conditions were: wind 10-15 kts and swell 2-3 feet. I set up the sail shape for the wind with a decent amount of outhaul, vang fairly tight, and a relatively close in traveler and played the backstay in the puffs while using the main to steer around the waves with alot less rudder than I used to since I wasn't fighting weather helm. I slid the jib blocks about 2/3 back and left enough pressure off the wire that there was just a bit of curve. Reducing he drag on the rudder really helped and boat speed went up dramatically. Now all I need is one of those speedos, a log book, and alot of time/weather conditions.
Thanks for the pointers,